The ego, with it's insatiable appetite for more, compelled Man to vanquish all those who would dare threaten him. Their predatory prowess, perceived as a challenge and an affront to his own. The conquering of them, to this day, held as a symbol of achievement and source of great pride. The trophy will be preserved and displayed high for all to see, in service of the ego of its slayer.
It has now gotten to the point where the number of worthy prizes has become so few as to be negligible, the animals who once commanded our fear and respect, now require man's assistance to survive, threatened not only directly, but indirectly also by the march of human 'progress'.
It is not just our fellow beasts that are subjected to the suffering inflicted by the endless desires of man's ego, but his fellow men too.
“If I can surmount and tame all of natures other creations, then what else left is there but to annihilate and conquer her greatest predatory creation?” The Ego says.
Regardless that it is my own kind, I shall instead brand and label him as different from I and justify my actions through his past perceived/alleged infractions or even his potential future actions. Call him 'Barbarian' not 'Citizen', assign I and him a flag or symbol to which each will identify and thus enable the senseless slaughter without the limitation of morals nor conscience, and let the 'hunt' begin.
In a seemingly past life now, I willingly signed up to and subscribed to this madness with the blessing of society, my family and peers. I was indoctrinated, taught and trained in the many different ways to track, stalk, observe, conceal myself from, and ultimately hunt and kill my fellow human being.
It was thrilling. It was awful. On the one hand a beautiful display of individual yet united beings acting and moving in an aligned and co-ordinated machine to achieve the common objective. Improvising, adapting, overcoming as the mantra said. But to step back was to witness sheer insanity at its most sickening levels. Such consumption of resources, so much destruction and loss.
At the end of it came trophies. Prizes. We called them medals.
These words are not condemnation nor of judgement, rather, they are the facts as I perceive them.
I believe it is fair, in light of the very few living creatures that prey on mankind this day, to say Man is one of the ultimate predators.
When he chooses to be.
To my belief, it is the very stalking, seeking, challenge and even the numerous failures, that endows the hunters prize with value and merit. Yet as good as man became at this, he also sought quicker, more efficient means, and ultimately negated his valued role and status completely.
Where, I ask, is the worth, the value, the achievement, the prize in the cling film wrapped chicken you picked from the supermarket shelf? In an almost complete U turn of values and morals, our young hunters of today, if not practicing and training to kill their fellow man, face condemnation even incarceration for daring to venture out into the wilderness and practice that which runs in their blood, the instinct of the ancestors. Frustrated by this urge I sympathise why many choose instead to drown out the ego, its mental monologue and torturous judgments with booze and other substances. This is effectively encouraged and condoned by the same society that proclaims to possess high moral standards and says it dislikes such behaviour! Is it really a wonder as to why the poor wretch can find no solace?!
In the roller-coaster that was my early teens I quickly identified that the mainstream society in which I dwelt has lost almost all of the old rights of passage for the male. Females still had the trauma and challenge of menstruation with the acceptance, acknowledgement and identity at the end of it that yes, they were now a woman. But what was there for the boy who so desperately wanted society to agree and tell him that finally yes, he was a man? I believe my ego found it in the Army. But I believe it needn't be so for everyone.
On TheHuntingLife forum I read countless requests from youngsters to be taken out by an 'old timer' and shown the ways and means of hunting. Why?! Because he is invariably lacking the father/grand father who did so for generations before. Who educated the son in the ways and means of being a hunter and providing for a family. A true man. This is perpetuated down the line by the current trends. These trends need bucking.
With young men being mentored and tutored properly by seasoned hunting veterans. If children can be brought up to understand and appreciate the fragility and sanctity of life through the education and application of hunting tools. Incidents of disrespectful behaviour, mutilated animals and all the other manifestations and backlashes of the frustrated youth and fledgling ego will, I firmly believe, decrease as the energy is channelled, perspective gained, and respect is inevitably earned and learned.
The alternative is dire. Continue to sit back, read the propaganda in the papers and let the GP's 'diagnose' and pump the youth full of chemical cocktails to suppress the life within, breeding the next generation of vegetables ready to clock on/off, and slump miserably in front of the TV to drink themselves into a stupor until finally they kill either themselves or somebody else.
That scenario is perhaps a bit over simplified but for the most part, not far from the truth.
Where once we believed the cities held promise and hope, I believe now it is to be found in the countryside. I hold firm the belief that if the next generation can be tempted out from the urban jungle and into the true wilderness, our society and species may yet stand a small chance of averting the many reported crises that supposedly await us.
I hope to that spirit in the sky that before long, with great joy and relief;
I'll see you in the fields.