Saturday, May 26, 2007

Killing the Beautiful Big Things

Don't mind the fact that it took three hours for it to die. Also, please ignore these items of interest: 1) the boy who shot it was 11 years old, and 2) he used a pistol to do it. The pig was big. Like it's-so-big-I-have-to-kill-it-and-put-its-head-on-my-wall big. It had to die.

When one of my coworkers showed me the story online, my first thought was: Something that big is worth more alive than dead. If it's dead, where's the beauty, the wonder, the amazement? Gone. A memory. A photograph.

Sure, it's a pig we're talking about here. But now, thanks to a boy named Jamison Stone--not to mention his father--what could have been the world's largest wild pig is no more.

The problems I have with this story run much deeper, however. What kind of father lets his 11-year-old hunt that size of animal? An 11-year-old should be hunting rabbits and quail... if at all. And the fact that he used a pistol to hunt an animal that big--an animal that clearly should have been killed more humanely with a high-powered rifle, which his father happened to be carrying "just in case"--should be a crime. It took a total of nine shots with a pistol and over three hours for it to die. That's just cruel. Where's the Department of Fish & Game? Where's PETA?

Fortunately, the web site this father put up to honor his son's accomplishment has been down since at least yesterday, probably and unfortunately due to too much traffic to the page. Let's hope it stays down.

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