suc cessful that fewer

my way into the store.

It is a discomfort others share.

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Every autumn, during deer season,

many of my friends and acquaint ances become indignant. For some,

the indignity has to do with loss of services: a large proportion of the

native population here hunts, so much so that if it weren’t for the urban refugees (the vast majority of

whom are members of the profes

sions), the economy would come to a

grinding halt. As it is, commerce suf

fers, and everyone comes to under

stand that certain things are impossi ble during deer season: you cannot

get your car repaired today, you can

not get that extra cord of wood deliv ered before it snows, you cannot get a

plumber or an electrician or a fuel-oil

delivery this week. But others have a resentment whose origin lies deeper than mere inconvenience. For two

weeks the hunters own the woods

and are an unavoidable presence in

much of the public space of Ver mont?not only in the general stores

but also on the backroads, where they are found walking, and where their vehicles are parked in the high weeds or tucked into small clearings and old

logging roads, a litter of metal that marks the passage of predators, like so much mechanical scat. It is not hard to see hunters as an invading force. Many people resent the feeling of insecurity this creates, and some

among them would like to prevent these men with guns from killing “defenseless” animals. But in this belief they have transposed their

knowledge of domesticated animals onto the wild: deer have not been

selectively bred for stupidity. As wild herbivores their primary defenses are stealth and flight, strategies so suc cessful that fewer than ten percent of the hunters here take home any

meat.

In their attitudes toward hunting, anti-hunters reflect the conventions

of our culture and their class. suc cessful that fewer: in the moral

universe of our culture’s folk tales

and children’s stories, herbivores are

always innocent, and carnivores dan

gerous or downright evil. It could

 

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suc cessful that fewer was first posted on October 24, 2019 at 2:37 pm.
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