"The Hungry and the Hunted"

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

A Facebook acquaintance (is it terribly rude of me not to say friend?) posted this video some time back (try a year plus! I know, I’m the worst.) and I’ve been meaning to share it ever since. The clip’s from a short-lived show called Sports Night, which ran on ABC from 1998-2000. A comedy/drama created by Aaron Sorkin, Sports Night follows the production of a fictional sports news show (also called Sports Night).

The third episode of the first season (“The Hungry and The Hunted“) deals with newbie Jeremy’s reaction when, upon being tasked to produce a hunting segment for the show, he witnesses a deer being shot and killed right in front of him. As someone who’s never desired to kill animals for fun or “sport,” Jeremy is so horrified by the doe’s murder that he becomes physically ill and has to be rushed to the hospital.

Especially notable is the language Jeremy uses to describe the incident; as he transitions from the hunters’ perspective to his own, the deer ceases being just a thing, an “it,” and instead is recognized as a living creature – a she. From something to someone – and then to no one, an empty shell. A corpse. And for no reason, or at least not one discernible to the narrator:

Jeremy: (pauses) Yeah. Bob and Eddie were using the IR 50 Recon by Bushcomber. It’s got a 16 inch microgroove barrel with .30-.30 mags, side scope mount, wire cutter sheath, quick release bolt, mag catches and a 3 pound trigger. So I figured we must be going after a pretty dangerous duck.

Isaac: You can wiseass all you want. You’re gonna tell me what happened.

Jeremy: We shot a deer! In the woods by Lake Matatuck on the second day. There was a special vest they had me wear so they could distinguish me from things they wanted to shoot, so I was pretty grateful for that. Almost the whole day had gone by, and we hadn’t gotten anything. Eddie was getting frustrated and Bob Shoemaker was getting embarrassed. My camera guy needed to reload so I told everyone to take a 10 minute break. There was a stream near by and I walked over with this care package Natalie made me. Sat down. When I looked up I saw three of them: small, bigger, biggest. Recognizable to any species on the planet as a child, a mother and a father.

Now the trick with shooting deer is that you have to get them out in the open, and it’s tough with deer ’cause these are clever cagey animals with an intuitive sense of danger. You know what you have to do to get a deer out into the open? You hold out a Twinkie. That animal clopped up to me like we were at a party. She seemed to be pretty interested in the Twinkie, so I gave it to her. Looking back, she’d have been better off if I’d given her the damn vest. And Bob kind of screamed at me and whispered, ‘Move away!’ The camera had been reloaded and it looked like the day wasn’t going to be a washout after all. So I back away. A couple of steps at a time. And I closed my eyes when I heard the shot.

Look I know these are animals and they don’t play bridge or go to the prom, but you can’t tell me that little one didn’t know who his mother was. That’s got to mean something. And later at the hospital, Bob Shoemaker was telling me about the nobility and tradition of hunting, and how it was related to the Native American Indians and I nodded and said that was interesting, while I was thinking about what a load of crap it was! Hunting was part of Indian culture. It was food and it was clothes and it was shelter. They sang and danced and they offered prayers to the gods for a successful hunt so that they could survive one more unimaginably brutal winter. The things that they killed held the highest place of respect for them and to kill for fun was a sin. And they knew the gods wouldn’t be so generous next time. What we did wasn’t food and it wasn’t shelter and it wasn’t sports! It was just mean!

Also of interest is how Jeremy calls out the hunters for appropriating Native culture in order to justify their needless killing sprees. That said, death is still death, no matter how much you “respect” or “revere” the animal whose life you’re about to end. She has her own interests, and I’m pretty sure they don’t include being digested in your gullet.

Of course, context would most likely make this exchange less impressive; for example, I highly doubt that the Jeremy character has a sudden epiphany and goes vegan (or better still, is already vegan). I can’t say, since I haven’t seen the show – but it seems rather improbable, no? Even so, given the show’s likely demographic – youngish-adult-to-middle-aged dudes who enjoy sports, sports shows, and comedies about fictional sports shows – such a compassionate message is a nice surprise.

After the jump: the full transcript for those who can’t view the video.

