A few years ago I considered becoming a vegetarian. Obviously I decided against it. I like meat, fish and fowl (except turkey), especially bacon, steak and pâté. At one point I wanted to be a butcher but that is another story.
I decided that I could only eat meat in good faith if I was willing to kill it, clean it and fix it myself. I do not really have the option for regularly fishing or hunting or even raising (can't keep a cow in the city limits) my own meat, but theoretically I am mentally and emotionally capable of doing this should the occasion arise. Anyone who does not have the stomach for killing another creature to eat it should be a vegetarian. It's not right to be capable of eating meat only if it comes in the sanitized form of neat little cuts in tidy plastic containers, is it?
Reading Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma pushed me over the edge. I signed up for a hunting education and safety class.
My goal is to go pheasant, quail and/or duck hunting. I only want to hunt what I will eat so no turkey or deer hunting. I'm not a huge fan of venison, and I don't really want to deal with an animal that I cannot carry out of the woods. My general rule of thumb: if it is big enough to trample on me then don't aggravate it by shooting at it.
There are two exceptions: I would love to hunt boar and alligator. Boar are apparently mean and scary. I just want one to eat not for trophy. YUM. Boar is tasty! Same with alligator. They have big teeth but they sure taste good stewed or on the grill, and they make lovely handbags!
In all likelihood, most creatures will be safe. I'm not a very good shot.