Hunting and Druidry

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katie bridgewater
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby katie bridgewater » 15 Nov 2010, 01:17

I try to only eat hunted meat, and not farmed unless I personally know the person who reared the animals. I also consider it very important to treat any creature (plant or animal) that I must eat to survive with the utmost respect and politeness. We are all dinner for something and I in my turn must take life to survive and I would like to be treated politely by the things that will eat me. My whole religion is based upon this (see our midwinter Bear Feast which is basically a big apology and ritual of thanks to those whose lives we take in order to live ourselves). To this end, I try only to eat wild hunted meat killed by people I know (or ourselves, when we have the need and opportunity). This means that my dinner exercised free will and lived the life of its choice. It also means that I can continue to eat a local diet, which does not rely on importing things from other countries to ensure a 'balanced' vegan diet.

It seems to me we have a 3 choices.
1) eat anything and harden ourselves against the death we cause (even milk causes the death of young calves and chips kill potatoes) We might justify our action by recourse to a violent theology which tells us our god has given us dominion over resources.This is unthinkable IMO
2) don't eat any animal that lived, and become fruitarian in order to avoid the guilt of killing our dinner.
3) moderate what we eat and make sure we are really really polite and respectful of the lives we take, acknowledging our part in their demise and taking no more than we need, and observing the rituals and taboos that ensure a continued humble relationship with the things we eat, and the things that eat us. I have chosen this path. It also involves being able and willing to take a life and understand what that means, something which I think has been lost in the aisles of Tesco...


This week I ate Elk hunted by our host Harald, in Norway. There was a real respect for our dinner around the table. The meat was not a product or commodity, and it was not obtained with money. It was the same amount dead as any farmed meat, but I'm pretty sure it had a good life and an honourable death, unlike it's farmed counterparts.

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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Fox of the Oaks » 15 Nov 2010, 01:33

I am a vegetarian, yet can appreciate a more spiritual form of hunting. My views on hunting (which I have never done previously) can be summed up in a few points:

- Respect is most important - hunting for need only, when other less violence-based foods are not available, and always with mindfulness to maintain the natural balance of things (for the species, for humans, and for the land); Utilizing every part of the animal hunted, and offering something back to the land.
- Ritual - hunting seems to have been (for our nature-based ancestors) and still is for some very much a spiritual ritual. For our ancient ancestors, there would be ceremony before and after, prayer and meditation and such, divination and so on. They understood that they are not just catching meat, and that animals have a spirit as well as a body.
- Harvest; the basic law of harvest - what you reap you sow - One needs to be prepared for the pain they are causing an animal (and the animals families) if they are to hunt them, in the sense of being willing to face the same experience as they. I understand hunting is a very sacred thing, dealing with very deep mysteries of nature, life and death, land and sustenance and so on, and just as the hunter is willing to take the life of an animal, they should also acknowledge the value of their own life (and no doubt do).

I hear a lot of vegans here and there who seem rather absent from the fact that Nature is life and death, not just life... and I also believe plants have spirits and are just as important as animals in the sense of respecting what they offer. So in that sense I am an animist vegetarian. It seems also hunting and sex are related in some ways, and I would treat both with respect for the power and mysteries they hold - and the responsibility needed.

Finally, the best writing I have seen regarding sacred hunting was in the book Circle of Life by James David Audlin. Highly recommended.
http://www.amazon.com/Circle-Life-Tradi ... 1574160826


I have no problems with hunting as a practice in Druidry, when done as a sacred act, though it is not something I practice.

