We’re forced to take notice of a lot of silly, liberalized “holidays” throughout the year, but this Saturday marks an occasion many conservatives can appreciate. It will be the 42nd annual National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration throughout the country. Unfortunately, hunters, fishermen, and farmers have largely fallen from the nation’s consciousness. Worse, there is an increasing tone of criticism when it comes to hunters and fishermen, particularly those who do it for sport.
This criticism, maddeningly, often comes from those who think nothing of filling their diets with fish, fowl, and beef on a daily basis. It’s become cliché to ask if these people know where their food comes from, and besides, you wouldn’t want to accidentally be mistaken for one of those PETA fruitcakes. Still, the question remains – do people understand where their food comes from? Do they realize what they’re eating? Do they understand that hunting and fishing are not enemies to the environment but rather its biggest supporters?
Counterintuitive, But True
It’s easy to see how the facts could get mixed up. How could it possibly benefit the environment to kill the animals who populate nature? It is in situations like this that you need a little bit more than just “common sense.” Liberals like to accuse the right of being the enemies of reason, but this is one scenario where they have it all wrong. It’s counterintuitive but – in much the same way that controlled burns can help protect forests – hunters play a vital role in the ecosystem.
Not to be forgotten is all the good hunters have done for environmental causes. Because of the ridiculous policies and regulations often endorsed by the left, hunters find themselves opposing environmental protection laws much of the time. This allows the left to paint them as enemies of the environment when nothing could be further from the truth. After all, if the marshlands have been replaced by shopping malls or rivers have been polluted, it kinda throws a wet blanket on the fishing.
Those loonies at PETA, of course, are some of the loudest and most vicious critics of hunting and fishing. While many Americans dismiss them as the crackpots they are, they have successfully and slowly moved the needle in their favor throughout the years. They’re still seen as extremists, but they aren’t seen as the kind of extremists they were even 20 years ago. Their brand of crazy has broken into the mainstream.
Hunters and fishermen – dwindling in number with each passing year – are the true heroes of the American environment. In many states, fishing and wildlife organizations contribute far more to the conservation of lakes, rivers, and forests than do their counterparts in the environmental left. Why? Because their need for a pristine environment is a real one. It wasn’t learned from a book or a documentary. In a country that all-too-often celebrates the fake and the superficial, let’s take at least one day and appreciate the people keeping it real.