A wonderful autumn day. I am going for a walk between fields in the sunshine when I notice that many cars are parked, mainly jeeps. As I pass them, I discover the owners. They stand in orange jackets along a field. I want to take a closer look, but a sign prevents me from going on. „Driven hunt. Passage forbidden” can be read on it. So, I just stop and watch. That’s when the drivers start walking through the field. They make noise so that they can drive the game at the hunter’s point of view. The animals panic. They try to escape, but there is hardly any escape. You are surrounded. Equal means looks different.
Such scenes can be observed every year in many parts of Austria, starting in autumn and ending at the end of the year. Mainly hares, pheasants and ducks are hunted. Most of the time they are suspended beforehand, which is not strictly allowed, but who cares about the law. It only becomes questionable when you consider that hunters claim they are protecting the population and only when there are too many animals do, they must be shot. But this means that they first ensure that the stock is too high to then be able to shoot them at random. Of course, they can’t tell the truth that they are just excited to shoot down helpless animals with their shotguns, that they are keen on murder and extermination for no good reason. So, they must come up with something, something that will go down well with the people and at least give them the semblance of legitimacy for these devious, cowardly homicides. Well then, tell me, there are too many. Therefore, you have to shoot the foxes and other predators in advance so that the population of hares, pheasants and ducks is too large to have a reason to shoot them. Yes, we must shoot the foxes, it is claimed, because they are eating the poor deer that we may have just recently saved from the fields from the agricultural machines with great effort. And later we must shoot the deer because they multiply that way, including those we saved before. So, everything is done to create an imbalance that then, unfortunately, unfortunately, must be compensated again.
I’m still standing on the edge of the field next to the sign. Poisonous looks hit me, probably also because I take photos. But nobody can drive me away as long as I stand here. Why do the dear hunters have such a problem that they are being watched while they are doing such a good work? The pheasants fly up. Shots go off. Some get hit hard, some don’t. The dogs find the wounded or not. You die miserably. A pheasant flees into the street. He collides with a car. “Nothing happened to the driver,” the newspaper said the next day. And the pheasant? He’s dead. It’s not worth mentioning. He had a ring around his foot. I saw it. It was a pheasant raised in an aviary, raised to be heartlessly butchered. That was his purpose in life. And what happens to the animals that are shot after a stretch has been proudly laid at the end of the hunt? They end up in the garbage, because you can’t eat them, as lead sifted as they are. Lead in flesh and in nature. That’s what the hunters mean when they talk about sustainability. Incidentally, I am very proud that my female mates are finally allowed to murder and slaughter. That’s true equality with the man, get out of the kitchen and use the gun.
I go home. The hunt is over for the moment. Still, they’ll do it again. There is no single reason that would justify hunting small game other than greed and the lust for murder, and these are not sustainable ecological reasons, but excesses of egocentricity and moral depravity. It would therefore be high time to put an end to this murder game and abolish it without replacement.