“Then she took a bite from its warm quivering heart.”
These are the words of father Johny Yuile, who posted a photo to a Facebook group for hunters in New Zealand, which has caused widespread shock. His daughter, apparently just 8 years old, can be seen doing just what’s described, and, unsurprisingly, people are horrified.
New Zealand hunting dad defends pictures of a little girl biting a deer’s HEART
— News, Views, People. (@NVPeople) August 24, 2016
The page where the photo was posted was quickly removed from Facebook—the same scenario that played out earlier this month after a video of hunter Josh Bowmar went viral. The video itself and social media accounts tied to Bowmar went on lockdown.
Josh and Sarah Bowmar,Columbus, Ohio, who killed bear with 7ft spear goes in to hiding after social media backlash https://t.co/FDEHZ4e68o
— Images By Brian (@ImagesbyBrian) August 21, 2016
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) August 18, 2016
Turns out, hunters don’t like feeling hunted (spoiler alert: neither do the animals they kill).
These stories are dangerous if they inspire others to act similarly.
Here’s why people are mad: Underwear models like Bowmar don’t need to hunt for sustenance. They do it to derive pleasure, as evidenced by their smiles and social media posts. The dissemination of such images and videos in a positive light puts both human and animal lives at risk. There’s nothing sporting about hunting.
While both of these hunters succeeded in killing the animals they stalked, not every hunter does. Copycats, be they children with BB guns or adults with high-powered weapons, could easily end up wounding—but not killing—animals, leaving them to escape, suffer, and slowly die over an agonisingly long period of hours or even days. Placing guns (and live organs) in the hands of 8-year-olds fosters an alarming lack of compassion—and is wildly dangerous.
Children or anyone else who aggressively targets animals may move on to fellow humans. “Murderers … very often start out by killing and torturing animals as kids,” says Robert K. Ressler, who developed profiles of serial killers for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
You can help counter this madness.
The animals who share our homes have hearts, just like the deer killed by Yuile and the bear killed by Bowmar. Cats, dogs, bears, deer, pigs, chickens—all of these animals feel pain and fear, run from danger, and seek comfort, just like you.
Both of the pages where these callous examples of human behaviour originally appeared were taken down because compassionate people spoke out. Animals need your voice. Sharing this story will discourage other people from sharing photos of—and possibly even participating in—future hunting trips. And if you need help extending your circle of compassion to include all animals, we can help you get started on the path to going vegan today.