Human Mammal, Human Hunter [Video]

A video depicting what is perhaps the oldest form of hunting on earth–persistence hunting. A tribesman pursues an animal for 8 hours, keeping after it until it keels over from exhaustion.

Hat tip to Cody D. for this link.

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

john March 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm

this is a man!

Ian March 29, 2012 at 11:33 am

Proof that we are, in fact, great runners. Especially this dude. This is awesome!

Kenny March 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Hey John, this isn’t a man, this is an asshole.
Hey Ian, this isn’t awesome, this is murder.
A real man would have returned the animal’s trust (shown in his eyes, at the end) with kindness, mercy, and a drink of water. You guys have a lot to learn about what takes to be a real man (to start with, a little compassion for those less fortunate than us).

Santiago Soler March 30, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Kenny:this man is hunting for meat,not just to get fun.All your ancestors were like him, before McDonald´s was invented.He respects absolutely the animal,even dead,and give thanks to it and to gods for the food wich he and his family need to survive.I met them in Africa and they are THE real ecologists.And,yes,this is a real man.

Trevor March 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm

I think that Kenny is in the minority on this one (and personally, the language in your post was unnecessary.)

This man is showing teamwork, strength, persistence, knowledge and experience. He has the right tools for the job, and only the tools he needs. He is working (and hard! When is the last time any of us ran for hours straight to get a meal?) and providing for his family. He is also likely drawing on the knowledge and expertise of former generations that he learned by sitting at their feet, listening to what they had to say, internalizing those teachings and applying them. There are the types of characteristics that this site encourages.

On the practical side: Meat is much more calorie dense than anything else they can easily acquire and is easy to make last (drying, smoking, etc.).

Vince L March 30, 2012 at 10:44 pm

I have always admired the skill and tenacity of tribal huntmen. Respects and admirations all round for them! I should know because I have friends who are natives here in Borneo (Ibans).

Jonathan March 31, 2012 at 6:36 am

Kenny, your vagina called: it would like a douche now.

William March 31, 2012 at 10:24 am

I agree with your sentiment Jonathan, but its an insult to women. Insecurity can lead to some questioning responses, perhaps Kenny is just responding out of those insecurities. Either way, just because someone says something that rubs you wrong, it would take a bigger man to respond in kindness. Oh and before you question my so called “Manliness” I work on a submarine. What do you do? ;)

Paul T March 31, 2012 at 10:57 am

Awesome response. your last question though, – “so, you work in a long wet cylinder, surrounded by a bunch of sea-men” :) (this is coming from a long multi-generational Army brat and national guardsman – hooorah)

William March 31, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Hooyah Paul, the sentiment is 120 go down, and 59 couples come back up. (cap gets two) But I can (mostly) assure you this is incorrect. :) In all seriousness though, its a pretty awesome experience, but I would rather be hunting like the above video. We are so far removed from what it means to really survive off the land.

Anupam Katkar March 31, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I am vegan. I am also someone who spends time in the wilderness – in forests that are home to big cats, bears, wild canines and large herbivores (since I live in India). I first watched this excerpt some years ago, and it has been an inspiration to me ever since.

This is from the 10th episode of my absolute favorite TV show of all times, The Life of Mammals, presented by Sir David Attenborough. The 10th episode is about human beings, and carries a compelling message for mending our ways while it still isn’t too late for our species and our only home. I’d highly recommend that you watch it!

This story has been such an inspiration to me. The wilderness is something else. I learn more about my body, my mind than I could ever have in a sheltered urban experience (otherwise, I live in a major world city). The sense of awareness and unspoken interaction with all forms of life in the wilderness, has done more for me than any fancy meditation or deluded prayer could ever have.

This hunter is in a similar (though far keener) state of awareness, of communion with Nature. As such, he is no different from a wolf who chases a caribou over many miles, or a tiger who exercises immense mental discipline and awareness in getting closer and closer to a deer before the final explosion of strength. And yes, he is also like their prey who are equally formidable in their own ways.

I showed this video to my vegan girlfriend some days back, and explained that this is a form of hunting that I do approve of. If someone is living in an environment in which they need to hunt to survive, they should, indeed that is their place in their ecosystem. On the other hand, we refuse to have anything to do with the devastating impact that the meat, dairy and fishing industries are having on our planet (you may read it up), and their heinous treatment of emotive animals, and have discovered the health benefits of a balanced vegan diet, so we are vegan. And neither do I have any respect for recreational hunters who use guns and composite bows. The animal really doesn’t stand a chance, and they devastate their forests for their smug, violent egos. Will I hunt if I were hopelessly lost in a forest and starving? Will I attack an animal to defend myself or a loved one? I probably will, and that would be a different matter.

