Talk of killing what we are willing to eat... A while back I happened to read a diatribe by hardcore vegetarian about how humans were not evolved to eat meat because we were such puny-bodied animals we could never run down a buck and had no teeth to kill it with. She was a holy mission to tell us meat-eaters how evolutionarily deviant we were...
Now, your choice of diet... is your choice. If you want to live on miricle whip and coke, good-o, fine by me. If you are trying to raise your kids on it I might just be forced to do something about it, but sensible, careful, thinking vegetarians can nourish their kids just fine (it just takes a bit more thought, and it always should take some).
But humans are omnivores. And quite frankly a bit of meat does us good from the iron and vitamin D point of view, besides the fact that our gastro-intestinal tract seems well adapted to it. Anyway, she's wrong. Besides the fact that as tool using animals (almost inevitably using tools for food aquisition) humans are not unique (birds crack snails on specific stones, use twigs to fish for bugs to name two examples - and simians throw things, and use sticks to 'fish' for things.) we do hunt -- quite effectively at times -- for animals with nothing but our hands. She - city bred and supermarket fed vegetarian - just assumed that 'prey' was always a nice steak producing size critter. It probably wasn't a lot of the time, back in Africa when our shared ancestors were picking fleas (or salt) off each other. It was small creatures. Lizards. Fieldmice - find a nest and they're easy. Baby birds (muttonbirds are still a case of this). Frogs. Fish. Yes, I have caught them with my hands. And then there is the advantage of running and hunting in a communicating pack. Apparently a bunch of kids here used to run down (sans weapons - barring maybe a pen-knife or a stick picked up from the bush) wallaby for their tea.
And that, of course, is without thinking of the sessile invertebrattes - or invertebrates in general - oysters might need a rock or a fire to open, but black mussels you can stand on, if you have no fire or rock. Locusts and termites are still big parts of many traditional diets. I read the Maya used to eat rafts of mosquito larvae. And crabs, prawns, crayfish, and octopus are all things you can catch barehanded. Sometimes you get hurt doing it, but it's not that difficult.
I'm always a little taken aback by demands to permit traditional hunting - be it of whales or seals or abalone... that somehow involves a 4x4, or a glass-fibre boat with an outboard, and a rifle or aqualungs. Not that I oppose traditional hunting/gathering, or even non-traditional hunting and gathering - we're adaptable creatures and we learned new ways to hunt all the time. I believe it is a vital way of getting back to what we are, to understand the value and price (both morally and in effort) of food. But I feel if anyone wants traditional hunting/gathering rights in excess to those granted to anyone else, should do the entire number - from making the boat and spear to dressing in the traditional way for it. I would love to do this myself, to learn. I suspect from the personal moral point of view, once I had learned, I'd still end up choosing a modern piece of kit to do the job quickly, cleanly and efficiently. But then, if I was passing the rules I'd have said these are size and bag limits etc, but "any food you can gather, stark naked, with no mechanical or manufactued by a third party means of access or tools is fair game, provided you eat it in one sitting, there" because that is the human tradition.
But then I have always been a little odd.
Well. Very odd.