Hunting is time-honored tradition

Nov 26, 2012


There's an old joke that goes something like this:

We all know that a vegetarian is somebody who doesn't eat meat. But did you know that "vegetarian" is actually an old Native American term for lousy hunter?

Hundreds of years ago, the best hunters were held in the highest esteem by their peers because they were the best at supplying much-needed food for their families, villages or tribes.

Today, the best hunters may still be held in high esteem by some of their closest friends, but are often viewed much less favorably by society as a whole.

Hunting has fallen out of favor in the public eye. Maybe it's because hunters are closely associated with guns, which have become almost taboo.

Plus, we have such easy access to an overabundance of food that being able to hunt for your own sustenance isn't valued like it once was.

It's sad that hunting — such an important part of our heritage as Americans —has taken such a hit when it comes to public perception.

As we celebrated Thanksgiving a few days ago, we remembered just how hard it was for our ancestors to feed themselves when they first came to these shores. Just because we can now put a feast on the table by heading out to the local supermarket doesn’t mean we shouldn’t appreciate those who are able to provide for themselves in more traditional ways.

The number of those hunting continues to dwindle. According to one survey, about 13.7 million people, or 6 percent of the country's total population older than 16, hunted in 2011. Another report estimates that about 21.8 million Americans hunted at least once during the past five years.

We realize hunting isn’t for everybody, and that’s fine. But for those who continue to recognize this time-honored tradition — in a safe and responsible manner — we salute you.

Stay safe and shoot straight.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.




I must say, a great number of people either weren’t taught history or forgot what they were taught about history in regard to people providing food for their family by means of having to hunt and kill animals in order to survive. Even though I’m a Vegetarian I grew up being taught how to hunt and fish to provide food for the table. I was hunting with my father at a very young age and the wild game that we managed shoot and fish we caught and stored provided about half of our meat and seafood supply throughout most of the winter. This saved my parents a great deal of money in a house raising 3 boys in the 1950’s. These hunting and fishing skills are still with me today and even though I chose to be a vegetarian, I along with the rest of America are only a couple of back to back major natural disruptions, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, or volcanic eruptions that can cause chain reaction power outages which can cause food delivery to cease resulting in thousands and perhaps millions of people to run out of food. Then how are you to survive? By survive I mean how are you going to get food for you and your family and how are you going to survive attacks from other desperate starving people who will now do anything to stay alive and survive which means eradicate anyone who has food or stands in their way. We have recently witnessed firsthand, large natural disasters right here in America and have seen the overwhelming effects it has on people who one day lived in a very nice house, great neighborhood, and plenty of food, water, and all the comforts of home and within 24 hours everything they had was gone; their house no longer existed, all their clothes, cars, and personal belongings either swept away in flooding waters or their entire home burned to the ground with only a cinder block or brick foundation outline left as proof a house even existed there. And I’ll bet you that they had probably thought that nothing could ever happen to take their happiness away, yet it did happen. So, what does this have to do with hunting? We all might be challenged one day to having to tap into our natural survival instincts in order to survive. What then will you do?



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