Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hypocrisy in Nature

Before this class, ask me what I thought was involved in a hunt and I would tell you that a hunt simply involves the killing or trapping of an animal. But after attending some of the lectures from this class, I have learned that there is more to hunting than a simple chase and/or kill. Neither did I think that the act of hunting would be more reserved toward the elite than the average commoner. Although after learning all I did from class, the people thought up about almost every aspect of the hunting game, and it surprised me that some of those ideas had not crossed my mind earlier.
The most interesting aspect of the hunt that I learned about was the use of the dogs to hunt the others animals. After learning about it in class, I re-watched Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. I noticed in the scene where Gaston chases after the Beast that dogs were released into the woods in order to trap the Beast. Not only did I feel Gaston was cheating (as I was rooting for the welfare for the Beast), I noticed just how much the dogs were incorporated into the hunt, something that should have been a battle between only man and animal, and not man, his animal, and other animals. It surprised me for many reasons, all originally stemming on the hypocrisy of the matter.
In Virgin Huntresses and Bleeding Feasts, hunting is defined as “the deliberate, direct, violent killing of unrestrained wild animals…the hunt is thus by definition an armed confrontation between humanness and wildness” (30). Yet, taking dogs and incorporating them into the hunt is considered okay. How can that work when, according to the same text, “the hunted animal must also be free—that is, able to flee (and to strike back at) its human assailment” (29)? It is something I have yet to grasp, though I am aware there are a lot of instances when people find justifications for what they do so that it fits their agenda. Hunting and using the dogs in order to corner animals that should be “able to flee,” I feel, falls under the category of something that was justified. It must have been, if the use of taking dogs along on hunts was allowed to continue.

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