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Alex Douglas-Kane shares her experiences and understanding of Discover Nature Awareness

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Hunting as a Rite of Passage: I am so sorry, thank you for giving up your life.

In 19.. I attend a Battlefield Survival Course at the International Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol School (ILRRPS) in Southern Germany. It was one of them courses that changes your life, one that you will never forget. No more so when we were required to kill an animal for our food.

This was my first time killing an animal, and I found myself walking away from the group with my rabbit in my arms. I held my rabbit close to my heart and while stroking it I looked into its eyes and I asked it to forgive me, as I was about to takes its life. I found myself thanking it for giving up its life so that I may understand what it means to do such a thing and in order to help me survive if ever I found myself in that situation.

I walked away from the group because I did not want the others to hear me, in case they thought I was mad, but also I felt it was a personal and private moment between me and the rabbit. All this took place long before I knew what I know now.

Which is that we are all connected and there is a respectful and honourable way of taking a life in order that one can live.

Sometime after setting up Natural Pathways I wanted to show people how to do this as I felt it was really important. For me it is like a jig saw puzzle every piece represents a wilderness living skill, we are happy to show people how to trap and how to skin and gut but no, its not PC to show people how to kill.


Have you ever heard a rabbit cry out, even hard men wrench at the sound. I came in for a lot of flank for wanting to do this, eventually I was able to show people using dead animals, and what surprised me was how many vegetarians were up for the experience, perhaps because I really drove home the point that this was about respect and honouring the animal for giving its life, so that me may live.

What ever their reasons it turned out not to be so controversial after all and they had the option not to take part.

Why am I telling you this? Who knows I just felt it needed to be said.

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