Destroying Beauty

I figured what better way to come back than with a rant?

If you’ve seen or read “Fight Club” you may remember a standout line where, in the movie, Edward Norton’s character says to Brad Pitt’s character, “I wanted to destroy something beautiful” after he had bludgeoned angelic Jared Leto’s face into a puddle of blood and broken teeth. The line is shocking because it’s a ludicrous notion that’s meant to give the audience a glimpse into the depths of which the demented, angry, and twisted psyche Norton’s character had plummeted to. The amount of hate one must feel to see something so beautiful that you feel the need to bring upon its annihilation must be immeasurable. But, surely that’s just entertainment. It’s just an emotion presented in a book and in a movie for sensationalism, right? Right??

Wrong. It just happened in real life and the perpetrator (the Edward Norton) of the story, sadly, is an 11-year-old kid. Read the story here.

The deer he killed was not for the family’s survival. Hell it wasn’t even for their love of venison. This child and his father sought out this specific deer especially for his looks. This was an act of brutality purely for the sake of sport and in my honest opinion, trophy hunting is for Neanderthals. Though that’s sort of unfairly insulting to Neanderthals since all they really hunted for was meat…hmm…I’ll have to rethink that insult. Hunting for meat is one thing; hunting for sport is another thing entirely.

The saddest part for me is that this kid is being told by his family that what he did was a good thing. They’re proud of him for destroying such beauty. He’s being praised for taking the life of an extremely rare animal. What possesses someone to want to do that? To see something that only comes about once in 20,000 (some biologist claim as rare as 1 in 100,000) births and decide that the greatest thing to do would be to wipe it from the earth? And, perhaps even more disturbing, what does this say about our society if the entire community has rallied behind him? Well, maybe not the entire community, but certainly a good portion of them.  The hunting community anyway.

Of course the family is going to “honor” the deer by having the whole damn thing stuffed and mounted instead of just the head. I mean, it is albino so a little respect please! Imagine if this were not a game animal but anything else. For example, say someone stumbles across a very, very rare species of redwood that hasn’t been seen in god knows how many years. They take a chainsaw, cut it down, and burn it so they can save the ash “forever.” What if a miner uncovered a precious piece of dark green jade that no one has seen in a thousand years and then just smashed it to dust with a sledgehammer? How would these people be perceived? They’d probably be condemned rather harshly for treating our planet so poorly. Or at least be called idiots for their selfish destruction of such rare objects. So why isn’t it the same with this boy? Why is he a hero for what he did?

Sure, sure, I understand the argument that perhaps the deer population was overflowing and hunting them would actually help the local ecosystem. Valid enough…although this method has been argued and proven scientifically to be somewhat counter-productive. But even if that were the case, I would think the town would give this special, rare animal a pass. Instead of gunning for it (literally), they’d let it live its unique life to the fullest while they fire rounds at the more common-looking whitetails grazing in their backyards (if venison is what they were after). You’d think the town would want to be known for something special, something unique (since, again, albino deer are so very rare) – “the town with the white deer,” or some such thing.

To me, this gives hunting a bad name. Trophy hunting. And how sad that this boy is learning at a young age that when you see something rare and beautiful, the first thing you should do is kill it.

As Ellen DeGeneres said “I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.”

Photo: Daily Press & Argus)

(Photo: Daily Press & Argus)

67 thoughts on “Destroying Beauty

  1. I agree with you. Hunting deer is one thing (I don’t do it, but I do understand why some people do), but to destroy a very rare animal like that just for the sake of sport. That’s really sick.

  2. I will never understand the mentality of the parents, they’ve essentially taken a child’s innocence and twisted it to be a heartless killer, sorry if that’s overly blunt but it just boggles my mind.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s a shame that so many people are praising this boy because sadly it’s reinforcing what his parents are teaching him. We’re likely to see him on the front cover of a hunting magazine any day now touting his “rock star” status. And that’s the saddest of all.

  3. I used to be a deer hunter in my twenties and thirties – never gave two s***s about “trophy” deer – I simply loved venison. I gave up hunting years ago but, even when I was I don’t think I could have pulled the trigger on this deer. As you said, if wildlife people knew it was out there, (and they did), it should have had protected status. Sad . . .

    • Members of my family hunted as well though I never did (I couldn’t). And I do understand that many hunt because they love venison (or the meat of whatever it is they’re hunting). But trophy hunting is on another level and not a good one. You’re right, if not wildlife people, then the town — it’s a shame that the town and community didn’t take some sort of pride in being the conservators of something so rare and beautiful.