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: LETTER/ Stop Deer Slaughter In New Jersey

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Oct 14, 2007 9:40 PM
Subject: LETTER/ Stop Deer Slaughter In New Jersey

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

Kinship Circle posted 2 letter-writing campaigns tonight:

1. 10/14/07: Stop Deer Slaughter In New Jersey
2. 10/14/07: Killing Bears For Fun In Virginia

DID YOU GET OUR LAST ALERT?
10/7/07: Horses Agonize In Mexico As Federal Slaughter Ban Stalls

If your email provider censored any of our alerts, try to get them again.
Copy name of alert and email your request to: kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net

10/14/07: Stop Deer Slaughter In New Jersey
KINSHIP CIRCLE ACTION CAMPAIGN
http://www.KinshipCircle.org

SOURCE OF INFORMATION:

Plans for deer hunt moving forward
http://www.montclairtimes.com/page.php?page=15875

Letter campaign issue submitted to Kinship Circle from member Yashoda Jordan, ydjordan [at] comcast.net

===============================

SAMPLE LETTER & CONTACT INFO
Sample letters are prepared to give you ample background on an issue.
Try to change some words, pare down letters, and make them your own.
**DELETE ALL REFERENCES TO KINSHIP CIRCLE BEFORE SENDING**

===============================

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: LETTER/ Conscious When Cut: Horror On Deer Kill Floor

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Sep 11, 2007 7:35 PM
Subject: LETTER/ Conscious When Cut: Horror On Deer Kill Floor

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY
PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

Kinship Circle posted 3 letter-writing campaigns today:

1. 9/11/07: Conscious When Cut: Horror On Deer Kill Floor
2. 9/11/07: Deliver Tina And Jewel From Lifelong Abuse
3. 9/11/07: Target: HLS Shareholder Wachovia

If your email provider blocked any of our alerts, request them again at: kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net

9/11/07: Conscious When Cut: Horror On Deer Kill Floor
KINSHIP CIRCLE ACTION CAMPAIGN
http://www.KinshipCircle.org

SOURCE OF INFORMATION:

‘Bambi Butchers’ Horror
http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/musicon_investigation

UNDERCOVER VIDEO (at PETA link above):

I watched it. I feel it is my responsibility to “bear witness” in any Kinship Circle letter-writing campaign. But, it is truly horrible…and I’ve seen a lot. The video is the truth — but only watch it if you’re able to view extreme animal torture. Brenda Shoss, Kinship Circle

(More below the fold…)

Friends of Animals: Stop Net-and-Bolt Deer Control

Monday, January 8th, 2007

Via Friends of Animals:

Stop Net-and-Bolt Deer Control

“Net and bolt” means trapping deer under nets, then attempting to restrain them, pressing a captive-bolt gun against their heads, and firing a retractable steel rod into their brains. The deer may struggle and kick, fracturing limbs or sustaining other injuries. Deer who move as the bolt is fired can be painfully wounded, not killed, and the struggle continues until additional shots are fired.

Stress may be so acute as to cause the death of some of the deer prior to bolting.

The reasons given for considering this? A burgeoning deer population has been cited as a problem in New Jersey. But in the absence of violent or artificial manipulation, deer will adjust to food sources and available shelter to create a natural balance. On the other hand, killing is cyclical. […]

Net-and-bolt deer control is unreasonable, ineffective, and grotesque, and we are urging its immediate prohibition.

For more on deer “control” in NJ – as well as contact info for NJ officials – see the Friends of Animals blog.

—————

Tagged:

DawnWatch: Newsweek on non-lethal deer hunting 7/3/06 edition

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Jun 29, 2006 4:19 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Newsweek on non-lethal deer hunting 7/3/06 edition

The July 3 edition of Newsweek (Pg 19) has an article headed, “Good Will Hunting?” which opens:

“This fall, the World Hunting Association, a new competitive league, will feature 10 hunters in a deer-hunting tournament … not shooting bullets at anything. In an attempt to lure viewers who may be turned off by gore, the association’s planners have dubbed this competition ‘nonlethal’ –meaning that hunters will shoot tranquilizer darts from bows, guns and blowguns, and veterinarians will be on site to attend to the deer after they are hit.”

WHA founder David Farbman is quoted: “It sits better with the public. Hunting’s not just about the kill.”

The article tells us that the scheme has been condemed by the National Rifle Association, because “hunting is about the kill,” by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

(More below the fold…)