Hunting, shooting, and fishing, the great British pastime.
Our great British outdoors provides interest around the world, from the rolling hills to the small hamlets of historic interest, nestled in faraway places, mainly untouched by evolution and time.
Here in the U.K, we are privileged to have all this on our doorstep, available anytime to all people mostly anywhere. So why do I ask are subject to such prejudice when it comes to country sports. This is surely a quintessential part of our heritage.
It seems no past time can escape scrutiny from ill informed bigoted do-gooders, who crusade under the guise of morality and loathing of so-called “Bloodsports”. This hatred of all things, which I consider part of our liberty even transcends to the use or misuse whichever your interpretation of public rights of way (bridal and public footpaths).
The more I watch the news and read newspapers or magazines the more these things annoy me. Why should I, as a tax-paying law-abiding citizen be treated as a social leper, or indeed in some cases viewed as some kind of monster whose blood lust has demonic value?
The more people I speak to these days, seem to have underlying concerns for our rights to exercise good judgment and the welfare of our countryside. If all shooting, hunting, and fishing were to be abolished, our countryside would be devastated, we need to control the population of deer, foxes, corvids, and wood pigeons to name but a few.
If deer were not to be culled, the devastation that would ensue would dramatically change our beautiful landscape. Corvids would totally wipe out most of our songbirds.
Farmers’ crops would be harvested not by the farmer, but by the wood pigeon whose appetite is unquenchable. Farming is one of the hardest-hit industries; an industry for which we need to survive, food and water are a basic necessity for all human beings. The importation of fruit, vegetables, and meat in and out of season has produced a valuable asset I agree, but where does the morality lie?
Are we happy to buy cheap food from supermarkets produced and packed in countries where the minimum wage does not apply? Where do people work for pennies a day? Where health and safety are not regarded as profitable therefore ignored.
We buy clothes manufactured in sweatshops in third world countries that cost less than £5, then discard them almost as soon as they become dirty. Does no one think? How is it possible to buy a t-shirt for £1? After the manufacturing costs, the shipping, the supermarkets mark up, and the V.A.T, how can this be done? Well, the answer is simple. Cheap labor!
Children working extensive hours in appalling conditions when they should be educated, working only to provide food and shelter for their families. So here we turn full circle. We as a nation should look at the bigger picture. Not to take a moral high ground on a subject that appears to be good and wholly, and in some cases fashionable.
Leave our country sports to the people who manage them best. Let’s not lose our heritage, the very things which made this country what it is. As I said earlier, people from around the world come to the U.K because of what we have, let’s not lose it.
We should take a look at ourselves and ask what good can I really do? Where are my efforts best used? Should we not boycott the retailers and manufacturers who flood the market with unrealistically priced products and expose the greater issue?
We are all guilty of putting a price on humanity. Let us as a nation address that, and not deploy bad feelings towards countryside management and country sportsmen who play a major role in keeping our fair lands great as they once were and always should be.
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