Wednesday, February 08, 2006

California Wildfire: ABC News "Discovers" Coursing

In defense of all good things old-fashioned, we present this recent story by ABC News: a pitifully slanted piece of writing that "exposes" open field coursing (in this case, rabbit hunting with sighthounds) in California and---tiresomely, predictably, maddeningly---its presumed "cruelty" to animals.

At least one state legislator, having seen video of rabbits killed by sighthounds, now seeks to ban the sport. The anti-hunting and animal rights groups, for their part, are calling for direct action---harassment and worse---against individual hunt participants. They've distributed the names, home addresses and phone numbers of dozens of coursing enthusiasts over the Internet. Naturally, the California legislator's righteous indignation is featured in the story while the calls for vigilante violence go unmentioned.

Coursing is an old hunting sport, different from falconry in many ways but plenty enough alike that its detractors need see no difference. In both, one animal pursues and catches another while people watch, partisan and unapologetic for the outcome. It is a hunt, after all: the purposeful killing of animals. Ultimately, that is what's abhorrent to those who now seek to ban coursing and punish those who enjoy it.

If you are any kind of hunter---if you ever eat meat---take note of this.

I don't know and fear to imagine the direction this story might take. But we could ask: Will America go the way of Great Britain, utterly tamed by misguided anti-cruelty sentiment?

Steve plans a series of posts about the unfolding (unraveling) situation in California and related topics. There is a lot of ground to cover here, all of it (so far as I've seen) upsets me.

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