illustration by darren gygi
Q: I’ve always thought of hunting wildlife as akin to murder. Then I married a man whose family spends autumns blasting away in the woods dressed like G.I. Joes. Do I say something or eat my Thanksgiving venison in silence?
A: While you’re waiting for interspecies empathy, the entire natural world will be ground into tater tots. Hunters aren’t the reason moose are dying off—they’re not plowing the North Woods into potato fields. You and your husband both want wildlife around, so buy some land and return it to nature, or give money to the Nature Conservancy to do it for you. Study up on copper-nickel mining or farm runoff, and while hubby is Elmer Fudding, you can speed dial your representatives and congratulate yourself for landing a man who would kill for you, no matter how unnecessary that may be.
Q: My husband hunted—a hobby I never cared for—and requested a rifle design on his tombstone. Now that he’s passed, can I ignore that request?
A: If you want to be haunted by a man with a gun and nothing to lose, go ahead. My wife’s grandmother requested that she and her cousins sing a song at her funeral from a cartoon about a mouse. These rituals are a chance to acknowledge loved ones for who they were, not who you wanted them to be.