Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Going Back To The Roots Of Humanity

© Othmar Vohringer

September 1st marks the start of this year’s hunting season, beginning with ten days of bowhunting, then general open season. This is the time of year that I anticipate most but it is also a time when I become keenly aware of our evolutionary roots. Hunting and gathering is deeply rooted in our history. For the majority of our existence on earth we existed as hunters, fishers and gatherers. Indeed, some evolutionary scientists theorize that our bodies have been shaped by the very requirement to hunt for food. Walking on two legs had several advantages to a four legged predator. An upright stance let us see further than other predators, thus spotting prey sooner. The freed up hands could now be used to manufacture specific tools to assist in hunting, such as daggers, spears and the bow. The earliest found tools of humans are all related to hunting; it was the dawn of the modern humans we know today and it was made possible by becoming the most proficient hunters on earth.

Following the ancient human traditions of hunting, fishing and gathering teaches us where food is coming from and also gives us an appreciation for the work that is involved in providing daily meals. Hunting also teaches us respect for the land and what it grows, what walks on it, what swims in the waters and flies in the skies. Society today has become very detached from its food sources and hunting is a good way to reconnect with that forgotten knowledge.

A common perception of people that are against hunting is that in the modern age hunting is not about providing food but about killing animals for the sake of killing. They believe instead of hunting we should be like them and buy the meat in the local grocery store. This argument has always boggled my mind. If, as the anti-hunters say, we only hunt for the thrill of the kill, why would we go through all the hassle of learning about animal behavior, spend countless hours perfecting out hunting skills in the hopes of just getting within striking distance of a wild animal -often in terrible weather and difficult terrains? Instead we could volunteer in one of the many animal shelters and kill a few neglected pets every day.

In a day and age where the masses are fed by a handful of multinational corporations it is easy to say we have evolved to the point where hunting and gathering food is not a necessity anymore…but this convenience has bred a lack of grasp in modern society about its own anthropological roots.

I am proud of the fact that I have the ability and rights to follow in the footsteps of my ancestors and provide my family with organic meat and fish the way we humans have done it for the past 100,000 years. Hunting has kept me in touch with nature and made me realize that humans are not a separate entity, but rather one small wheel in nature’s great plan. Hunting has permitted me to stay connected with the roots of humanity.


Anonymous said...

Hi Othmar,

This was a great post. As a new hunter I've sometimes wondered exactly what is driving me to want to transform from a white collar professional to a hunter, and much of it you cover here. Like most people, I'm so thoroughly detached from nature, and even from my own source of food. I've always eaten meat, but never harvested it. In a weird sense I feel I owe it to the animals to have the guts to do it. A strange intimacy.

Tom Ham said...

Preach on brother! Great read.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...