Hunters and Environmentalism

When the word “environmentalist” pops up in a conversation, I bet some people think of a granola-crunching hippie scolding people for not recycling, eating meat, and just being a bad person.

But this stereotypical image of an environmentalist is not completely accurate. There are lots of other people who have the ideals of environmentalists, but may not look like it.

Take hunters for example.

My oldest sister, Justina, in the past year or two has started getting into hunting with her boyfriend, Scott, on the western side of Michigan. They don their camouflage garments and lace their boots with hand warmers shoved in the toe, preparing to sit for hours in a tree house. “It can sometimes get boring, and fucking scary when Scott left me alone. But I get to go for a walk in the woods.”

I myself have never taken part in hunting or even enjoyed the idea of it; hunting gives me the heebie geebies, thinking about the skins of dead animals all fluffed up and on display. But I was given a new perspective on it.

Instead of going to the store to buy their meat, Justina and Scott go hunting in the fall and early winter to stock up on meat for the year.

Before my sister was into hunting, I mostly pictured hunters as people who only stuffing their kills to show them off with pride to anyone who would look.

Hunting is a sustainable way to live. My sister and her boyfriend don’t shoot more than they can eat. And if they do, they share it. This idea reverts back to the hunting and gathering societies, back when all humans knew what it was like to kill an animal so they could eat and survive, when they knew how to collect and grow the proper plants to supplement their diet.

Hunters and humans in general are nothing without a healthy environment.

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