A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Why It’s ‘Manly’ to Shoot Birds

With few exceptions, becoming president requires killing animals

John Kerry made a last ditch stand to gain more votes in his presidential campaign by donning camo gear and heading out to shoot small animals. This, his campaign managers, believed, would make him seem like more of a leader.

Dick Cheney was often seen shooting birds, and even when he shot his hunting partner in the face, this seemed to add to his mystique as a man who would defend us from harm.

Why do we want our political leaders to be good animal killers? Kelly Oliver asks the question in a fascinating article in the New York Times.

Oliver, a professor of philosophy, looks at the complicated and often hypocritical view we hold toward animals.

Hunting, she says, has become a tool of sorts within the realm of political image making. With few exceptions, President Obama among them, most presidents and presidential hopefuls have been seen hunting.

As Sarah Palin notes in her memoir, “I always remind people from outside our state that there’s plenty of room for all Alaska’s animals – right next to the mashed potatoes.”

On the other hand, caring about animals is often considered to be soft, childlike, even pathological. And to admit any dependence on animals – particularly emotional and psychological dependence, as many people with pets often do – is seen as a type of neurosis.

Read what Kelly Oliver has to say about this in her article here.