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Dear Gramps,

WHAT?!!! Who the heck are you? Sounds like you are trying to slam hunters. Wake up buddy!! Turn up your hearing aid. I’ve got something to say. First, I think this argument all depends on how you justify the word “need.” There are a lot of things in this world that we don’t need. But does that mean we shouldn’t progress or strive to make ourselves better? Of course not. The reason that you say we don’t need the meat is because our society has grown and become efficient in providing it for us in a store. That doesn’t mean we should just quit learning and improving ourselves just because we can do something an easier way. We can buy fruits and vegetables from the store too. So should be never learn to plant a garden and become self sufficient? No.

Second, What happens when you go to the store and try to find pomegranates, avocados and the store doesn’t have them? Do you settle for an apple because that is what they have all the time??? I don’t think so! You find other ways to get them. If I want venison steaks do you think I go to the store? Nope. I go to my freezer! You know what I’m getting at. So do I “need” the food? I could say no. Do I need to learn to be self sufficient? I would say yes.

Second, why do people seem to think there is a difference between wild animals and ranch raised animals? Animals are animals! What is the difference if I kill it or Joe Blow at the slaughter house? Joe Blow kills innocent animals everyday. Is he going to have to answer for the deaths of all those animals? I don’t think so. Sorry but somebody has to do it.

Secondly, I take offense to the fact that he stated that “the hunting of wild animals is purely and simply a sport.” Whoever says this is apparently ignorant on the subject. To better express this I will quote an article that I saved.

“Hunting has, for decades, been a tool for wildlife management in this country. With the elimination of most predators, hunting has been the major factor in population control, preventing overpopulation of game animals. It is an unfortunate fact that it is very rare for an animal to die of old age in the wild. Animals die of disease, hunger or are killed by a predator. When the population of deer, for example, exceeds the capacity of the land to support that population, the animals are left to die of starvation or disease caused by weakened resistance due to starvation. If you have ever seen a deer or other animal suffering or dying from extreme starvation, it is a heart-rending sight. All creatures ultimately die. It is a fact of life.

 

Do not, though, confuse the life of your pet with the life of an animal in the wild. There is no comparison. There are no veterinarians in the wild, putting animals gently to sleep. In my opinion, the comparatively rapid death of an animal from a hunter is preferable to that of starvation or being torn apart by a coyote.

 

Finally, it is the height of hypocrisy to characterize hunters as cruel buffoons who kill animals “for no reason,” while you sit in front of the television eating a ham sandwich. When we eat meat we must accept that it came from an animal. We need to take responsibility that for the death of something else we can live. Something must die in order for us to eat, whether it is a plant, an animal, or a fish. That too, is part of life. So unless you live on dairy products alone you must accept the fact that meat comes from an animal.

 

Do not fool yourself thinking that the meat from the market is some kind of synthetic substance. It is your choice to hunt or not, of course. All I ask is that you not fool yourselves about your own diet or the the “kindness” of your own choices.”

Once again, learning to become self sufficient is definitely in line with Mormon doctrine. Just because hunting has been labeled a sport doesn’t make it wrong. I have built some of the strongest bonds with my dad while spending time in the field and learning to hunt with him. We have grown very close together during those times and I would not trade them for anything. Family bonds are another divine principle. Some people might not be able to relate with that one but I’m sure Joey knows what I’m talking about.

Lastly, I need to say that I agree that shooting an animal and wasting it is a sin. I am referring to poachers who shoot and leave the carcass in the field. I do believe that those people will be held accountable. I believe that this is what the presidents and general authorities are talking about. But, to make a blanket statement about all hunters, like you mentioned, is wrong. How’s that for a response?! I’m a little fired up on this one.

Greg

 

Answer

 

Dear Greg,

Why don’t you practice your munition skills and your father and son togetherness on the firing range, while you contemplate what is implied by taking exception to the words of the prophets and the holy scriptures.

Again, as a single case in point from the prophets, here are the words President Joseph Fielding Smith—

“I do not believe any man should kill animals or birds unless he needs them for food, and then he should not kill innocent little birds that are not intended for food for man. I think it is wicked for men to thirst in their souls to kill almost everything which possesses animal life. It is wrong. I have been surprised at prominent men whom I have seen whose very souls seemed to be athirst for the shedding of animal blood. They go off hunting deer, antelope, elk, anything they can find, and what for? “Just the fun of it!” Not that they are hungry and need the flesh of their prey, but just because they love to shoot and to destroy life.”Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols., 4:, p.46

Also, you are obviously unaware of the word of the Lord on this subject as expressed in the Mormon scripture, The Doctrine and Covenants. Let’s see if we can clarify for you, in the words of the Lord, the difference between killing domesticated animals for food and killing wild animals. In D&C 89:12 we read–

Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly.

The phrase, beasts, and as shown below, beasts of the field, refer to domesticated animals, that are specifically to be raised for food. In verses 14 and 15 of the same scripture we read,

All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth; And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.

The word, these, in the last sentence refers specifically to the antecedent wild animals, not to the beasts of the field and the fowls of heaven. This is amply demonstrated by referring to D&C 49:19, as follows:

For, behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance.

You will note that the beasts of the field are ordained by God for the use of man to have in abundance, but wild animals are to be used for food only in times of famine or extreme hunger.

So, if you enjoy so much shooting animals you might try for a job in a slaughter house and kill the beasts of the field for food, rather than the wild animals that God has told us should only be used for food in times of famine or excess of hunger.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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