I wanted to share my perspective as a vegan and a ‘hunter’ who, so far, has only shot with a camera. ;)

tod April 1, 2012 at 8:55 am

Kenny, try to raise enough seeds, fruits, and vegies to supply yourself with 2,500 calories per day year round, with out Petroleum. Don’t knock them until you have walked in their shoes.

Gator April 1, 2012 at 7:20 pm

In fact, Kenny is wrong even in his attempt at altruism. There is nothing to suggest that the concept of universal goodwill existed before a millennium or two ago, and our ancestors would most likely have had total concern or their fellow tribes people, coupled with total disregard, if not suspicious hostility, for anyone outside his tribe.

This is the mindset that comes from an environment of absolute scarcity, in which killing is never a conscious option, because existence is a contest between taking something’s life and giving your own. We do not live like that today, but we should avoid the oblivious stupidity of applying contemporary notes to premodern men.

Jason April 4, 2012 at 7:09 am

In response to Anapum: I’m sure you are aware that a wild animal’s life is a constant struggle to survive. Being killed for food by a gun-wielding person is surely not the worst way an animal like a deer can die. Just off the top of my head, I would say that starving to death, contracting a fatal disease, or being hit by a car and maimed to slowly die from infection are all worse. No wild animal dies from “old age.” Either their reflexes slow and predator gets them, or they are out-competed for scarce food by younger and stronger animals, and die of hunger.

A hunter is simply another predator, improving the gene pool by removing the slower and less cautious. He or she isn’t doing any worse damage to an animal than it is likely to experience as a part of its life. Moral outrage at hunting just isn’t justified if based on the “animal suffering” argument.

In addition, properly managed permit-based hunting certainly doesn’t “devastate [the] forests,” and you don’t have any special insight into the minds of hunters, so you may want to rethink casting aspersions on them.

In conclusion, while I respect your right to live your life in accordance with your beliefs, I think you should practice a little more humility when encountering beliefs and practices that differ from your own.

Marcos April 5, 2012 at 8:39 am

I practice a Paleolithic diet which our bodies were designed for, for millennia. Meat in and of itself is not harmful, it is the addition of outside additions such as hormones, chemicals, ect. A diet of red meat(grassed), fish(wild), chicken (free range/ grassfed) vegetables, some fruit and nuts, low starch and no sugar aid what are bodies were designed to ingest. Not this crap dairy, sugar packed cereals, hormone injected meat and poultry and farm raised fish, chemical laced vegetables, and genetically engineerd food that oat folks eat nowadays. Sho don’t don’t blame game meat such as this for health defects. It is design and acceptance of the US food pyramid that has caused a great deal of damage to our great country all in the name of furthering the cause of the mainstream food industry that is killing us. For example Argentina has some of the lowest reported heart disease per capita and they consume large amounts of red meat. Compare that with America who consumes low amounts of meats, fish, poultry that is grass fed, wild raised or chemically and drug free, and high amounts of gluten, wheat and chemically/genetlcially enhanced food and we have the largest amount per capita of heart desiese per capita. The issue lies with genetically altered food that makes up 70% or more of the food you purchase in grocery stores today. These foods wreak havoc on your body, and while they cost less initially, the medical costs down the line far outweigh the overall cost greatly.

*source for percentage from peer reviewed journal.

**The atlas for heart desiese and stroke

Judith Mackay, George A. Mensah, Shanthi Mendis, Kurt Greenlund, World Health Organization


Jarrod July 24, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Kenny is a cry baby douche, can you honestly repeat what you typed out loud without feeling like a complete idiot? ……… Fn panzy

Lyndon Campbell August 9, 2012 at 9:57 am

I once tried to hunt game (boar) by chasing it in the outback of Australia by trying to tire it and I couldn’t last for 15 minutes these dudes can last for 8 hours!

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A real man would have returned the animal’s trust (shown in his eyes, at the end) with kindness, mercy, and a drink of water. You guys have a lot to learn about what takes to be a real man (to start with, a little compassion for those less fortunate than us)

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