PineRaven

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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby wyeuro » 15 Nov 2010, 06:08

i'm not exactly reconstructing, except by sheer accident, but living as close as i can get to the sources of my life. after thirty years of goat-herding i'd like to put in a good word for the domestication of our primary prey animals. my justification for 'enslaving', de-naturing and killing our own goats comes to me out of a thirty year-long, very intense conversation with the animal. you rear their kids, you drink their milk, you wear their skins and fleeces, you carve their horns and bones, and their sh*t, bones, and gizzards go into the compost, trailing their nwyfre through everything we grow. their kids are like foster children - after thousands of years of domestication, they have evolved the equipment necessary to make joyous and sometimes hilarious sense of their predicament, and they leave you in no doubt that they know their way round things like milking, shearing (angoras), death and dying, afterlife, butchering and use of skins and fleeces.
they don't fear death as we do - except the ones who have a heavy investment in a future. they see ghosts, so they know that death isn't a terrible problem - you just jump out of your carcase. a simple affirmation of respect and affection, a eulogy for those who will receive them in the afterlife to know them by and a quiet period just after the killing for a requiem clears them easily. there is a 'rainbow bridge'. goats are clairvoyant and in their life-field, so am i. i see them go leaping free of their bodies, and laughing, as goats do after moments of fear, to be free of it.

the ones who want to live let you know. aged milking does are owed aged care, and terms of equality or they'll opt for death. they've got all kinds of leverage. it's a much more equal relationship than appears on the surface. it is my duty to tether them to domestic paradigms as surely as i tether them to posts in the ground. i can feel their pleasure or discontent as easily as any other very close friend. some cultures talk of a contract, forged before our forms evolved in earth.

goats focus only part of their attention on what we call the only 'solid' reality. their minds are into the magic of the biochemistry of their digestion far beyond ours. when i eat a lettuce leaf, it's like looking at the pictures without reading the text compared with how thoroughly she reads the realms of info in a thistle leaf. she long ago got over the lack of freedom - her stream of consciousness is the richer for it, and her prospects for her future evolution wider while she is a farm animal. feral goats live in fear - a kind of ontological insecurity - like outlaws, breaking their part of a contract.

i might have been spending too much time with goats in my head, but this is what i learn. goats are intending to be farmed as much as we intend to farm them.

then there's the native fauna. the local aborigines no longer hunt in these areas, and the kangaroos are coming up and asking to be shot. they kill themselves by jumping over fences and breaking their necks, so you find beautiful meat delivered to your door, and they're not understanding why it is despised. huge fat lazy brown-snakes, very nutritious and although lethally venomous, too lazy to bite at this time of the year, bask in humanly made pathways looking for all the world like meat on a slab. birds throw themselves eagerly, even after judiciously sizing things up, right into the jaws of the farm cat - i've seen them do it. kangaroos are notorious for giving themselves to cars, and bang goes your radiator. they hop alongside the car while you screech on the brakes and when your slow enough they slip in front and whack. excellent meat discarded as road-kill. they put roo-bars on cars to protect them out here.

the pain aspect is different too. some humans invest in their carcase to the point where any threat sets of screams of alarm all over the body. once an aborigine said to me as he walked about on a leg he had broken only two weeks previously, that he wouldn't ever put that much pain into a broken leg as a white person does. he thought it was an OPTION, how much pain you allow. he, like goats, cats and dogs, put in enough pain to keep him mindful of the needs of the wounded limb, and not more. so he limped instead of lying down prostrate on a hospital bed cathetered and drugged against the intractable pain that we would normally have. heals quicker that way, because you stay active. i've seen a young goat with a broken ankle trotting about on it, even playfully, within hours of the accident, and it healed fine. i had a cat who broke a front leg in a fight with a dog. the next day she ran in front of me the whole mile to our mail box and back, calling happily to me, and refusing to be picked up. she was making a point if ever a cat was. that paw healed crooked, but she was still a fine rabbiter.

i love what you're saying, pineraven, about plants having spirits too. their experience is just as much cut short by their death and the biochemistry of a turnips response to being pulled up is tantamount to a shriek of vegetal rage and terror as liberating as any hare's piercing death scream.

wyverne /|\

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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Fox of the Oaks » 16 Nov 2010, 02:55

Marvellous post Wyeuro!

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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby wyeuro » 16 Nov 2010, 03:15

:curtsey: :grin:

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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Bronzewing » 12 Dec 2010, 07:10

Woah, lots to think about in your post there, Wyeuro! I have heard of a roo stepping out of the forest and standing up to be shot. Interestingly, when so confronted, my hunting friend couldn't take the shot. That eye to eye, soul to soul confrontation was too much for him, and was no softy usually.