  4. I’m not sure of the mentality of the “hunters” that think this is right or offer praise. Even as a hunter myself, my child would have been using a camera to have a keepsake of that particular buck. In our state, it is illegal to take albino deer. “Canned” hunts, baiting, only going for the biggest “trophy” gives hunting a bad name. It’s not a sport, It is a way to help provide for one’s family. If you happen to get lucky and get that one big one, so be it, just make sure it’s not gained by illegal or immoral means, and it’s definitely not albino.

  5. Perhaps it’s really about ownership? The town could be a draw for people coming to catch a glimpse of the white deer – but no one would own it, and no one could even count on seeing it. Too many people want certainty, possession, control in order to feel whole or OK. That, to me, is the saddest thing of all!

    • You may have a point there. Now that boy and his family can claim ownership and can also repeat their story over and over again. They’ll have their 15 minutes of fame (which is so important to many people) every time someone comes over to their house and sees that stuffed deer in their living room.

    • I live in the US and it’s impossible for me to understand the obsession some people have with guns. It’s ridiculous. Trophy hunting, ranch hunting and canned hunts are big things here. I think that as a society for us to have such a popular “sport,” it’s a sad testament to our morality.

  6. I actually have to disagree. I am from the south and understand where “hunting” comes from. This kid did nothing wrong. He paid for the license, shot an animal that was legal, and people are pasting his face all over social media. I wonder why it is that we protect “the youthes” in certain situations, but in cases like this a “kid’s face” is being shared over and over all over every platform available. I don’t think that is right in my opinion and is far worse than this animal he shot.

    • As for sharing his picture, it was “shared” in the news story that is linked to this post. His parents are the ones who allowed his photo to be taken and shared in the media. That was their conscious choice. Click on the photo and you’re taken to the news story where the picture was first “shared,” and credit is given to the appropriate source. I understand that his story will be also shared in hunting magazines that approached the family after the story first broke and presumably this and other photos will also be “shared” when that story is printed. I’m not sure what harm there is in sharing a news article and giving an opinion of said news. You’re right, legally this boy did nothing wrong. Ethically, that’s another matter. And that’s where this blog entry comes in. It’s stating an opinion on the ethics and morality of trophy hunting.

      • Ok, then to be fair why not target the immorality of hunting as a while instead of targeting a single kid that is only doing what millions of others around the world are enjoying this season? Because he shot a white deer?

        • Actually not only do I mention the boy, I target the town (especially the town, there was a big chunk on the town actually), and I mention his family and his father and how they are raising him. Maybe you missed those parts. And whether you choose to believe it or not, albino deer are a rarity and deserve to be protected. If they wanted venison, they would have let this deer go and gone after a plain white-tail buck. But no, they wanted a trophy…and that’s what they got. Hunting for meat is understandable. Trophy hunting, in my opinion, requires a twisted kind of mindset and I find it tragic when children are taught at a young age that this kind of killing is acceptable. I stand by my opinion.

        • Actually, that’s not true. I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and people here hunt (present tense) deer for food all the time. My family is from West Virginia and they hunted (past tense) deer and squirrel for food all the time. I do not personally hunt).

        • Exactly. Past tense, thus what I said was true. You use that statement to try to make me think you guys are purest hunters and don’t trophy hunt. That I can’t believe at all.

        • It’s past tense cause my family doesn’t live in WV any more and luckily they don’t have to worry about scrounging for food any more. But when they did hunt, they weren’t worried about putting heads on the wall, they were concerned about having enough to eat. And those here on the Eastern Shore do it for food as well. It’s not exactly the richest area here. They work the Bay in the summer and whatever they can find in the winter.

        • And I too come from a huge hunting area and even the “poor folk” shooting for food STILL admire and recognize a trophy stag when they take one. If any of your relatives ever mentioned points, tips, or spots… they trophy hunted and have proven my point. If they didn’t then so be it and I am shocked. 🙂

        • To be honest, I think they were just glad when they were able to bag something so as to have something to eat. They even ate squirrel which I can’t imagine they ever had much meat on them. Not to mention there is a difference in admiring an animal’s beauty while needing to eat (the scenario you describe) and simply killing it just so you can have its head on your wall (trophy hunting).

      • Also, I think you nicely sidestepped the issue though. If the fact that the news outlets and the “kid’s family” shared his happy moment is good enough reason for you in turn to share his picture, so be it. But the difference is you aren’t a supporter of his, instead you disagree with his actions. That is why I see a very big difference in how you share his photo and how his family did. A very, very large difference. Perhaps one day you’ll see that.

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