Iain

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Due to some political bullying, supposed animal rights protestors, fox hunting has got rather a bad name, and the general public has been induced with a bunch of bunny hugging bollocks.

I thoroughly enjoy hunting, I do not believe it is cruel - fox populations need to be controlled. I think hunting with hounds is a tremendous way to selectively hunt old and sick foxes (the ones who cause the farmer problems), in a manner, which replicates an act of nature. Death, which is not particularly common, all seem to be instant.

It also serves the wider community beyond livestock protection. It keeps the foxes scared of people, keeping them away from the village, it produces some of the top eventing horses, stages the majority of the point-to-point events, which creates top-level racehorses, and provides numerous community functions including charity events.

How would admissions committees view such a controversial topic? Would I do best to keep it quiet?



Having a glass of red, before riding off with the North Cotswold Hunt. I flew over to the UK for a weekend, for a final hurrah hunting. Fabulous day - I hope to do it again soon!
 

natelam

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I think that you should be thoroughly honest about your interests and beliefs. I am an avid sportfisherman and made that clear during my interview, and they not only thought it was interesting, they let me into their school! In terms of fox hunting, there are many different views on it, but as long as you make it clear that your intentions are not to cripple the population, or cause unecessary suffering, and that as an advocate of animal welfare, you take all necessary steps to share your goals with others involved in fox huntiing, I think vet schools will see it in a different light. However, fox hunting is not approved by the AVMA guidelines, so you may have some difficulty fighting your case. However, being honest about what you do, especially explaining that you have asked other people's opinions about the morality of the issue, is doing the right thing.
-Nate
 

MD'05

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I have never seen a mangy fox taken in a fox hunt. Poor excuse for killing foxes.
 

bern

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I do not find your reasoning in defense of fox hunting to be entirely convincing, and I'm not sure an admissions committee would either. Even if it is a legitimate and necessary form of population control, you are taking part in (and enjoying) the a sport whose sole purpose iskilling an animal.

Also, foxhunting in its traditional form has been banned in England. It probably wouldn't be wise to tell them that you break the law (or to go into the gory details of what makes a legal hunt different).

I certainly wouldn't lie if they asked you, but it probably wouldn't be in your best interest to bring it up.
 

birdvet2006

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I don't think your participation in fox hunting would sway the admissions committees in any way. There are PLENTY of veterinarians out there who hunt regularly (deer, ducks, musk ox, etc.). Hunting will always be loved by some and hated by others - it's a perpetual controversy.

If you like it, don't feel bad about saying so. They might want to know your stance on the UK's recent foxhunting ban. But then again - it sounds like you're applying to US schools, so they might not even ask.


Cindy
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Glasgow University Veterinary School
 
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Iain

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Although it was not surprising, I was hoping this would not become a debate whether you agree with fox hunting or not.

I think BirdVet2006 said it best - hunting is perpetual controversy. Every form of hunting can be construed to suite people’s agendas, whether you are for or against it. The reality with us all here, none of us want to see any animal in pain, or suffer or agree with purposeless killing.
 

CoffeeCrazy

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Your defense of fox hunting before you asked your question is what invited people to respond to the topic, not your question. It's obviously a recognized controversy, and you can't expect to not have dissenting opinions expressed on a public message board.

There's nothing wrong with having an opinion and justifying it, however, why bring it up? Is it going to contribute to your interview and application for you to discuss this with your interviewers? If someone is vegan and has strong views on animal life, and he/she is asked about using animals for food, research, or other production means, then it is acknowledged positively that the person has his own opinions and stands by them. However, if you're bringing it up just to argue, then you'll probably be seen as confrontational. But then again, if this is a big part of your life and something that you feel very strongly about, then well... it's your interview and you should present yourself honestly.

I don't know, just a thought... I don't really know what all admissions committees think, although I did help out in interviewer training for this rounds of admissions.

Since I take it you were in England, you should probably look in to US laws and regulations to the sport so you know the difference between the two. From what I understand, you're not allowed to dig up the foxes here, they are chased and frequently not ever caught because they are off-limits once they go underground.
 

bern

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Let me clarify, as it was not my intent to debate the right or wrong of it.

My point is that foxhunting IS controversial, and a very persuasive argument can be made for why it is cruel (the recent ban in the UK is proof of this). If there are a few people on the admissions committee who see it this way, it may cast you in a negative light in their eyes to a greater or lesser degree. If your application is exceptional overall, it won't matter one bit. But if your application is borderline and it comes down to the subjective opinion of the committee, it might just be enough to sway them in the wrong direction. Why chance it?

If it does come up in discussion, it would probably be best not imply that people who oppose foxhunting are "bunny hugging bollocks." Showing that you recognize their legitimate concerns and have examined the issue with care and thought from both sides of the fence would be more productive.
 
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Iain

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CoffeeCrazy said:
Your defense of fox hunting before you asked your question is what invited people to respond to the topic, not your question. It's obviously a recognized controversy, and you can't expect to not have dissenting opinions expressed on a public message board.
Very true, I admit I did bring it onto myself.

Thanks fore everyones insight - although I have strong beliefs about hunting, I am not a regular, and will probably just keep it quiet. Interviews are quite some way off for me, and with the ban in England my trips will likely now be going to the Gold Cup, Grand National, and maybe to play in some polo tournaments.
 

VeganSoprano

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I think it's wise to not bring up controversial issues unless you're specifically asked about them, though usually adcoms are looking more for intelligent, well-reasoned answers than for "correct" answers.
 

aphistis

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Iain said:
Very true, I admit I did bring it onto myself.

Thanks fore everyones insight - although I have strong beliefs about hunting, I am not a regular, and will probably just keep it quiet. Interviews are quite some way off for me, and with the ban in England my trips will likely now be going to the Gold Cup, Grand National, and maybe to play in some polo tournaments.
You know, for someone who's supposedly asking for advice on handling an interview topic, you're spending an awful lot of time preening about your hobbies.