The Misinformed.

Fox watching from behind tree

Across the decades there has always been a difference in views, yet fairly conservative opposition to hunting and farming. The Industrial Revolution and consequent urbanisation of Britain has left a legacy of a few generations of citizen who are totally detached from the traditions of rural life, farming and hunting. Miseducated now by the sanitised portrayal of wildlife, they are beyond hope. Due to the mind-bending of animal and bird charities (helped by a willing media), we have stumbled beyond ‘Disneyfication’ and plunged over the same precipice as Bambi’s father. Those who have never felt hunger will never appreciate where food comes from. Those who have never had to catch, harvest and prepare their own meal will never understand the concept of hunter / gatherer. Those who have never had to protect a herd or crop will never sympathise with the need to cull nuisance or predatory species.

The opposition to perfectly legal and necessary rural activities has gained a new breed of supporter. The Misinformed. Organisations like LACS, PETA, the RSPB or RSPCA have easy prey now (forgive the pun) because they are not targeting an educated audience with their distorted and hateful propaganda. They are recruiting a generation of humans who have little concept of natural history, rural tradition or purpose. This is the microwave, smartphone, hypermarket generation. This morning on a local radio quiz I heard an intelligent 30 year old asked “What animal lives in a drey!” His answer? “A beaver”! A news story told how Norfolk County Council are running cookery courses for young parents to show them how to use an oven and cook fresh vegetables. They have people coming to them, parents of young children, who have never peeled a potato, fried an egg or prepared fresh green vegetables. I was saddened by both incidents but it made me realise how dependent the world has become on consumer fodder rather that fresh produce. There was a story on social media recently about a mother whose young son refused some steak because he had seen it raw and was told it came from an animal. Refusing to eat it, his mother asked what he would like instead. His answer was “chicken nuggets”!

I wonder where this modern tribe of animal rights activists and hunt sabateurs go for dinner? Surely they can’t all afford Cafe Nero? When they gang up and get on the mini-bus what do they pack in the rucksack besides crowbars and pepper spray? Cucumber sandwiches? I doubt it and I feel that a huge aura of hypocrisy surrounds these so-called animal champions. Of course, there is an older (which should mean wiser, but sadly doesn’t) breed of activist. A species who attack the traditional rural way of life from the comparative luxury of celebrity status. Interestingly, all of them aspire to recognition as wildlife ‘experts’ which makes their pathetic whining all the more annoying. Of course, each one of them will get more ‘hits’ on a salacious social media blog than your average country-sports magazine will sell copies in a year. Thus the logarithms of propaganda will continue unabated. The Misinformed will multiply and more warped individuals who think meat arrives in the supermarket by magic, beavers live in dreys and squirrels hibernate will join the ranks. Of course, these balaclaved’ champions of the oppressed (their perception, not mine) wouldn’t dare turn up at a Halal abbatoir for fear of meeting their match.

Take away the fast-food pampering of the urban communities, hold back the milk and butter, ransom the potatoes so that the frozen chips dry up. Sell the chickens, sheep and cattle in the market place again. Make people grind the grain, make their own flour and bake their own bread again. Then watch how society wakes up to the importance of rural tradition … and perhaps then the urban will stop interfering with the rural. Rock stars will stick to making music. Comedians will continue trying to be funny. Charities will re-visit their contributors mandate and we will all learn to live in harmony again.

Copyright Ian Barnett, Wildscribbler, June 2015

18 thoughts on “The Misinformed.

  1. But until the “Rock stars will stick to making music. Comedians will continue trying to be funny. Charities will re-visit their contributors mandate and we will all learn to live in harmony again.”
    “Great is the power of steady misrepresentation, but the history of science shows that this power does not long endure” Charles Darwin, Origin of Species 6th edition. so lets keep on holding the banner of common sense.
    Good hunting Sandymere


  2. This is the message we need to be teaching in schools. We have already lost a generation, and the lost generation can never teach the new one, therefore we need to teach them in spite of their parents ignorance and start afresh with people who are growing up now.


  3. A well penned article, it describes accurately how many of us feel regarding hunting and food, frustrated by the ignorance of the masses whom appear to be content with Mc Donald’s and x factor. Thank you and all the best , Joe.


  4. Great article mate, very astute and some truths told. Though I’d refrain from saying things like ‘which makes their pathetic whining all the more annoying’ it undermines the credibility and plays into their hands

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for a very realistic and concise piece of writing (truth ). Education is the way forward, we all must try and re connect the un connected back to Nature and Rural life. Educate the misinformed, teach where food comes from and how to survive.


  6. and I am wondering how many of these “Antis” are for ex keeping a border collie in a one bedroom flat in London or have their cat’s claws taken off so not to scratch the expensive furniture etc etc etc and then still get on their soap boxes and try to explain what animal cruelty is?


  7. well written, but you missed the point. In times of old you couldn’t drink the water, so everyone drank ale, getting anywhere required a long walk or an animal to ride on, hunting was necessary to put meat on the table and to enable you to clothe yourself. But the human race evolved and none of these things are necessary in a modern society. Hunting these days is not essential it’s an expensive hobby and until you embrace that fact you will never move on. Until the general populace no longer see hunting as exclusive reenactment club for the rich, with funny uniforms and lots of dogs, the complaints and activists will continue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You missed the point, sir … not me. My whole point is that we have, through progression, developed a generation of humans who can no longer provide for themselves and have lost touch with the environment which (in times of trouble) would feed them. The countryside. My article didn’t defend ‘foxhunting’. It portrayed the need of homo sapiens to retain and maintain these old skills and traditions. Hunting is essential (though I agree that chasing foxes half way around the county is the most inefficient way to control a known predator). Progress is no excuse for smothering the skills and arts which pulled us from all-fours into the creatures we are now. Nor is it an excuse to decry those who protect and nurture those skills.


