Some sordid statistics to digest. In 2010, there were 12,996 murders in the United States. About 9000 were by firearms. In 2008, 1897 Americans stabbed someone to death. That same year, there were 949 strangulations, 614 incidents of death administered with a blunt object, and 86 cases of one human setting fire to another—all in the US. Every year about 250,000 American humans bite (and not for fun) another human, hard enough to require hospitalization. We kill each other at massive rates with our cars. Globally, 1.2 million people die because someone was needlessly reckless, usually with the help of alcohol.
I began this post intending to write about some of the ways we might reduce the threat that hunters pose to animals. Then I looked up these statistics. And now I wonder: if humans kill and maim and disrespect each other with such alacrity, is there any point, really, in pursuing the idea that we’ll in any way moderate our killing and maiming of animals in our current cultural climate? Should the focus be elsewhere? Somewhere deeper and more fundamental? It’s hard not to be alienated from all of it in days of drones. I feel a year of reading fiction tugging at me, trying to figure it all out in the world of fiction.