Day 8 - A photo that makes you angry/sad.
Yep, I can do that. here's a photo that makes me very, very angry. It's not a nice photo, you've been warned.
I've despised fox hunting, and all types of bloodsports, ever since I was old enough to know what they are. 'Oh, it's traditional' they bleat. Yes, so's burning senile old ladies for witchcraft, but we had the good sense to outlaw that centuries ago.
We have laws in this country that have supposedly made hunting with dogs illegal, but it's a toothless law, as much good as the proverbial chocolate teapot. Hunting still goes on, and the huntsmen laugh in the face of the law because a lot of them are the lawmakers - lawyers, members of parliament, civil service, police etc. There's even talk of repealing it so that they can once again get their jollies from slaughtering very small animals without risking a derisory fine in the process.
There is a perfectly reasonable alternative to foxhunting - drag hunting - where you can get all booted and suited up in your hunting pinks, get on your horse and go halloo-ing your way across the english countryside with your hounds at your heels following a pre-laid aniseed scent, the aim being there's no live quarry and therefore no kill and you avoid those awful situations where you lose half a pack of dogs because they charge across a railway line or they pile through someone's garden and tear their cat to pieces. I've done it myself, and it's exhilarating, but ask a huntsman (and I use the term 'man' in its broadest possible sense) like the chap in the picture above and you'll get a weary shake of the head, and a sharp intake of breath between pursed lips. "It's not the same," they say. Of course it's not - there's no fucking slaughter involved you bloodthirsty, dickless inadequate.
I totally understand that foxes can be destructive; they're carnivores, they need to eat, and they can't just pop down to Tesco the same way we do. But the answer to protecting pets and livestock from foxes lies in vigilance and good husbandry. Even then, you can easily get caught out - he's not called cunning Mr Fox for nothing. It's sad; I know friends who have lost chickens and rabbits and sure, if I caught a fox threatening any animal I had, then as much as I love him, Mr fox would get the hose full-blast up his arse to discourage him from coming back. Ultimately, though, he was here before us, and surely that counts for something.
Do foxes need controlling? That's another argument, and you can probably guess my standpoint, but to insult the British public's intelligence by saying that fox hunting is a way of controlling the fox population, is laughable. Since when does it take 50 people on horses and a hundred dogs to deal with one little fox - that's inefficiency on an epic scale.
Okay, rant over. Time for tea!