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Vegetarian's War on Duck Terror

[Eureka Street - opinion]

We're all sick of the duck shooting argument aren't we? Year after year we see the same old television footage — a misty lake at the crack of dawn, tough men with beards and John Deere caps living out their Rambo fantasies on one side, and crusty-looking agitators with beards and hemp trousers on the other; one small group of extremists versus another.

This would all be fine except that in reality the people opposing duck hunting aren't the radicals that the media would have us believe. The people opposed to duck hunting are you and me and most of the people you know — in fact, according to a 2007 Roy Morgan poll, it's 87 per cent of Victorians, a figure spread fairly evenly among supporters of all political parties.
Perhaps the most compelling argument though is a basic one of need. Do we really need to shoot and kill wild ducks? These birds aren't needed for food (although some are eaten). Unlike other environmental debates, unemployment figures will barely be influenced by the demise of the recreational hunting industry.

In the end it comes down to the simple desire of a small number of mainly men who get a thrill from the kill. And while they do so, we are all paying the price for those few hours of bloodlust — humans and animals alike.

Sarah McKenzie is a freelance writer and vegetarian.

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