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Beginner here...ethical discussion?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by ofearthandbone, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. ofearthandbone

    ofearthandbone New Member

    I have been honored to be given a snowshoe hare from an amazing taxidermist in my town. He wants me to complete this on my own start to finish with no training. Whether it comes out good or not he will then take me on as an apprentice. He has been flipping me bear heads to clean since I love skulls. This has raised many ethical questions for me. I have been justifying cleaning skulls and bones for my use in sculptures for years during the time I was a vegan. I have felt that the bones are just being discarded without any respect. I clean them and give them new life. Whether I have acquired them by finding a turkey carcass thrown in the trash at the restaurant I worked at or leftovers from dinner....the deer I found on the roadside....then my neighbor taxidermist giving me the skeletal remains of moose, deer, bear. I became torn again. I feel like cleaning and using the remains of a trophy hunt is at least paying respect to what is being discarded and wasted. I am very excited to learn the trade of traditional taxidermy but feel torn when considering future clientele. What is ideal for me is that the trophy animal is being killed for food. All of it. I know the hare I will be doing is not for food. Where is the line drawn for most? I understand deer. They will starve to death and over populate....etc. if we don't manage the population. I will no longer be simply giving new life to the bones....I will be profiting off a kill that was of sport....sorry if I'm beginning to babble here...just want to get it all out....asking for others opinions on their ethics....where do you draw the line or do you have one. Do you justify mounting an animal killed for merely sport? Thanks in advance.
  2. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    I'm a plant activist. I'd smoke a rabbit just for looking cross eyed at a dandelion.

  3. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    That's funny EA. OP why do you have to draw a line? If you truly are interested in taxidermy, you have to realize that many things that you mount will not be eaten. I will not eat anything that someone brings in. I have no way of knowing how well they took care of the meat. Nor will I typically return the meat from trophies brought in for mounting. It is a liability issue here. I am not a processor. Animals are managed and harvested with the use of population estimates. If the powers that be and the biologist feel that the excess may be harvested in order to maintain a healthy population, then isn't that the ethical thing to do? Utilize that animal in some form or fashion. This is a personal choice, you have to make, but at think about what I wrote.
  4. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    I'm not in the business, but If I were, there would be only 1 line drawn.... Was the specimen collected in a legal manner. Anything after that would not be my concern.
  5. This isn't a web site for the discusion of rainbows, unicorns or fairy dust........ I'm not sure weather you have an opinion your asking us to justify for you or you are in termoil about doing commercial taxidermy. Which if is the case and you have to have it justified, you should find something else to do with your time. If taxidermy is your calling you wouldn't be asking these kind of questions. Taxidermy is an art, the recreation of the beauty of nature for the enjoyment of others or yourself. A display of your knowledge of nature, your creativity and skill.
    Animals have been eaten by each other, die in infancy, drowned in floods, burned in Forrest fires, die of starvation, disease ect for thousands of years, to include unique animals we will never see the like of again, now that's a wast. The preservation of a animal before its destiny to parish and rot isn't. Do you believe if it isn't taken by a hunter or to prefect a taxidermist skill it will live forever....... Those who have to hunt soley for food don't have the money for taxidermy, most who hunt to put a couple animals in the freeze to carry them through the year aren't holding out for a trophy. You are called to do taxidermy or your not, if you have a morale delima you don't need anyone else's advice or approval to do what's right........
  6. Just because it is a trophy deer taken to a taxidermist doesn't mean the meat wasn't utilized. You have been reading to much of the anti-hunter propaganda that portrays a trophy hunter as only after a big set of antlers and leaves the carcass in the woods. That's not true t all.
  7. Rick Carter

    Rick Carter Administrator

    EVERYTHING on this planet is a renewable resource. You are trying to label living matter with some sort of ethical status as far as what can or can't be exploited. Death is imperative to life. If nothing died, there wouldn't be anything to sustain the living. If you feel remorse for ending a life , then by all means avoid doing so. You obviously cannot raise the dead, so why should you feel any remorse for utilizing anything in a fashion that prohibits it from turning to dust?

    Man is at the top of the food chain on this planet and earned his right to be here just as much as the lion. Both have hunted since the beginning of their existence. If the history of man's existence were to be represented by a clock, anyone objecting to hunting only showed up about 30 seconds ago. The lion is not worried about what we think.
  8. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    By definition, you are not a vegan...

    You state that you "were" a vegan, what changed?

