52nd. This morning was easily prevailed on by the Capt and an ex-judge who was rusticating here to join in a deer hunt, had a delightful ramble in the long wandy grass and flowery barrens, started one deer but did not get a shot. The Capt., Judge, and myself stood at different stations where the deer was to pass, while a brother of the Capt. Went into the jungle to rouse it from its cover. The one deer that he started took a different direction to any he was ever known to take in the time past, and for so doing was cordially cursed as being the “damnedest deer that ever ran unshot.” But to me it appears as damnedest work to slaughter God’s creatures for sport. “They were made for us,” says the most approved preaches, “for our food or recreation or other uses yet undiscovered.” As truthfully say on behalf of Bruin when he deals successfully with an unfortunate hunter, “Man and other bipeds were made for bears, and thanks be to God for claws and teeth so long.” Let a Christian hunter go to the Lord’s groves and kill his well kept beasts or wild Indians – ‘it is well’, but let an enterprizing specimen of these proper predestined victims go among rectangular houses and fields and kill the most worthless specimen of the vertical God-like kills – O that is horridly unorthodox and on the part of the Indian atrocious murder! Well, I have precious little sympathy for the bat-eyed proprieties of civilized man, and if a war of races should occur between the wild beasts and lord man, I would be tempted to sympathize with the bears.
Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist