Monday, 17 December 2007
Sunday afternoon, blazing sunshine, we are walking through the forest on one of those GR hiking food paths, crisscrossing France from east to west and from north to south. We are not alone in this oak forest. A guy all clad in dark green but with a shining red cap stops us: "be careful", he tells us, "pay attention! This is hunting period and they are shooting with real bullets".
I loath hunters, I dislike them, I hate them. But hypocritically I keep those sentiments to myself.
I only say, politely as hell: "well, as far as I know, it's up to the hunters to be careful. We are just walking on this hiking path". Let's not forget my golden sens of humour and I add to make him smile: "I hope all your shortsighted colleagues are wearing specs and have a look before shooting".
He does not smile, he just stares at me as we walk on.
Being a hunter these days means, you are killing for pleasure and in total safety for yourself. Hunting is a kind of sport, it seems.
Hunting season. You get up in the morning, too early for telly. So what to do? Let's do some killing, great fun, no danger involved. The boars, the rabbits, the stags, the pigeons are not armed.
Imagine all those little and big animals outfitted with rifles, even little submachine guns. I bet all those hardy sportsmen would prefer to stay at home or gather around the billiard table, boozing in safety.
Or what about sending all those game killers to places where shooting is important if our hunter wants to stay alive? I imagine a hunter asking for a hunting permit "You want to hunt?"
"No problem", he is being told, "in order to get this permit you must engage for one year in active warfare. For the moment, this means you would be on service in Iraq or Afghanistan".
I imagine our happy weekend killers would think twice before going for places were hunting means always being hunted, too.
That's my dream.