I am rather torn by the meat eating, hunting, vego thing. But, I will say that the other morning I had breakfast with someone who was vego, and yet didn't seem to like animals at all and it isn't the first time I've come across that sort of attitude. I find it scary. Like they look forward to a world where there is nothing but humans and plant farms. I would rather we all went down together! I do think we need to remember we are a part of it and nothing can live without killing. Even our beloved trees try to kill the young ones who come up at their roots.

I on the other hand absolutely adore animals but do eat them, and would very much want to raise my own for slaughter if I had the room. Give them a good life, and kill before they know what is happening. If I have to kill one of my chooks, I do it by night with a red light only and they are still basically asleep. I researched the best way to do it painlessly and quickly and I don't fanny about being a bleeding heart before the deed. I can cry afterwards! Goddess knows I would choose the same for myself if I get too sick to enjoy my life!

I am not against hunting, but with respect and as quick a kill as possible, and nothing that is rare or otherwise endangered, and you eat and use the animal. I won't eat most sorts of fish because of their lack of numbers these days, which is a bit of a reversal to most people, I know. Shows on the fishing trawlers where you find out just how much gets taken out of the ocean every day even just from one town make me sick to my stomach!

Hugs,

Bronzie
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Aitrus » 12 Dec 2010, 17:07

I was born and raised in Alaska, and we hunted, trapped and fished for sustenance. Any hides weren't discarded carelessly, but were tanned and either used as clothing or sold/traded as a way to purchase other needs. Antlers were either traded, carved into art, or used in other ways. Offal was left out for the carrion feeders to consume instead of being thrown into the trash. I carry on the tradition of hunting to meet my needs when I'm able, but it's not as often as I'd like.

When I do, however, it's a very spiritual event for me because that's how humans were meant to acquire their meat - by the sweat of their own brow and their connection with Nature. I don't bait large game, I don't use a scope when I use a rifle, I often use a handmade bow and quiet stalking methods or hides, I'll sometimes use a blowgun or slingshot for smaller game. I try to use primitive weapons when I can, such as a rabbit stick or bolo. I will sometimes use traps or snares made from natural materials. In essence, I use a gun only when I absolutely need to put meat on the table and I don't have room for mistakes, otherwise I use primitive or centuries old methods because it forces me to use my skills and affinity with the world around me rather than rely on technology.

One thing about this thread made me think, though.

I see so many of us despising farm-raised meat, wheather it be out of disgust for the treatment of the animals, or the hormones used, etc. I have to wonder though, what if there were no farms like that? How would the masses be fed? Would the need to hunt completely wipe out the available wild stocks?

I guess I see factory farms as a necessary evil. Without them, millions in cities would starve. With them, we must acknowledge that certain practices must be used no matter how much we dislike them. It's one good reason to eat localy raised meat.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Huathe » 12 Dec 2010, 20:11

Aitrus,

I am certainly for farms but the animals still deserve to be treated humanely and with respect. And yes, without farms the wild stocks would probably dissappear.

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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby DJ Droood » 13 Dec 2010, 13:39

I guess I see factory farms as a necessary evil. Without them, millions in cities would starve. With them, we must acknowledge that certain practices must be used no matter how much we dislike them. It's one good reason to eat localy raised meat.
I suppose in a case of national emergency, the masses could eat things like beans and vegetables instead of Double Downs, but we are talking about a hypothetical martial law situation here.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Aitrus » 13 Dec 2010, 14:08

Hawthorne, I agree completely.

DJ, in an extended martial law, emergency or war situation, food will start becoming scarce and people who haven't prepared will hoard. Meat will become much more expensive, so locals will resort to hunting. This happened in the years after Hurricane Katrina, and the wild stocks are still working to replenish. In WWII, food was rationed, but meat was still scarce. And that was with a world population much smaller than it is today. Think how bad things would get in a WWIII situation.

