As I sat in the pediatrician waiting room yesterday with my son, I picked up a
Florida Wildlife magazine to thumb through. I'm a nature lover and it being a nature-type of magazine it immediatly grabbed my interest. There were many great nature photographs in the magazine. There were also some not-so-great ones.
I will never understand why people think it is great to kill an animal, whether deer, bear or fish, and hold it while they pose for a photo. Hunters often cite the killing instincts of other animals as support for their own hunting involvement. But I've never seen another species bragging about a kill for the camera or their friends. Seems a bit sadistic to me.
Anyway, I came across an article about taking kids squirrel hunting. The author wrote about how taking kids squirrel hunting will teach them to appreciate nature and learn skills that will last a lifetime, such as patience. Now as someone who has a real interest in raising my kids to appreciate nature, this article really struck me.
Squirrel hunting does not fit my definition of an activity that would help kids appreciate nature. To appreciate something means that you value, recognize with gratitude, admire highly, etc. If you are killing a squirrel you are not appreciating it or nature. You are destroying nature. Those who destroy nature, whether it be by hunting or fishing, are not nature lovers. They are nature destroyers.
If I take my kids out looking for squirrels it certainly won't be to end the squirrels life. It will be to talk about their habitat, view them and take some photos. It will be to teach them to recognize it with gratitude and admire it. That's appreciating nature. Around here, we aim to frame.