Why don't you support 'one for the pot'?

pair of wood pigeons

Anyone who campaigns against shooting will at some point be asked whether (or why) they object to the shooting of a few birds ‘for the pot’.

It’s not an original question, it’s been answered many times before, and usually comes from someone who says they ‘don’t shoot much’ or says they ‘just want to eat healthy meat’.

Our short answer is of course, no, we don’t support the killing of any bird, whether for the pot or not.

We believe in ‘do no harm’, and that should be entirely obvious from the whole tone and tenor of our website and from the material we post on social media.

Which leads us to ask a question of our own: why are you asking?

In most cases (not every, but most) we already know the answer. It’s the opening move in what is supposed to be an argument which aims to take apart everything campaigners like ourselves say and stand for. It’s typically asked by someone who shoots or hunts or eats meat and is feigning innocence while hoping to use the thin end of a wedge to crack open our position.

It’s of course not an innocent question at all. It’s intended to manoeuvre us into saying ‘Oh if it’s just a few birds that’s okay’ or ‘Oh, for eating, that’s fine’. The interrogator will then smile sweetly, sensing that our arguments have been exposed and are falling apart, and pounce, forcing the wedge deeper. ‘Ah’, they will say, ‘If you agree on killing one or two birds then why not ten, a hundred, a thousand?’ or ‘I thought you liked birds. So which species is it okay to kill?’ or ‘Ah, you eat meat. It’s just hypocritical of you to stop me eating meat too’…

Let’s back up right now. They can push that wedge as hard as they like, but they won’t get anywhere. We will never agree that killing birds is okay, no matter how few or how many. We will never suggest that killing one species should be banned but that killing another is fine. And we don’t eat meat, whether recently wild and containing lead shot or factory-farmed and stuffed with antibiotics and growth hormones.

Does that make Protect the Wild ‘extreme’ (which is what usually follows)? No, it makes us consistent.

The fact is that you don’t put together a team and a site like this without thinking through your position very carefully.

vegan stew

Oh, and that pot – there are innumerable options available that don’t involve killing any sentient being.

In fact, we can recommend a healthy vegan stew that would fill it (and you) very nicely if you’d like us too.