Is PETA Leading Hipsters to Hunting?

If you’ve visited a college campus within the past decade, you’ve likely seen the macabre PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) flyers depicting conditions at some industrial animal farms. The photographs showing botched killings, overcrowded living pens and animals crawling over their own feces and are meant to encourage people to take up vegetarianism, or even veganism, arguing that adopting said lifestyles would help put a stop to such practices.

For some, it worked. While many college-age students didn’t necessarily adopt the PETA view in full, they did begin to question the source of their meat and without good enough answers, many became vegetarians. Since living without meat can be difficult from a health perspective, many went through an ethical battle, leading them to adopt different forms of self-sourced sustenance–hunting being one of them.

Slate Magazine writer Emma Marris attributes the growing “evolution of the new lefty urban hunter” to the following chain of events:

  • 2006: Reads Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, about the ickyness of the industrial food complex. Starts shopping at a farmer’s market.
  • 2008: Puts in own vegetable garden. Tries to go vegetarian but falls off the wagon.
  • 2009: Decides to only eat “happy meat” that has been treated humanely.
  • 2010: Gets a chicken coop and a flock of chickens.
  • 2011: Dabbles in backyard butchery of chickens. Reads that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg decided to only eat meat he killed himself for a year.
  • 2012: Gets a hunting permit, thinking “how hard can it be? I already totally dominate Big Buck Hunter at the bar.”

Marris’ in-depth article into this growing curiosity and initiative to “know thy food” points out that these new left-wing, typically liberal hunters who have not grown up in…

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