I interviewed a young lady the other night who had just taken one of the largest bucks in velvet taken by a crossbow in North Carolina. One of the worries during the interview was negative publicity she may receive. Her husband had taken several record book deer in the past and had commented to me that he did not want her to go through the same thing.
While protesting against those with different beliefs and values is an important part of our society, limits can be pushed which does more detriment to both parties than good.
I was contacted by the North American Hunting Club staff a couple of weeks ago in regards to one of their celebrity staffers, Melissa Bachman. Melissa was scheduled to be on a new television show featuring several people from different walks of life in a survivalist situation (this is the best I could tell from the information I received anyway, as it is in development). A large group of anti-hunters started a campaign to get her kicked off the television show by protesting the network, threatening to boycott any advertisers, and harassing Melissa.
I met Melissa back in March of this year and interviewed her for a story in Bow Adventures Magazine a couple of months ago. Melissa is a kind and knowledgeable person and an asset as an ambassador for the hunting public. Yet, she was released from the show because of the protests. One comment from a protester that was placed publically online consisted of “We got you fired! Bwahahahah!” Other comments consisted of she should be killed like the animals she hunts and some more graphic depictions as well.
Another lady I interviewed back in February, Michelle Leqve, the first lady to harvest a polar bear with a bow underwent the same harassment shortly after I had talked with her. In a pleading call she asked, “Bill, what can I do?” She had protesters not only calling and messaging her employer to get her fired; she began to have outright lies sent in to her employer about things other than hunting in the attempt to have her released. It was later determined that the bulk of the harassment was coming from an anti-hunting group based partially in Europe. She had to change her phone number due to the hateful, threatening messages she was receiving. She was trashed on social media outlets and became the subject of several blogs, including one for a Canadian newspaper (who subsequently took portions of the writer’s posts down).
Last week I shared a review of MeatEater, a book by Steve Rinella released on September 4th. In his promotional book signing tour he was confronted by a vegan, in other words, someone who does not believe in hunting or eating animals. The gentleman asked Rinella was hunting for meat just a rationalization for the murder of innocent creatures. Rinella held his composure well, and responded to the gentleman that he believed it was less a question and more of a derogatory statement, but he would answer the question anyway.
Rinella went on to point out that over the time our species has inhabited the Earth, that only over the last couple of hundred years has not hunting even been a factor. Rinella believes humans are actually going more against nature by not hunting than hunting as we are a species that contains canine teeth which is only found in predatory animals.
Rinella handled the situation with tact and information and the other gentleman responded in kind. In the end, they each agreed to read each other’s information, the gentleman would read MeatEater and Rinella would read a pamphlet on veganism. No threats and no discourse. The conversation remained a conversation without threats, harsh personal attacks, or minor assaults.
In the words of many before me, ‘Can’t we just agree to disagree?”