In each of these circumstances, those that eat just veggies will have major nutritional problems after a short amount of time. I agree, for short durations, veggies-only will work, but not for extended periods.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby DJ Droood » 13 Dec 2010, 14:12

In each of these circumstances, those that eat just veggies will have major nutritional problems after a short amount of time.
I've heard of people called "vegetarians" going for extended periods of time eating only plant matter, but I think they might be an urban legend.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Huathe » 13 Dec 2010, 16:47

I think the thing meat provides most to the diet is proteins. It is true that protein can also be found in plant products like certain beans and peanuts. Vegetarians use plant protein to replace protein normally found in a more carnivorous diet. It is widely debated whether the plant proteins are as good as the proteins found in meat.

The human animal is an omnivore. That is, we are designed to eat both plant and animal foodstuffs. The best diet is to be had that way. We are neither bovine or wolf.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby DJ Droood » 13 Dec 2010, 16:59

We are neither bovine or wolf.
That is true, we are very clever simians.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby Aitrus » 13 Dec 2010, 19:31

In each of these circumstances, those that eat just veggies will have major nutritional problems after a short amount of time.
I've heard of people called "vegetarians" going for extended periods of time eating only plant matter, but I think they might be an urban legend.
I have heard of these "vegetarians" as well. Somebody once told me that "vegetarian" was Native American for "Bad Hunter".

Yes, they get the proteins they need, but they need to either add proteins to their food, or combine foods in the right way to get the correct amino acids. With rare exceptions, there is no location on the planet that the right plants grow naturally to allow for this combination. In times of extended emergency or war, vegetarians will be hard-pressed to maintain their diet and stay healthy.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby DJ Droood » 13 Dec 2010, 19:32

In times of extended emergency or war, vegetarians will be hard-pressed to maintain their diet and stay healthy.
Thanks for the heads up!
With rare exceptions, there is no location on the planet that the right plants grow naturally to allow for this combination.
I'll also warn the soy bean farmer down the road.
Soybeans can produce at least twice as much protein per acre as any other major vegetable or grain crop, 5 to 10 times more protein per acre than land set aside for grazing animals to make milk, and up to 15 times more protein per acre than land set aside for meat production
Soybeans are considered by many agencies to be a source of complete protein.[13] A complete protein is one that contains significant amounts of all the essential amino acids that must be provided to the human body because of the body's inability to synthesize them.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soybean


speaking of Native Americans:
Quinoa was of great nutritional importance in pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, being secondary only to the potato, and was followed in importance by maize. In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), and like oats, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa


and honestly, it is pretty easy to bundle together a complete set of amino acids from your average farmers market stall, or grocery store, anywhere in North America, except maybe Iqaluit....I think hundreds of millions of Indians might also be surpirsed at the news of how unhealthy their meat-free diet has been all these millenia....

In an End-Times scenerio (or the Beginning Times, as a buddy like to call them), I would worry more about all the folks who lack basic nutritional education fighting over the last cat.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby skydove » 13 Dec 2010, 21:06

Sticking my head above the parapet and so a sitting duck so to speak, I must say I have been a vegetarian for 37 years and I'm quite healthy and suffer no terrible diseases. I'm not dogmatic about others who prefer to eat meat and I agree that seeing life and death as part of a whole and our animal place within this cycle as inescapable and is part of what we are. I also applaud those who kill with reverence and honour the spirit of the animal who died so that others could eat and probably if I were starving I hope I would be able to kill effectively and with honour too, but luckily for me I am not starving, there is no need for me to kill and eat, this is my privilege to be able to make a choice, I do not ask any animal to lay down its life for me to eat. In my own way I hope I honour the spirit of the animal by choosing not to eat it. I know that as a vegetarian I consume vegetables fruits grains nuts and some milk and egg products, not eating meat is my own small way of feeling better about living in the world as a thoughtful person.
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby wyeuro » 14 Dec 2010, 00:46

That is true, we are very clever simians.
well, simians, anyway. :grin:

hi, skydove.
Sticking my head above the parapet and so a sitting duck so to speak
as a hunter, how could i resist taking a pot-shot at a sitting duck? :-) here 'tis.
there is no need for me to kill and eat,
. but eating turnips involves killing them, they die just as flooded with stress and alarm pheromones as any hunted deer, and there's no reason to believe that their death is a less painful or less grief-stricken death than that of a plump rabbit, calf or brown snake - or more painful or grief-stricken.

one thing i notice, that helped me to decide against vegetarianism, while still retaining many of its features, is that all people world-wide naturally eat meat, except where vegetarianism is accompanied by a developed philosophy. people have to be persuaded to be vegetarians, and in the absence of heavy persuasion, we default to eating other animals.

i was once going to write a vegetarian recipe book for cannibals: first, catch your vegetarians . . .

