I’ve never been on a fox hunt, and I doubt I ever will. They were banned in England over 10 years ago by the then-newly-elected Labour government of Tony Blair. Which was, very arguably, the start of the modern bully state’s propensity to impose its values on everyone.
Yet despite this the fox-hunters keep riding out, if only to mostly just gallop around a bit. So I took note of this story:
Jail fox hunters for five years, says RSPCA chief
The chief executive of the RSPCA issued a stern warning to Boxing Day hunts as he claimed those who set their hounds on foxes should go to jail for up to five years.
Speaking of a renewed push to “enforce the law of the land”, he signalled that inspectors are looking into allegations involving four other hunts.
“The penalties for these offences are too light,” he said.
“I want to see people who organise themselves to go out and abuse animals for pleasure or for profit go to jail.”
Asked how long he envisaged the sentences being he replied: “Two years? Five years?.”
Under current sentencing guidelines, five years in jail is the starting point in many cases of causing death by dangerous driving. Hunting with dogs is punishable by a fine.
“We take a zero tolerance approach to animal cruelty — mice, hedgehogs, dogs, cats, badgers, cows, sheep, foxes, snakes — we are here to protect all animals,” said Mr Grant.
He added: “A civilisation is judged on how it treats the weakest — animals have no vote, no voice, no choice. A fox can’t take the Heythrop hunt to the courts, we can.
I suppose he’d have zero tolerance too for my propensity to swat flies. They don’t have a vote or a voice or a choice either. Not after I’ve snuck up on them with my fly swatter, anyway.
Foxes have been hunted in England since time immemorial, along with plenty of other animals. Foxes are predatory pests that prey on rabbits, chickens, geese. Their numbers need to be kept down.
But now these anti-foxhunters are telling us that they know what’s right and wrong, and that fox-hunting is wrong. And presumably always has been wrong. It was wrong not just 10 years ago, but 500 years ago, and 1000 years ago, and 5000 years ago.
It seems we’ve all had to wait thousands of years for the arrival of these morally enlightened anti-foxhunters to be put straight on the matter. Because they know better than anyone, even their ancestors thousands of years before them.
It’s exactly the same sort of moral arrogance that drives antismoking zealots. They also know better than everybody else what’s right and wrong, and they also set out to enforce their moral certainties with savage punishments. They have no hesitation whatsoever in employing the full force of the law.
I’m reminded of something rather striking that I read yesterday:
Why does this matter now? Because we must learn that people who want animals to be treated like humans really want humans to be treated like animals.
And this is certainly true of the antismoking zealots who demanded (and got) smoking ‘shelters’ that were more open to the elements than pens in which pigs and sheep were kept. Smokers are now treated worse than animals.
Perhaps it’s necessary, every 70 or 80 years, to let all these righteous bigots loose for a few years, and allow them to impose their certainties on everyone else, simply so that everyone can learn once again what utter bastards they all really are?
Their righteous convictions seem to be increasingly ignored, however. For the same newspaper article goes on to remark:
An estimated 300,000 people turned out to ride with or follow hunts on Boxing Day last year, a record number.
Which rather suggests that, far from adopting the moral convictions of the punitive righteous, more and more people are rejecting them.