Since the internet became a part of my life I, and many others, have used it to expand the knowledge others have on our culture. Back in the 90's it was very depressing what you could find, maybe a page or two, a reference to a paper or book. I had a friend tell me that 'if you can't find it on the web, there a really good chance that it doesn't exist.' Which made me laugh and cry at the same time. Okay maybe it made me laugh the smack myself on the head and rub my temples.
In this journey of adding information to the web I have found myself in many, many debates over my subsistence lifestyle. One of the biggest and most contended area is of course in the harvesting of animals. Particularly in what we 'feel' about them. You ask anyone from our culture how we feel about the animals we harvest and from elder to child we will respond with a simple sentence... "I Love that animal." I love the Bowhead whale, I love the caribou, I love the wolf and the wolverine, I love the goose and the ducks. We love these animals. Sometimes this simple declaration can bring tears to the eyes the emotion is so strong, so deep. And if you are not from a subsistence culture, which is pretty much almost the rest of the world, you will maybe snort a bit and say..."how can you kill something you LOVE?!"
I think the root of this query is of course a cultural perspective. I like to call them our 'Culture Goggles." Many people are unable to see anything beyond what their culture goggles show them. I like to picture ours as brown and maybe UV resistant. To us the term 'love' changes. You can have different 'loves' though they are not less or more. There is the love for your family, the love for your spouse, the love for your children, the love for your best friend, the love you have for your favorite pet, and the love you have for your history and land. For most people this is where their culture goggles blinds them, they do not see many other other possible 'loves.' So what happens (I think) is they compare the word 'love' when I say it, to what they are familiar with....and of course they become a bit...appalled. Because they can't imagine experiencing any other type of love.
The closest that I can imagine it would feel akin to what we feel, might be for anyone that might farm or raise cattle or any other type of agricultural experience. The feeling of love and indebtedness to another being that you care for and have such a deep knowledge of. And then removing that soul and using it to continue your life, and starting again with the next batch the next year. It's a bond that very few people can experience in this modern time. The Western culture has promoted and idea of wealth and health to mean you are completely separate from your source of food, and who can have real feelings for Walmart or Mc Donalds? This separation is what is worshiped today, like some demi-god. People revel in the feeling of being karmically clean because they never see or experience the death of an animal nor have they ever had to dig in the dirt to plant a seed. Like somehow the distance makes them less indebted.
I think another issue that arises is the effect that ignorance plays in this monopoly game. In a world where you go to a grocery store and find meat in plastic wrap, where does your knowledge of living a subsistence lifestyle come from? Maybe a few 1 hour documentaries? Something you read in a paragraph in middles school? A brief 5 minute video posted by PETA or Greenpeace? Not to mention the bombardment of misinformation paraded on facebook, the king of 'click if you support' modules. the point being that there really is no in depth information that is available, and certainly nothing that is 'click of you like me' quick. People who live a subsistence life find it almost impossible to express what it entails....under 5 minutes.