There are many good and a few not-so-good things about my home, Leesburg, VA. I remember when I moved out here almost a decade ago, I’d occasionally see a little sticker sporting a fox-like symbol on the rear bumpers of some people’s cars. I thought, wow, people must really like foxes out here, or perhaps they belonged to some interesting, secret organization. What I discovered is that these people belonged to fox hunt clubs. At first, when I heard about these clubs, I though it was hilarious. Really, people still do that AND pride themselves on it? Get a life! Well, to each their own, right? Then I learned more about the reality involving the brutality of the “sport” that you will rarely see or read about on the websites for these groups. Seeing these stickers on the backs of cars makes me wonder how anyone could feel good about themselves, partaking in this strange behavior for the sake of some kind of status that no reasonable person could care less about. I’m hoping that eventually people wake up in these parts, let go of this ugly past “tradition” and move on, like they did in the UK, where fox hunting is now considered unethical and banned. Sir Paul McCartney fully backed the ban, saying “When the cruel and unnecessary ‘sport’ of hunting with dogs was banned, I, along with the majority of the British public, backed this historic victory for wildlife. The scenes described in this report of how animals were hunted down and savaged with dogs for fun before the Hunting Act 2004 was passed are simply barbaric and shocking and should remain a part of Britain’s past, not its future.”

I’ve got no problem with folks getting dressed up and riding their horses around in the country. It’s the fox killing that needs to go. It’s rare that I’ve seen a fox in the wild, and unfortunately, it’s usually when they’re roadkill. To see one, or a family of foxes is a almost a magical site. There’s no reason for the lives of these animals to be disturbed and disrupted, especially for such a pointless purpose. There are people who are taking action to ban this repulsive behavior however. In the meantime, the drawing above was loosely based on a photo from the Summer 2010 edition of Defenders of Wildlife magazine.

*mixed media in A4 watercolor Moleskine, 7/2010