Big Game

April 5, 2009

Shots from a shoot today.  I’m really on the fence about this project; I don’t want to condone hunting (or taxidermy) but on the other hand the opportunity to be able to comment on “nature” and how we manipulate it was too much to resist, though I’m not sure that’s coming through in the photos or not.  They’re definitely creepy, though.






One Response to “Big Game”

  1. Will Says:

    Definitely creepy. I think the whole process is summed up really well
    by a Far Side cartoon. First a man hiding behind a hillock spots a bear
    peacefully lapping up water. He shoots it with a rifle, then has it stuffed
    and mounted in his den in a standing attack position, fangs bared and claws
    raised, as he reads contentedly by his fire.

    Here focusing on the faces (and especially the mouths) really gets the point across.

    Just to lob further comments, I find it interesting that most people who
    want to live in a land with large animals, building on and occupying their
    native habitat, insist on eliminating the top predators, and then start
    hunting seasons for the prey animals, now too large in number. That, or
    when top predators are so endangered as to be protected, people occupy
    the land, eliminate free prey animals, raise the prey animals in pens, and
    get angry when the predators come to catch them.

    I tend to think people basically became unable to share the land with large
    animals once our numbers and land use increased to the point that nothing
    was left for them. Then we describe the inevitable conflicts and tragedies
    as animal-caused problems. “We’ve never had problems with these animals
    before,” “Those animals cause all kinds of problems around here,” etc.
    How often have you heard people acknowledge human responsibility in all
    this? Such a comment would only excite furious condemnation from people
    who insist that our physical vulnerability and dominance of the land
    necessitate a godlike policy of eliminating any animals we don’t eat.

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