Ten years ago, I stood in front of God and my family to declare my love and devotion to my lovely bride.
Looking back on that day I was blinded by the moment and was not aware of the trials and tribulations that were to come. I bring this up as an example of how two people can be so different and yet be so close. See, my wife is the “V” word.
Yes I said it, she is a vegetarian.
Often considered a dirty word in the outdoors community, this lifestyle has made my life very interesting. See, I am a dedicated hunter and fisherman. My wife, well she is morally against most of what I do in the outdoors. We have had our differences of opinion but things tend to work out. Her lifestyle is her choice and I respect that, however I often have difficulty understanding it.
What my wife has chosen as her path and lifestyle is something that is hard for others to understand and difficult to grasp. I, most of all, have a difficult time grasping it. There just isn’t that person at home that is waiting to hear about how well I did out on the lake that day, or share in my delight when I have a successful hunt.
She respects my love of nature, and all the beauty that I can find in it and is fully aware that I am an outdoorsman. We both have made compromises and this is a large compromise that can often lead to some interesting disagreements.
As outdoorsmen we are all often faced with others that have strong opinions of what we do and how we do it. There are always those that do not agree with the way we spend our time in the outdoors. Yet we continue to do what we love and we won’t let that get in our way.
I can tell you first hand that there has been more than one occasion that I have had to defend my choice to hunt and fish against those that feel that I am in the “wrong”. Sometimes these attacks are downright nasty and others are more of a passive-aggressive approach. Either way they can be exhausting.
Anti-hunting and anti-fishing groups are all around us. Our sports are always under attack and without the support of many local and national organizations the future could be bleak when it comes to passing on the traditions that we have with hunting and fishing.
Now don’t get me wrong, just because someone is a Vegetarian does not automatically assure that they are against hunting and fishing, however it is certainly a higher chance that they are.
In the case of my wife, she is pretty outspoken in her thoughts and beliefs and every time I head for the field it can cause tension in our lives. Please don’t make a snap judgment, I love my wife and she does support me in everything I do, however my hunting and fishing is a subject that isn’t something that is brought up in light dinner conversation.
It is without a doubt that I am not alone in the fight to keep not only my marriage alive but to keep the tradition of hunting and fishing going for generations to come. It is my choice to hunt and fish and it is my wife’s choice to not be a part of that portion of my life.
Living with a vegetarian has not been an easy task to say the least. There are often snap judgments on behalf of both parties and these can often lead to some heated battles.
I have chosen to put this topic down on paper because it something that we, as sportsman face every day. We are faced with those that don’t agree with what we do and some can get downright nasty about it.
It is up to us to handle these situations with a cool head and to stay calm when confronted by those that take issue with our choices. Living with a vegetarian I have learned that disagreements are not solved with yelling but with a cool head and compromise.
You are not going to win every battle, but if you take the time to educate yourself on the facts for both sides of the issue you will be more open to listen to those that may not agree with you. This in turn will allow you to state your case intelligently and represent the outdoorsmen in a positive light.
Anti-hunters and anti-fisherman are always going to be around, but the more we as sportsman promote our way of life and introduce new people to it the more of a stronghold we will have.
Winning one battle at a time is the only way we will win the war.