Last update: 12-Dec-2013 4:50 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Fascinated By The Hunt
I have a friend who’s a poacher. It’s not his real name, but let’s call him Khan. He’s a devout Muslim, a dedicated father and a gentle soul who lives in one of the crime hotspots. He also hunts monkeys, agoutis, tattoos—anything he can lay his hands on. You wonder how I can befriend a man who hunts illegally, but I look at him as a teacher, teaching me one of the realities of wildlife conservation in Trinidad. It’s easy to preach from an ivory tower; I don’t wish to be that person.
I’ve never been able to understand why people get so much pleasure out of hunting, killing another being. It’s not that I’m overly squeamish about blood. I can handle my supermarket-bought steak just fine. In fact I like my steak rare, the bloodier the better. I know there’s a level of hypocrisy here. Most animals we eat are raised on factory farms in abysmal conditions. Raised in cages so small they can’t turn around, pumped full of steroids and antibiotics, they live hellish lives and die cruel deaths.
Hunters point to these conditions: at least the animals they kill led free, natural lives. Obviously there are more sides to this hunting question. I had to experience to understand. I asked Khan if I could accompany him on a hunt. He told me to meet him at X-hour, at X-location. X was nowhere else but in Tucker Valley, Chaguaramas, administered by the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA). Tucker Valley is full of “No Hunting” signs. Our poaching party consisted of seven men and ten hounds.
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