My daughter was just a small child when she knew she wanted to be a “vegetarian.” She’d tell anyone who asked.
What she really was trying to say was “veterinarian,” but it always came
She was the kid who always took home the class pet during school vacations, had to visit the pet store every time you came within a mile, begged for a dog, a cat, anything. We finally broke down and got a gerbil, but that didn’t last long, when it continuously bit her. But she just loved animals.
We finally took in a stray cat after moving to Fresno, then added a dog to the mix. And then, she discovered horses! While we avoided owning one of those (they do lease them, thank goodness!), she soon became entranced. Not only do horses hang out at stables, but there’s usually a menagerie of cats, dogs, and sometimes even pigs. Soon my animal lover discovered the joys of working with the disabled and combined the two to graduate from college with an Equine Studies degree and certification as an equine-facilitated therapy instructor. She got a job with a well-known program in Sacramento and loves it.
That’s why it came as a surprise to my husband and I when her Facebook page touted target shooting at a range with photos and commentary on what a great experience it was. We were stunned. Never in my wildest nightmares could I imagine my daughter shooting a gun (maybe a bow and arrow, but that’s about it). This was my kind-hearted, loving child who adored anything animal or human.
When we asked what the heck she was doing, she said it was just for the “experience.” Next thing you know, she’s buying a camouflage jacket and wearing it out with longtime friends when we gathered for dinner. Then she blows us away with the taunt that she needs the jacket to go duck hunting!
The ensuing argument over dinner was fascinating. How could my “vegetarian” child, who actually did grow up to be a vegetarian, even consider hunting? This is the kid who won’t eat red meat, who will only eat chicken if it’s cooked to death, and who would prefer a bowl of vegetables for dinner.
We were all astonished. But that didn’t stop her. She was going hunting with a friend. And by the way, she tells me, her boss is jealous because she’d like to be going. (inference: so it must be OK).
The photos she posted on Facebook include some beautiful sunrise shots; picture-postcard worthy. Then there’s the one of her holding up a dead duck with a smirk on her face.
“I didn’t shoot anything, Mom,” she says. That was a duck her friend shot and he intends to eat it. How does that not bother her?, I ask. She once again brings up the “experience.”
I wish she had shot a duck that day. I’m convinced had she actually shot one, she’d never do it again, thus getting the hunting bug out of her system.
I get that she wants to “experience” new and different things. But this took her entire life’s philosophy to the other extreme.