From the Field

Bush and Meat

Wild rats for sale on a highway in Nagaland.

Hunting is illegal in India, but it does take place, perhaps in no place more than the Indian North East. Here, the issue isn’t just of being dependant on wild animals. It’s also of culture, adventure, and sport. Hunting is a cultural past-time, deeply embedded in the ‘this is what we do; this is what we have done’ sentiment. The question is, shall we look at all India bans, or should we make exceptions for bushmeat hunting of taxa like rats, many of which are classified as vermin?

Is sustainable non-target hunting even possible? Is sustainable a fantasy? Or should we enforce conservation idealogies on the hunting tribes of the North East, hoping for generational change?

Rats on sale, Nagaland. Photos by Neha Sinha

Rats on sale, Nagaland. Photos by Neha Sinha

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2 thoughts on “Bush and Meat

  1. If we are to save the planet, all kind of wild meat and hunting must be stopped with immediate effect. Saying ‘this is what we have done, this is what we are’ is a lame excuse. It’s akin to saying we should bring many regressive rituals back, just because we have had them for ages.

    It’s time we considered all species as equal rights holders in our country.

    And people who do it for the thrill should consider joining our armed forces and hunt for those who threaten our nation.

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  2. Hi Param, yes I agree that the issue needs to be tackled not just as a tradition one; but also in an ‘adventurous way’. The lack of hobby clubs and options for recreational activities is a reason why people hunt; this is being tackled by starting eco-clubs, bird surveys and teaching videography.
    The most important thing I feel is to not have a moral high-ground (which many conservationists do take) and to approach the challenge with innovation.

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