Renaissance man Joe Rogan explained the benefits of hunting to vegan actor Russell Brand recently, on his podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
I’m sharing it here on HUNT365 because I think it is a positive example of how two people with polar opposite positions can have a sensible discussion that may not lead to a radical change in perspective for either party but is still civil and informative and worth sharing.
I much prefer this to the cable news talk format that pits two hardline adversaries against one another in what more often than not devolves into a shouting match of canned responses and cliches. No one walks away enlightened, just angry and with the belief that mutual respect, let alone common ground, cannot be reached.
Rogan’s rhetorical approach is much more effective, too. Facts and common sense delivered in a measured tone with affinity, void of snark or condescension.
To that end one of the most persuasive arguments Rogan makes is to Brand’s admission that he has a tendency to anthropomorphize animals. Brand couldn’t fathom harming an animal because he thinks of Disney’s Bambi, for example. A cute, cuddly sentient deer with a mom and a dad and a bunny friend named Thumper. Fiction, no doubt, but a lasting story to those who’ve seen it and never had to hunt to feed their families.
Rogan basically says, and I’m paraphrasing, if you think hunting is cruel, Mother Nature can be infinitely crueler. All animals die. And starvation, falling through thin ice on a frozen pond, suffering from an infectious disease, getting eaten alive by a pack of wolves are, on the scale of humane ways to go out, much worse than getting culled by an ethical hunter.
Yes, not every shot from a hunter is a clean kill but at the same time there’s no guarantee that the animal won’t fall down and break its leg or become blinded after fighting off a rival for a prospective mate or who knows what other perils await.
Point is life is hard out in the wild and there is no pleasant way to die. It seems only logical, then, not to let animals go to waste. Likewise, and as Rogan mentions, hunters fund the bulk of conservation efforts in the U.S. via the Pittman-Robertson Act. Without hunters, various species would already be extinct, e.g. wild turkey, whitetail, wood ducks. These animals give to us so we, in turn, can give back to them. “It’s the circle of life,” to quote a different Disney movie.