I consider myself a human being. I’m sure you think of yourself as human, too. It’s a fairly commonplace sentiment. I was born to human parents, and I attended a human school. Excepting those among us raised by wolves, owls, ferrets, and other miscellaneous fauna, I imagine this goes for most people. We’re all human beings and deserve to be treated as such, though this is getting progressively harder to remember.
This isn’t to say that we’re losing all our morals and are fast tumbling down a slippery slope of technology-driven debauchery, I’m not writing for The Daily Mail. It’s a feeling, one I’ve been experiencing, and surely we’ve all felt the same at some point. We’ve all seen something truly awful that someone has done, generally a dictator or another failure of the American gun laws, and wondered whether they can truly be human. How can someone, we ask ourselves, do this and consider themselves human the same as I do? There are moral differences, and then there are moral obscenities. There’s political controversy and then there’s Germany in the 40’s.
An exaggeration, yes, but it’s hard to keep the hat on my hyperbole when fox hunting is in the news again.
It’s in the news, and the news is treating it like it’s just another policy to be bartered over in parliament. Not as if it’s a horrifying bloodsport giving the Roman coliseums a run for their money in barbarism. And, before I get ahead of myself, I’ll recap exactly why it’s so appalling for those of us who have been able to forget over the decade or so it’s been illegal. (Not that the law has stopped the toffs on horses, but we’ll get to that in a bit.)
Contrary to what would be nice to believe, fox hunting didn’t end in 2005 when the ban came into effect. Sure, it made hunting foxes theoretically punishable, but if you’ve spent any time in the countryside you’ll know very well that the law is looked at a little differently in certain circles. It’s hardly the Wild West, of course, though it is where all the guns are. And the horses. And a lot of the racism. Huh. On second thoughts, maybe it is the Wild West of England. Only it’s everywhere, and it has enough cash to get away with a little bit of recreational animal murder.
Because murder is exactly what the hunt is. Don’t even dare say the words ‘pest control’. Don’t. If I don’t personally combust there’s a good chance Roald Dahl’s ghost will manifest with the express purpose of backhanding you. There is no proof that fox hunting is an effective means of pest control. Zilch. And if not that, then what is it? What is the hunt, if not an altruistic attempt on the behalf of the local stable to reduce the dastardly population of chicken thieves?
Since huntsmen like to hide behind their excuses like a second skin (concealing no doubt their true reptilian visage) I can tell you instead what it is. The hunt is a bunch of sadists on horses getting their kicks from seeing an animal torn apart, organs splattered across the beautiful countryside they claim to enjoy so much. It’s the life of an animal, hunting to survive as it does naturally, unnaturally cut short after a drawn-out chase that would be considered torture were the victim not a fox. It’s a hoard of right-wing caricatures having a jolly old circle jerk over how civilised they are as they paint the faces of the initiated with the blood of the kill. It’s the worst of us dressed to the nines in fancy boots to crush fox cubs underfoot and gloves to protect their hands when they throw them, bound, to be ripped to shreds. I won’t add pictures. That would be cruel.
The hunt is despicable. Inhumane. And yet the huntsmen rail against the ban publicly, as if they weren’t murderers; as if it were a normal thing to do. If it were another canid, wolves or domestic dogs, the hunt would likely be washed away by the sea of righteously offended masses waving handmade signs and loudly denouncing their mothers’ relationships with farm animals. But, while the UK as a whole doesn’t want it back, they’re not doing anything to stop what’s still happening, either.
Because foxes are still being killed and not in the comparatively humane way they’re legally allowed to be. Read around and you’ll see plenty of alleged claims about hunts still doing things the old fashioned way (murdering like grandpapa used to do) but that’s it. Alleged claims, they call them. Never mind the videos, the hundreds of photos and statements and recordings and even testimony from the horses’ own mouths. Or the huntsmen’s own mouths. Same difference, really, only I imagine the horses have a fair bit more to say about being spurred and whipped.
For those of strong constitution and willing to brave animal death and unpleasant noises, here’s a hunt saboteur video published in an article by The Sun showing hounds cornering a fox; https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3533139/theresa-may-fox-hunting-illegal-uk-petition-against-the-vote/
Note the timestamp of the video, 2017/01/14. February of this year. Over a decade after this kind of slaughter has been outlawed, and it’s still happening, on a road, in full view of members of the public. And has anyone been brought to account? Of course not. Wishful thinking. Absurd thinking, isn’t it, that someone might be arrested for breaking the law. But people are constantly, are they not? Then what is it about this law?
Is it, like various other laws, that when it is a certain demographic (the rich, the white, the landed gentry in their houses built on old money and old sin) breaking them they are merely not held accountable? Or is it that outside of the few, no one wants to know? It’s been outlawed, and so it must be gone, and anything else is too much trouble to think on. Is it merely apathy? Because honestly, at this point it’s hard to tell whether the ban being lifted would make much difference at all, bar making it even easier for the hunt to get away with the murder of their opposition. Oh, and yes, they’ve done that, too. It’s almost as if they have no moral boundaries they won’t cross. It’s almost as if we’re letting them do it.