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Some of my Personal Thoughts on Long Distance Walking


Look around you, wild nature, that's why you're here. But remember you weren't here first

For most walkers, the love of nature is what gets them out. I'm no different. I like the countryside because of the chance of getting closer to plants, animals, birds, even insects (except midges of course) and fish. I like going up high, because the nature I see is different up there, and I see more of it, unless it's foggy. I love nature, but I detest those among us who use nature as a source of fun. Those who enjoy killing animals and birds, and building up entire industries around that principle. What part of a person's brain failed to develop, so that person could enjoy killing a young fox or a fleeing grouse? Where did that person go wrong?

People will speak about eating animals for food. I'm not a vegan, nor am I a vegetarian. I love a nice juicy steak or a lamb shank. Some will claim that makes me a hypocrite. But I think that's different, very different. I believe that's what nature is about, and the evidence for that can be seen throughout the animal world. If I could eat a steak made in a factory, I would, but I can't. No, that's not what I mean. I'm talking about those who enjoy the chasing and the killing, in whatever form, whatever the target. I have to sit in pubs biting my tongue while people speak for hours about it. I see the evidence of it everywhere up on the moors near where I live. Sometimes, this has positive effects for walkers, as the paths and tracks on the moors are maintained, and in some cases even upland bothies are provided, for example the wonderful Dent Houses in Apedale. But getting enjoyment out of killing? I just can't understand it.

No doubt some won't agree, and of course that's their choice. Or is it? I wonder what the fox, rabbit, deer, grouse or pheasant would say if they had a choice?

Enjoy your contact with nature, admire it, photograph it, research it and learn more about it, but don't destroy it. It was there before you came, and it will be there after you've gone. Happy walking!