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Argument: Hunters fully appreciate animals and the lives they are taking

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William Ramsdell. "In Defense of Hunting: Cruella DeVille or Captain Planet?". 18 Apr. 2008 - So yes, bohemian pleather-wearing activist, I feel you. I love the majesty of these animals, and I too want to save them — from extinction. But before you look down on me for taking sparingly from the land what it brings fourth in abundance, try to know our side. Know that we are the ones at 4 a.m. in the bitter cold just watching and appreciating, not shooting perhaps for weeks, until the time and animal are right. We are the ones who know these creatures and respect them for their grace and magnificence because we have observed that magnificence by the light of countless dawns and dusks. Before assuming we waste life, know that my father and I tracked a wounded buffalo for two days in the African heat after we shot it, lest its wounds prove fatal and we cause the wasting of an animal life. I was war-painted in the blood of my first kill to instill in me the importance of every life, as well as the sadness (amidst bitter beauty and exhilaration) that encompassed the taking of a life for your own. In the blood streaking my face and covering my hands was the energy of a life that lived, not sedated and stupid in its own feces, but free until it was taken, like its ancestor, by a predator. Not all hunters had the privilege of being instilled with the morals that my father insisted upon and not all eat everything they kill — but I do, and let me tell you, I have eaten some funky stuff in the name of never wasting a sacrifice. Please remember who started this conservation thing in the first place and who continues to contribute more than all others combined: it was people like Theodore Roosevelt, the walrus mustache-toting champion of the “National Park” and prolific, lifelong hunter.

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