Oh, the Irony top
April 13, 2011
Since I'm working on a memoir about growing up with a hunter for a father, and I'm a strict non-hunter and, in fact, a person who reveres nature, I find the differences between us to be rather entertaining at times.
Upon returning from any hunting trip, my father will send out a mass email to his friends, family, and colleagues detailing his trip and will include a picture or pictures of himself beside his kill, whether it be a Big Horn Sheep or a Bush Pig. Just last week, he sent out the same kind of email, except I happened to be mentioned in it because it was about our trip to Mozambique in October. On that trip, he hunted plains game or various kinds of antelope and also killed a Bush Pig. Well, after receiving that email, I decided to write a brief one in response, attach photos of "still living animals" and hit reply all. I received compliments and smiley faces, some people even saying that they liked my photos better. My photos included a leopard, a lion, a lizard, elephants, and an African hornbill, and they were all adequate photos, but not extraordinary (in fact, you can see some of them under my bio page). My brother is the actual photographer in the family.
Not knowing everybody who I sent my email to, a la Reply All to my father's contacts, I wasn't sure what kind of a response I would get, if one at all. Two days later, I received an email from the President of the Orange County Chapter of the Safari Club asking me if I would send along some of my photos for their website.
Well, here's the rub: I am not a fan of the Safari Club whatsoever because of their hunting practices and wildlife policies. My father is a member and attends many of their conventions and asks me to go because there are many single men there; however, I refuse every time because I could never date a hunter. It's just too far against my beliefs.
The Safari Club publishes a book yearly of hunters beside their trophy and while in Mozo, I happened to pick up one of those books, and I literally felt sick to my stomach and had to put the book down. Twelve-year old boys stood beside dead lions that they had shot; women held their rifle in one hand and rested their other hand on the leopard's body; men with their chests puffed out stood beside elephant tusks.
And, here I was on a hunting trip with my father. He hunts; I take photographs. I don't agree with what he is doing, but I want that time with him and that time in nature, so I basically suck it up. But, when the gentleman asked me for photos from my trip to post on the Safari Club website, my answer is no. I was certainly flattered by the offer, but I can't allow them to post photos that I took through a lens of awe and love.