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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby skydove » 14 Dec 2010, 18:48

When someone comes up with the vegetables have feelings too argument all I can say is well shall I shoot myself now and let the worms eat me and the seeds grow in the compost and be done with it :-)
Back at school we were taught in biology that although plants respond to stimuli -trophic responses I think they were called, they did not have such a fully developed nervous system as animals so they were unable to feel pain as an animal did, perhaps science has moved on since then, I dont know, but as I am an animal and I want to live I have to eat something. I do what I personally think is causing less suffering though I know we could argue/ discuss endlessly about degrees, I think I am closer biologically to a deer for instance than a lettuce. The point for me is it's a matter of dare I say spiritual choice what I eat and to kill a sentient animal over harvesting a turnip would give me a huge attack of conscience that I had taken that animal's life away.
As ever it all boils down to doing what you feel you can live with, so I'll go and boil up my turnip for soup!
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby DJ Droood » 14 Dec 2010, 19:36

When someone comes up with the vegetables have feelings too argument all I can say is well shall I shoot myself now and let the worms eat me and the seeds grow in the compost and be done with it :-)
Back at school we were taught in biology that although plants respond to stimuli -trophic responses I think they were called, they did not have such a fully developed nervous system as animals so they were unable to feel pain as an animal did, perhaps science has moved on since then, I dont know, but as I am an animal and I want to live I have to eat something. I do what I personally think is causing less suffering though I know we could argue/ discuss endlessly about degrees, I think I am closer biologically to a deer for instance than a lettuce. The point for me is it's a matter of dare I say spiritual choice what I eat and to kill a sentient animal over harvesting a turnip would give me a huge attack of conscience that I had taken that animal's life away.
As ever it all boils down to doing what you feel you can live with, so I'll go and boil up my turnip for soup!

OMG, welcome to almost every conversation I have with my son...he *was* a vegetarian for an impressive 3 years, and inspired me to try it, but now he is rabidly pro-meat and hammers me with every argument n the book, including the "plants have feelings, too" arguments....quite tiresome sometimes...like a messageboard thread I can't log out of!
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Re: Hunting and Druidry

Postby wyeuro » 14 Dec 2010, 22:43

lthough plants respond to stimuli -trophic responses I think they were called, they did not have such a fully developed nervous system as animals so they were unable to feel pain as an animal did,
they teach conveniently simplistic stuff in biology at high-school level. during the 1980s new scientist conducted an in depth enquiry into how much suffering was involved in laboratory experiments etc, and concluded that neurologically manifested pain is only one form of stress and that science does not know how to answer questions about sentience and levels of investment in staying healthy whole and alive in any animal that can't speak. plants also have very complex responses to stress, including measurable changes in stress levels accompanied by the release of pheromones that can be explained in terms of emotional response.
'the secret life of plants' by tompkins and byrd http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_Life_of_Plants gives detailed accounts of experiments that show that plants and eggs experience emotionally and respond to stress.

the point is not that we should try to avoid killing something every time we eat, but that we have to come to terms with the fact of death. when we can endure the idea of our own mortality, we can understand that it's okay to kill an animal or plant. i can't ease my conscience by believing that stress isn't happening if it's a plant, but i can by observing that for plants and prey animals like goats and sheep, stress and the death isn't such a big deal - and neither is it when it's my own pain/stress/death. not that i'm not scared of it, but so what if i'm scared sometimes? i'd never be cruel, but how does it help the prey animal to exaggerate its suffering? death itself isn't horrific, and if we simply avoid giving unnecessary pain with it, we can eat with a clear conscience.
wyverne /|\


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