It's not because Metallica have sucked since the Black Album, it's because he's about to narrate a series following some dirtbags hunting Kodiak bears. I'd quite forgotten about Hetfield's filthy habit of killing animals for fun, it's not like he's really been on my radar for years and I don't tend to read the rock press. But this reminded me just how detestable he really is. If you, dear reader, are a person who hunts for sport then you might find what follows a touch offensive and possibly upsetting. If that's the case, good.
Hunting for sport is an abominable activity enjoyed by "people" lesser evolved than the rest of society. I understand if people hunt for food, even though they go hunting in a big, gas guzzling 4x4 with a $2,000 rifle and thousands of dollars worth of kit. Some folks want a fridge full of venison and I get it. Not only that but our impact on nature means culling certain animals is pretty much essential now or they'd wreck the shared habitat due to a lack of predators. Or at least a lack of predators who don't live out their Rambo fantasies in the woods whilst doused in Eau D' deer piss and drinking some dreadful, weak beer.
Sport hunters don't even have the excuse of needing to fill the fridge. I'm no expert on these things but I'm pretty sure not many of them settle down to a nice, juicy bear steak of a weekend and if they did they could surely eat something more appealing. Nor do they need the pelts of the animals to keep warm, these sort of people always have plenty of gear in the back of the truck. These people just enjoy killing, nothing more and nothing less and you're not going to tell me for one minute that there is any shred of 'right' in that.
Enjoying the act of killing goes against the grain in a modern and moral society but somehow many of these folks get a free pass, or at best a sliding scale. Kill a majestic lion? Get hounded to the ends of the earth (and rightly so), shoot a deer in the face for fun, or maybe just gut shoot one and give up chasing after a mile because you're tired, well that's not so bad. Hell it's practically a god given right and you have to shoot at least something to justify the outlay on a rifle that, in full auto form, is usually used to kill enemy combatants in a war zone.
As if that's not enough you then have bow hunters. So bored are these guys with using high powered rifles to kill animals for "sport" they head out into the woods with a bow and arrow to do the job, puts them one step closer to nature dontcherknow. The most famous fan of using ancient weapons to kill animals for fun is Ted Nugent, a thoroughly despicable man and also a friend of Hetfield. I imagine they've spent many a happy hour together bow hunting turkeys and high fiving each other after the heads have flown. It's manly!
It's usually around this point people try to argue with me. They say I could never understand the spiritual nature of the hunt, the skill of successfully stalking an animal, the pride in a "good" kill. I hate to break it to you nature boy but there's nothing spiritual about it, the only people who thought killing animals was a spiritual activity used to draw on the walls of caves with burnt sticks and sleep in pointy tents and in case you haven't noticed the world's moved on a bit since then. One hunter, a guy who hunts bears with a bow, claimed he cried when he killed an animal so intense was his connection. If it upsets you so much why don't you stop killing them?
Lastly they will try the hypocrisy argument. Yes, if you eat meat but aren't willing to go out there and enjoy killing your own then you have no right to criticise them. I like to point out until they mine ore with their bare hands to build their car or lay all the roads they drive on they should probably avoid the hypocrite part. Seriously, how many of these deep thinkers do you believe made all the components for their computer? Surely a real mean (or woman, I'm not sexist) would 'do for themselves' before having anyone else take care of it. Right?
This isn't me saying you should boycott his music or anything like that. You don't have to love how a person lives their life to appreciate their art but it is worth wondering just how much you should be hero worshipping a man who is pretty much no different from those rich pricks who fly to Africa and shoot a caged animal in the face just so they can have a trophy. It's not a sliding scale of wrong, killing for pleasure is just wrong.