  8. How are you spelling Condescending again? What you complain about is called Progress. We no longer hang, draw and quarter criminals, and nor should we be racing across the countryside brutally killing small animals. Focussing on the fact that some people can’t cook is facile. i don’t doubt that some farmers can’t cook or that some of their children think nuggets aren’t meat. Fox hunting is cruel because of where we live, I.e. The 21st century. It’s simply not acceptable. I am a landowner/farmer in Cornwall not a townie so please don’t assume to speak on this matter on behalf of all country folk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kev, you are another who has misread my piece as a defence of foxhunting (see my reply to Mr scoons below). I think shooting foxes is far more efficient. And where did I mention that it was farmers who couldn’t cook? I’m talking about young, urban parents who are second generation ‘townies’ (your expression, not mine). Of course they can cook … but have never been shown how to. If future generations lose touch with the countryside completely it will become a barren wasteland left only to factory farming. You claim to be a farmer. If you are farming either arable or livestock then you must be carrying out control of vermin or insects (though perhaps also mitigating that with Stewardship schemes)?


  9. We no longer have to kill our own food to eat and we no longer buy our meat from a butcher who has meat from local farmers. Instead animals herded half across the country in cramped meat lorries and killed in slaughter houses far from where they were born. Also years ago animals weren’t pumped full of hormones and antibiotics to make them grow larger. In medieval times people hunted and ate what they killed. Now food is wasted as we as a greedy nation crave more and more meat. Why do we need to chase a fox or any animal with dogs across the countryside, is the killing for fun or food? If the killing of foxes is to cull them why do hunters feed them first and encourage them to areas where they can chase them?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. We don’t hang, draw or quarter criminals anymore because that has never been conducive to providing food for families! Not a relevant point whatsoever. The greed in many first world countries combined with the status of earning lots of money therefore working all hours and requiring fast fixes in food as well as fitness etc has led to the demise of many traditional and essential skills. Eating seasonally is healthier for you, honey from local bee keepers boosts immune systems. Meat from the butcher may cost a little more but it’s flavour packed and not pumped full of water and chemicals and looks like meat not grey things that shrink in a hot oven. If cost is a problem, eat less meat and more veg.
    There are so many ways to grow stuff no matter where you live. All too often there is wasted food, burgers made from who knows what etc and worst of all, the expectation that it should just be there. Hunting provides meat, that comes from animals and it’s sad people have no sense to educate themselves or their children about what they are putting into their mouths to fuel their bodies. How ironic that people who complain about how good fresh meat that is locally sourced, bred, hunted, seasonal and tasty are often the ready meal , cheap bad burger or sausage from who knows where from what part of the animal(s), eaters ( if they even eat meat) and either buy it cooked or to be placed in oven not knowing quite what all the ingredients mean.
    Getting round the table helping cooking and sitting and eating homemade food whether bread, puddings , plucking pheasants or cheese on toast is quality time and costs so little but you so much more back than trying to earn the fortune and eating food you have no idea where it came from.
    If people ate properly, made their own food ( left overs can be eaten the following day or 2!) there would be less wastage and animals wouldn’t need to be farmed in ways that leave them living in conditions that are so cruel all for a quick fix fast food or ready meal, we may or may not finish! Perhaps the sabatoeurs , townies and critics could channel their efforts into finding ways to help the nations that are dying from malnourishment and starvation in their millions whilest stood in the ready meal of Dutch battery farmed chicken, Spanish tomatoes and Venezuelan potatoes all wrapped in much plastic and transported thousands of miles polluting the air in fuel costs. Shop local, question where your meat/ or any food is from, make your own meal, it’s easy and not too time consuming and you don’t need to spend the earth to eat from it. Great article and sorry for ranting!


  11. The industrial revolution has absolutely nothing to do with how people view blood sports today, and the traditions of rural life are not a problem for us ‘townies’ as long as those traditions don’t involve the persecution and torture of our UK wildlife. The only people who anthropomorphise wild animals are the hunters themselves. I’m a ‘townie’ and I call a fox a fox and a badger a badger, they are wild animals who have as much right to live unmolested in the countryside as you do. It is you pros who give them names like Charlie and Brock and who imbue them with human traits like cunning and cruel. I am most certainly not mis-educated, if indeed there is such a word. I am an amateur naturalist with a special interest in foxes and fox behaviour and those beautiful iconic animals do not deserve the lies told about them by the truly ignorant bumpkins who treat them like so much trash.
    Just how you can condone the chasing and eviscerating of a small red cousin of our dogs and then accuse the LACS of hateful propaganda is a total mystery. The hate and the cruelty and the suffering is all your own I’m sorry to say. You may be fortunate enough to live in the countryside, but you don’t own Britain’s wildlife. Neither are you custodians or guardians as you all like to style yourselves.
    We all rely on farmers to provide our food, that doesn’t mean we must condone the raising of it or the wildlife that suffers because you can’t be bothered to protect your stock properly. Ninty eight per cent of new born lamb deaths are due to poor farming not foxes and more than 32 experts, including scientists and naturalists have proven that badgers are not the cause of bTB. Even the Government’s own scientific advisers have said that culling badgers will not work and may make the problem worse.
    As for mocking Brian May, he is far more qualified to pronounce on animal matters than you are. He has a doctorate from a leading University and he is an intelligent and sensitive man.
    Since when was baking bread and grinding grain a rural tradition? You are doing a jpb just the same as the rest of us. And like the rest of us you will not be left to use and abuse our countryside as you see fit. Get over yourself man, the dinosaurs died out millions of years ago and town and country alike don’t want your dirty sport.

    Liked by 1 person

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