    [quote author=http://vegan.org/learn/]
    A vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products. While vegetarians choose not to use flesh foods, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs, as well as fur, leather, wool, down, and cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals.

    why VEGAN? Veganism, the natural extension of vegetarianism, is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle. Living vegan provides numerous benefits to animals’ lives, to the environment, and to our own health–through a healthy diet and lifestyle.
  9. ofearthandbone

    ofearthandbone New Member

    Wow...I am merely looking for discussion on others take on ethical codes, not to be lashed at. I was vegan for several years do to health and ethics of not needing to kill to sustain myself...more along the lines of not wanting to support factory farming. I began eating meat with my second pregnancy due to being I'll. I couldn't eat anything and keep it down therefore started eating meat since it is a complete protein and needed immediate nutrition I was unable to get with a mixed diet of plant based food. Also diabetic with allergies to legumes. My child comes first. I now simply cannot afford the vast array of plant based foods that are needed to complete a healthy balanced meal...again, legume allergy. I have to supplement my cost of food with the local food pantry which provides tons of meat. I have never been opposed to hunting for food. If you eat meat you should be able to kill it or at least understand where it comes from. Honor the animal in all ways.
  10. ofearthandbone

    ofearthandbone New Member

    I do feel strongly about animals. Yes, my morals are torn but that does not mean I shouldn't try and pursue taxidermy. I think having to ask myself questions regarding ethics should be important as with anything I do in life. It would be ignorant and selfish to just do whatever I wanted without thinking of the entire picture and how things could be affected by my actions. I have read a lot of different pages of taxidermists who keep claiming that it is humane. They say this but acquire animals from pet shops that are used for snake feed. First, letting someone else kill the animal for them does not mean humane. I do not support pet mills either though. Picking up roadkill is supposed to be humane also but that car killed the poor creature just trying to survive. Should this be humane? I am not claiming these statements as my own. I just wanted to get a first hand feel from others in this forum as to where they stand. I am not here to be judged.
  11. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

    Would you cut your own arm off to eat it, or feed your baby if the alternative meant starving to death? If not, then the food pantry is the place for you. You depend on others to feed you, so how can you decide what is ethical and what is not?
  12. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    Before you stuff it, someone has to snuff it.
  13. James Parrish

    James Parrish Tundra Swan...Its What's For Dinner!

    Man is not the only animal that kills for sport. My cat often kills rabbits, squirrels, birds, mice, etc. and leaves them on the front porch as a "trophy" of sorts. Rarely does the cat eat any of what he hunts.

    As a Christian, I believe that man is the ultimate "predator" as described in Genesis 1:26. God put us here to "reign" over all the animals and as such we can use them for whatever purpose we choose (ie. as workers, pets, food, clothing, sport, etc). I believe that the "reign" part of that also means we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the animals. When an animal becomes endangered, it is man's responsibility to do his best to ensure that the endangered species survives. I don't believe we are to mistreat animals (Proverbs 12:10), but using them for whatever purpose we deem appropriate is sanctioned by our Creator.

    The problem with most of the groups like PETA, et al can be best described by Romans 1:25. Many people have decided to worship the creation rather than the Creator. When you get into that frame of mind, you lose sight of the natural order of things. The natural order that this earth was created to observe is God, then man, then the animals/plants. When you put any of those three in the wrong place, your view of the world becomes skewed and you will wrestle with things like the ethics of taking an animal's life. When you have the proper view of things, those issues are settled.
  14. ofearthandbone

    ofearthandbone New Member

    Ugh...I give up....thanks for the non-discussion here.
  15. hodx

    hodx Herman Darr

    You sound like more of a peta person then a vegan....I would say forget taxidermy
  16. James Parrish

    James Parrish Tundra Swan...Its What's For Dinner!

    Not sure what you expect from a site full of taxidermists??? If any of us had a problem with mounting an animal killed solely for sport, chances are we wouldn't be coming on this site. I thought you were looking for justification on why it is OK. That is exactly what I provided.
  17. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    The Op got what she asked for. Discussion on how we felt about what she said. I saw a lot of discussion on our part. Ofearth, no need to run off. Just accept that what is said as how we honestly feel and go with it.
  18. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Don't give up. take a look at the basics of hunting. Why did man ever take to harvesting animals? Food. Now days we do not depend solely on wild animals for food, but we still continue to harvest them. The term harvest is relevant here, just like a person harvests their vegetables and plants for food so does a predator harvest other animals for food. either way you are utilizing what has come form the earth. How can one be more right or ethical than the other? The core reason for man to harvest animals was and is for food but somewhere along the lines people got sick of wasting what many to believe an equally important part of the animals. The true likeness of the animal, the skin and antlers or horns. Meat is meat but every animal is an individual and unique. Ethics are a personal choice and I feel what I believe to go right along with what God or mother earth has directed.
  19. Denton Shearin

    Denton Shearin 2009-Breakthrough Award, McKenzie Award,

    That was very well put, James. Just about the most concise and definitive explanation of how I feel that I have read.
  20. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Many do not understand that 'sport' hunting, no matter your views on it, is the reason for the flourishing numbers in those species.

    Do an honest research of the situation and you will find where hunting of a species is regulated to non existence, the species also will become such. The Scimitar Oryx ban is 100% proof of that.

    As far as your 'personal' beliefs, they are not your clients business. Heck, I'll even keep my mouth shut and do a mount for an Obama supporter :)