Big game hunting and selective, social media misanthropy.

An observation I can relay from my wasted time on sites like Twitter Et al. is that there seems to be a glitch in the logic that appears in some folk’s ways of seeing the world.

There’s a number of personalities I follow on that site. They seem to be able to discern the difference between nonsense and value as they comment on the issues the pique their interest.

But there is one aspect of their commentary that I often find having a commonality with the nitwit brigade. That aspect would be their take on the subject of big game hunting.

Now, as someone from the redneck state of F.N.Q. I can say (hand on heart) that I don’t have any overwhelming issues with the idea of hunting the big five for the sake of obtaining a wall hanging. I find the hand-wringing of these types in their opposition to this aspect of life, to be equal parts hypocritical and hysterical at the least. And I’ll articulate my reasoning later in this write up to justify that claim later.

I want to take the conversation off tangent just slightly for a moment. It’ll seem weird initially but I think it’ll suit this exercise’s purpose.

I’ve recently watched an episode of the late Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. The episode in question focused on his visit to Tokyo. One aspect about the culture he presented, with the assent of the locals he interviewed, was the difference between the activities the Japanese engaged in after hours as opposed to the social norms for their culture’s ordinary hours of operations. The city of Tokyo as Bourdain perceived it, was what could reasonably appear to the Western mind, a cornucopia of all kinds of oddities.

One aspect that really amazed me as an alternate feature to the culture was the anime/manga scene and its focus on erotica of the more perverse nature and Tokyo’s red light districts.

Just watch that episode and get a feel for it yourself. Bourdain was even a little weirded out by it all. And that’s saying something considering the places he’s been and the experiences he’s had.

I haven’t visited Tokyo myself but I have had the fortune of touring Osaka and Kyoto. And one thing I noticed about the Japanese is that their communities and people are orderly and polite in spite of the massive sizes of their cities. I mean, Kyoto after hours seemed like a quiet country town after dark. It was weird how deserted and still things were in the city centre after the daylight/business hours were done for the day.

While watching the Tokyo episode of Parts Unknown, one of the Japanese locals claimed that all the weirdness observed by Bourdain was simply an exercise in venting, a letting go of those pressures accumulated by the somewhat rigid nature of civilised life in Japan. And in doing so those pressures were accommodated and contained while leaving the common life unaffected.

As a side note, I’d have to add that the mortality rate due to suicide and the pressures of working for the Japanese would demonstrate a counterexample but human nature is often too complicated to reduce to even a narrow collection of causative aspects. That’s definitely a conversational topic for another time.

The contrast in the aspects of the Japanese culture I’ve observed both personally and on the Tokyo episode of Parts Unknown struck me as familiar to the commentary I’ve witnessed with my social media acquaintances in relation to their opposition to trophy hunting. It’s like they have a smart/dumb switch available to them when they offer their take on the subject in comparison with their usual deliberations on life.

And what I’m getting at isn’t just a simple opposition to big game hunting. It’s the nature of the anti-hunters commentary on the subject. One thing you’ll be guaranteed to see in the public reaction to pictures or footage of big game hunting is the rabid nature of those reactions.

There seems to be a perception that calling for the murder or maiming of hunters and their families is an intelligent means of demonstrating the eco-friendly, conservationist mindset. It always amazes me how they fail to see the fracture in their logic with this approach.

There’s a contradiction with voicing an opinion in support of the preservation of life and switching almost instantaneously to calling for the elimination of it often simply because of a picture or story they’ve read about online.

The connection I’m seeing between the two topics I’m talking about here does offer some food for thought though. I’d argue that a lot of the mindless umbrage we see from the anti-hunting crowd on social media is a perverse form of an unintended consequence. A desire for acceptance with the broader group of social media consumers outside of their usual ingroups. A way of demonstrating to their usual opponents that they’re not as bad as they’re made out to be.

A signalling of a greater, more universal *ahem*…Virtue™.

This activity appears to my untrained mind, an exercise in allaying in-group/outgroup aspect to the way humans perceive the world. As much as we would like to appear unique we also want to appeal to the collective in order to not totally alienate ourselves from their perception of a greater community. And I think social media effect can easily amplify that appeal to the individual.

The number of times I see these social media personalities, who would usually oppose the erratic nature of the SJW, socially acceptable mindsets on these platforms, utilising an appeal to emotion with commentary comparing hunters to murders or even ISIS reminds me of the caution that’s required when relying on the opinions of my fellow social media acquaintances.

And it’s a pity that this can pass without being challenged, as there can be problems with the conservation of these animals and their habitats, that goes unnoticed when the attention of the masses is simply focused on the big game hunters. I’m thinking of habitat reduction due to farming and the development of cities and towns and poaching in nature reserves to name a few.

In closing, I’d suggest that it shouldn’t remain unmentioned that the careful commodification of wild animals as an economic resource can be beneficial to the continuation of those species. In a general sense, we don’t see the livestock we consume on a daily basis being registered as endangered.

And that’s where the focus should be maintained by those opposed to the possible excesses of hunting. A focus on this aspect would nullify the criminal insanity of those in that crowd, that call for the murder of hunters while allowing an additional focus on hunting activities that unsustainably reduce the populations of wild animals as well as recognising the greater pressures of human influence that affect those animals.

Think of it as a win-win option for the intelligent players in this game, an ingroup I’d think we’d all want to claim membership.