Sunday, 11 October 2015
A hunting we will go...
It's Autumn and with the Autumn the foxhunting season begins. Now I'm not exactly sure what that means any more. Foxhunting is meant to be banned despite Tory attempts to overturn that bit of legislation recently. I think you are still allowed to go out as a hunt, but not to hunt foxes, I think they drag a bit of rag or something through the fields for the dogs to chase. Not much of a sport that, but then to my mind neither was foxhunting.
I know it looks nice on plates and Christmas cards, but I've never really liked the idea of a wild animal being hunted down and then ripped to pieces by a pack of dogs while people on horseback look on and cheer. I don't know why really, but it all seems a little barbaric; and they don't even eat the fox just daub some of the poor things blood on the cheeks of the new recruits. I'm sure it's a jolly nice day out, but surely they could gallop across the fields in a pack without having to kill and desecrate another creature at the end of it.
Anyway, as I said I watched the riders as they went by. I was hoping to feel moral outrage, maybe a twinge of hatred for them, perhaps even shake my fist as they went by. Instead they looked like perfectly normal people. Most didn't wear red coats, the hounds were well behaved, and there were a lot more women than men, some of them just teenagers. Many of them thanked me for stopping as they passed, I must have had twenty thank you's and at least fifty smiles. I nodded back and heard myself saying 'you're welcome' which of course they were, but at the same time they really weren't.
I felt uneasy about it all, almost as if by stopping my car and nodding politely I was sanctioning their cruelty and agreeing with them that what they do is fine and dandy - which it really, really isn't. Fox hunting should stay banned and hunts disbanded, there are far too many foxes and they are becoming a nuisance - one killed all our chickens - but they need to be kept under control by some other means. I don't know what that other means is but it has to be better than using some antiquated, ritualistic, foxhunt
In truth I felt a little dirty when they'd all passed by. Maybe I should have blown my horn at them, or driven past them at speed scattering the horses and throwing the riders, but they seemed like perfectly ordinary people and not cruel monsters on horseback. So I'm left with a lot of questions, but the biggest one is: if I can see how wrong it is to terrify and kill a pathetic wild animal for fun, why can't they?
Maybe I just don't understand the ways of country people.