Sunday in France: a day of war, a clash of cultures
It's Sunday morning around 9 o' clock. It's time to let the geese and the ducks out of their night enclosure. We keep them in at night because of predators. I open the door of the house. I hear howling dogs and screaming men in the distance. There is no doubt about it. Hunters with their dogs chasing deer, boar, foxes, badgers, rabbits, birds, cats you name it, jeopardize the countryside of France once more. Sunday has become a day of war between men with guns and wild animals. A war to hunt down innocent sentient beings that already struggle for survival. Because in France more and more land is used for agriculture/urbanisation/industry. Habitats disappear. Hedges disappear. Forests are increasingly being exploited for wood. Birds, hedgehogs, reptiles, deer are in danger. But still the government, the members of parlement supported by the french president dance to the tunes of the hunting federations.
People won't take it anymore. In October more than 2000 demonstrators walked the streets of Paris to show their discontent and just recently 76 associations published a joint letter to the government to ask for a ban on hunting on Sunday and to stop certain cruel hunting practices still used in France, but prohibited in other parts of the world. The cruel practice of gassing and excavation of foxes and badgers from their dens for example. After a long period of tremendous stress and terror by hunters or their dogs they are eventually shot or have their neck wrung, are beaten to death with a shovel or even given to the dogs alive. For every fox tail the hunter gets a reward.
Glue is used to catch birds officially protected under European legislation, to be eaten. Waders are killed by the millions. Can you imagine? Whilst people in other countries of Europe are trying hard to protect these birds, they are massacred here in France in the name of "Tradition".
It's Sunday today in France. It's the most dangerous day of the week. You can't walk your dog. You can't go mushroom picking. Just recently in two separate incidents a cyclist and a hiker were killed by a hunter. There is a danger that a stray bullet smashes your window. Or that your own horse, cow or cat or dog is shot "mistaken" for a wild boar or a deer. In some regions hunting with hounds and horses terrorise deer into gardens, villages and towns or cause an accident on the road. Hunters kill each other too. Not so bad you might say considering the fact that there will be less of them in the end. But it really shows you how dangerous this passtime is. They shoot themselves in the foot, they fall off clifs, they shoot their own family members and friends... In the season of 2014/15 122 accidents were registered of which 14 were deadly.
It's Sunday morning in France. There's a war going on outside. A clash of cultures. Those who use the countryside for peaceful recreation to relax after a week of work, and those who stalk it with murderous intent. Certain mayors have closed down their woods, their recreation areas to give hunters a free hand. In the name of safety. And I, I can still hear the shooting around me. I hear the dogs baying and barking. Even if I wish to go out for the day, I have to stay in the house and keep an eye on our animals safe in the garden. Going away is out of the question: it would be too dangerous to leave the animals behind. Is this what you would call living like a god in France on a Sunday? Please SAY NO to France!
This article is also translated into Dutch which you can find here