Kate Small, 29, has been receiving threats from thousands of social media users who went as far as to target her one-year-old daughter, Finley, and her pet dogs.
Kate Small, a registered nurse, is on a mission to show that hunting wild animals is not a sport limited only to the men. Bears, hogs, deers, wolves, some of many animals that she has killed so far in various parts of the world including South Africa according to reports. Flaunting her hunting skills, the 29-year-old from Boise, Idaho uploads pictures of herself posing next to the dead creature on Instagram, where she has already garnered over 27,000 followers. However, she started receiving death and rape threats from thousands of social media users who went as far as to target her one-year-old daughter, Finley, and her pet dogs.
According to the Metro, Small recalls some of these horrible comments she has received till date in a video she posted online. "I have actually received thousands of death threats. People saying things I'd never wish on my worst enemy. I've had hundreds of people also threaten to rape and murder my one-year-old daughter. I recall one person saying, ''I'm going to put your baby in a blender and listen to her scream." Furthermore, she added, "I've also had people say they are going to murder my dogs, which just doesn't make any sense to me, you're mad that I killed an animal, so you're going to kill an animal."
Time and again Small has stressed on the fact that she hunts in an "ethical way" and only kills animals with the purpose of "conservation" or as a means of food. "I like being able to know exactly where my food came from and not only that but working extremely hard to get it. I like being able to provide organic, nutritious meals for my family. This lifestyle also lets me create everlasting memories with my friends and family," said Small. "Even if I am unable to harvest an animal, memories made on a mountain, battling the elements and being pushed to your limit are invaluable. It's a true test of your inner strength and character."
Small, who hunts mostly with her fiancé, Justin, added, "I salvage as much of the animal as I possibly can. I always keep the head and hide for mounting. The meat is what we live off of, we butcher it ourselves and then we will eat it the rest of the year." Apart from wolves, she consumes everything else she hunts. "Aside from wolves, as they carry parasites that are dangerous to eat and the meat is bad, I don't hunt anything I won't eat. I never take an animal for fun, it's for food or for conservation."
In the video, she was heard bragging about "dropping" a 6ft tall, however, she claimed that her activities weren't illegal. Trying to make her haters understand the same she said, "For the most part I try to use education and explain why I do what I do but I must admit sometimes my sarcasm gets the better of me and I respond with humor. I usually laugh the death threats off, if you are threatening someone who hunts apex predators for a living, you mustn't be very bright." She further claims how hunting some of these animals is much less cruel than allowing them to die of natural causes.
"Those that I know who hunt, including myself, have an immense respect for animals and care deeply about them, that's another reason why we do what we do." Now, the 29-year-old hopes to inspire other women to hunt and being a hunter for almost 10 years, Small hopes to train her daughter in this blood sport. And so she puts all her effort into justifying her hunts. "Every year fish and game [authorities] comes out with new quotas specifying what and how many of each species in each particular area can and should be hunted. These quotas are based on scientific research to help keep the populations at their healthiest."
Providing an example of the same she added, "Hunting helps these animals combat spread of disease and competition for food. I know people think hunting is cruel, but it isn't, you know what's cruel? Mother Nature. Have you ever seen an elk get half-eaten by wolves and suffer for hours while it slowly and painfully dies? Have you ever seen a mule deer gradually waste away and eventually die of starvation?" According to her, "a single shot to the vitals sounds like a much better way to go."
While one may disagree with her activities of hunting animals, resorting to sending a woman death and rape threats don't nullify her actions. It only reflects the sickness people nurture. Also, it's also such an intensely patriarchal thing to target a woman with rape simply because it is "easy" to target them. Violence does not solve violence. A possible way of dealing with hunting atrocities is to have stricter gun laws and have harsher federal punishments for hunting wild animals, especially if the species are nearing the endangered category.
Animals don't deserve the violence we subject them to and need to be treated with kindness. But this absolutely does not mean that we simply send rape threats and death threats to people who don't know better yet. It only makes things worse and reveals how illogically we approach problem-solving. Nobody gains from violence - online or otherwise.