“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Out and about on Boxing Day.

Yesterday I walked up to the top of Box Hill and then took the footpath down into Dorking and the bus home. Hardly a wilderness experience but it got me out of the house and into the fresh air. There is a very English tradition of recovering from the excesses of Christmas by getting outdoors and active on Boxing Day. After all that sitting around eating and drinking people feel the need to get outside and do something even if it no more active than watching a local football derby or a days racing at Kempton Park. For many of course the day's activity is probably confined to a good tramp in the countryside; or at least the nearest thing to countryside that they can reach from home. Dogs, children, toddlers and elderly relatives ensure that the pace is steady to say the least but, as with presents, it's the thought that counts.
For many people in the countryside Boxing Day is an important date on the fieldsports calender. Unlike most on the left I have never felt strongly opposed to hunting, shooting and fishing. Certainly I prefer the idea of the artisan hunter with terriers and ferrets to the toff riding to hounds and I think that it's easier to justify rough shooting for the pot rather than the ritual slaughter of driven birds bred for the occasion, but all in all I don't have a problem with field sports. I have never found it necessary to oppose everything that the upper class do in order to be an enemy of the class system.
Hunting with hounds might well be the most humane method of fox control but certainly any interaction with animals results in some suffering. Perhaps our responsibility is to keep that suffering to a minimum.  I have never had any part in foxhunting but I think that I can understand why others do it.
Mind you, a sympathetic stance on the hunt can bring a chap some strange bedfellows!

1 comment:

Dr Llareggub said...

Here is a tricky one for Class War and others who attack tories and fox hunters. If they want to save foxes they should support Conservatives against Fox Hunting. Or do they hate Tories more than they love foxes?
Perhaps Class War should team up with these Tories to defeat Farage and his hunting pals.