Lord Ellpus wrote:
My own view is that, as earlier stated in this thread, a so called "sport", so that social climbers, nouveau riche and other hangers on, can latch on to something that is seen as a persuit of the Aristocracy, or "superior" class.
Well, yes, it's an emotive subject, and one on which I was unwilling to embark, but msolga talked me into it.
My original objection to the pastime was along the lines of the quote above; it is partly a conspicuous display of wealth, power and influence. The landed classes and the very rich indulge in it, and others aspire to copy them.
Also, it is cruel at times. It is cruel to the cornered fox, and to some of the horses. Riders often get injured too.
But should it be banned by law?
There is cruelty in other things; in commercial fishing, in battery poultry rearing, veal calves, raising geese for pate. Hunting with rifles and shotguns is killing for fun, at bottom, and a pastime which gives pleasure to many. It is a subjective matter where the line should be drawn.
The fox has a better than evens chance of escape; not so the battery hen.
When this law was enacted in Britain, I changed my thinking on this. I do see it as a town versus country argument. Country people want to indulge in their traditions and pastimes without interference, or putting themselves outside the law. I want to go fishing sometimes, and I feel the same, though there are those who would class me with the foxhunters.
Animals in the wild tear each other to bits. Clever filmmakers capture some of this on wildlife programmes, and show it on our screens. Maybe those watching would not associate themselves with the foxhunters, but is there a big difference? The kill is an exciting moment. Can we deny it?
For those who wish to rise above this, I say good for you. For those who wish to ride to hounds, I say go ahead, break a leg. It is for each of us to decide on the morality/ cruelty issue, individually, and not have it dictated to us.