Stereotypes are something that surrounds fox hunting, with Anti’s branded as lower class ‘animal warriors with no jobs’ and Pro’s labelled upper class ‘tweed wearing blood thirsty psychopaths’.
But sometimes those that live in rural areas, or more specifically those that enjoy country sports such as horse riding are labelled with this. In this post we’ll cover the misconceptions around those that enjoy a country lifestyle, and hopefully smash some stereotypes in the process.
It’s a common misconception that people from rural areas are supporters of fox hunting, the independent study by Ipsos MORI commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports found that 82% of respondent living in rural areas were against bloodsports – rising from 69% four years ago.
A lot of people from rural areas do own horses or go riding as part of a club, competitively or just for fun and really care for their animals – having nothing to do with the hunt.
Being from a rural area myself, I can remember the ‘Fight The Ban’ posters that plastered trees and cars in my local area back in 2004. Nowadays these are rarely seen – despite the infamous Beaufort Hunt taking place just down the road.
Another common misconception is that hunt saboteurs are ‘jobless Eco warriors’. Most sabs are employed, and protect wildlife when the hunts take place – so the reality is that when the hunts are out doing what they enjoy – the sabs are giving up their weekend, or are self employed and taking unpaid time off work to stand up for something that they feel passionately enough about to give up their time to do so.
Illegal Hunts Are Cruel To Their Horses
Many ‘country folk’ that partake in horse riding that I have interacted with on the issue have expressed their disappointment in the way that illegal hunts are often observed treating their horses, forcing them to gallop across roads and other terrains they would not out of choice, as well as knocking hunt saboteurs over and pinning them against walls with their horses – all for the sake of chasing a fox.
On the contrary, many hunters say that the horses love the ride – which is probably true in the case of legal drag hunts as it can be an opportunity for a long, exciting ride for the horses
The Party Preference Delusion
The Conservatives have been slated by the anti- hunt community following Theresa May’s announcement of her support for a repeal, and whilst I do not agree with her at all and my allegiances generally sit with the party that provides the best manifesto in terms of animal welfare, I aim to take no political bias on this page.
Another friend of mine who is a traditional conservative voter with a history working as intern with the party in his university days expressed their frustration to me regarding the misconception that if you vote for the Conservatives you must want to see a return to fox hunting, citing his views on the matter;
“There’s simply no need for fox hunting in modern day society – it’s inhumane and brutal, even if the fox isn’t as beloved to most people as a pet like a cat or dog.”
Whilst the Conservatives may well be the only party that will push for a return to fox hunting – a return to fox hunting under any party is extremely unlikely.
I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on this post – are you guilty of labelling anyone that goes horse riding as ‘posh’? are you concerned about your parties voting intentions?
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