http://www.amazon.com/Skin-Trade-ebook/dp/B007PCVFDC (really click this to look inside)
Trapping is a sensitive, divisive subject. Most people either recoil when you talk about animal trapping (especially using traps that are not live traps), or people will vehemently defend their right to trap. And to be honest, personally, I’m torn. I am intimate with trapping, but I numb myself to the necessary grim reality of the practice to be able to continue my intimacy.
Most of the animals that are fur bearers in the United States are not eaten; they’re only harvested for their fur. That’s not to say that some trappers don’t also eat the animal, but it’s not the norm. Animals who are caught in traps are sometimes shot, but they are usually killed with a blow to the head with a blunt object–like a baseball bat or an ax handle. With skunks, the animal must first be hit in the middle of its back so that the spine is broken and it cannot spray the trapper before it’s finally killed.
Some traps are laid with bait, but some traps are simple hidden in high traffic areas (like on the way to a watering hole). Because of this and the fact that the trapper has little control over which animal actually becomes trapped, trapping carries its own unique Karmic price. If the trapper traps something, like a raccoon, that is edible and he or she decides to eat it, then karmically speaking, things aren’t so heavy because all the parts are being used. If a trapper doesn’t use the meat, obviously there’s instant karmic ripples due to the waste. There’s also the Karma of laying a trap that the animal has little choice about stepping into. If the trap is in plain view, whether it’s baited or not, there’s still some choice in the matter. If the trap is hidden under water or leaf litter (as is very common and is why most traps appear rusty) and it’s on a path that the animal would naturally follow, there’s no choice at all. Also, one must consider the need of a warm pelt versus the want of a warm pelt.
So where does that leave us as Pagans. Having a blanket statement of “trapping is wrong and should be made illegal” is not the answer. Obviously, trapping goes against the Wiccan Rede, but not all Pagans follow the Rede, and it is rarely interpreted the same way twice. Think about all the Pagans that like to have an Arctic fox tail tied to their asses at festivals and events. Most of those tails came from animals on fur farms. Are fur farms really any better than trapping? Is it better to wear the tail of an animal from a fur farm as opposed to one given to you by a trapper? Something to ponder for a future entry.
Prolific zombie, steampunk, weird West, and Pagan author, Tonia Brown, has taken on the issue of trapping in her novel Skin Trade, which was published earlier this year. Skin Trade is set in the second half of the nineteenth century, after the Great Undead Uprising of 1870. Once again our government has fucked up. In an attempt to control Native American populations (a la small pox blankets), a virus has been introduced that has wiped out most of the Native American population and a good portion of the settlers in the West. The Badlands are now zombie central, and the government and army have now allowed trappers into the area. Sounds a lot like how DNR is handling the coyote outbreak.
So what do you do with a trapped zombie? You dispatch it, of course, and tan its hide. Just like the Nazis and ancient grimoire makers, Americans now see zombie skin as a fine luxury item.
Some may read this story simply as a good weird West or zombie story. Others may read this as a story about a troubled girl coming into womanhood in uncertain times and draw all kinds of parallels between today’s young ladies and Samantha Martin. I, however, see this as a story about a little whore being faced with yet another unpleasant side of humanity, and having to deal with the fact that she wishes she had a penis a majority of the time. Freud, you have it all wrong. Penis envy occurs when you need to aim urine into a trap, and you’re tired of always having to spread your legs.
If you’re even vaguely interested in trapping and the humanity behind it, then join Tonia Brown’s ragtag team of little whores, ex-slaves, milk sops, and sadistic tyrants on a fast paced romp through the Badlands in Skin Trade. (Oh, and there’s a goat in there too!)
Be a good reader and get trapped into clicking on these fine folks’ links:
Quadrivium Supplies http://www.quadrivium-supplies.com
Erotic Sensations http://eroticsensations.us/
Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com