Just when I started bow hunting, a friend of mine introduced me to the world of Donnie Vincent.
I think the first thing I ever saw about him was the clip I attached at the bottom of the page, and the second thing was a video about a book signing where he, extremely eloquently, softly and with a gentleness explained why he hunts, to an anti-hunter.
Two things happened right there.
Firstly, I was fascinated with the lifestyle this guy portrays, and secondly, I think the way I treat anti-hunters was set for life.
There really is space for anyone, and not everyone has to agree with your point of view. If someone wants to be educated, they generally will take the time to listen if you do not attack them, but speak in confidence and with a willingness to listen to their point of view as well… If they are unwilling to listen, or learn, and would prefer to cling to their prejudice and bias – then there is very little that you can do in any case… smile, wave and exit stage left. No facts, figures or research will convince them otherwise (Remember, though, they think exactly the same about you!)
But if they listen, in the end, they come to realise that a “vegan” or “vegetarian” world is impossible (just not enough arable land) and that we are just as shocked and horrified and angry at poaching and the destruction of habitat… for which they carry a lot of responsibility too. Generally, we care about the same thing, don’t we?
But before I digress…
The important thing here is that we have one chance to make a first impression, and both Hunters and Anti-Hunters will most probably decide what they think about us and the way we treat the environment from that first connection. The new hunters that we bring into the fold will probably also take their cues from the way you speak to, and speak about anti-hunters.
There is quite a bit of responsibility there if you think about it…
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. – Proverbs 15:1