TED NUGENT: 'To Be Against Hunting Is To Literally Have No Soul'

June 16, 2024

Rock musician and hunting enthusiast Ted Nugent, who recently lost his beloved family dog Happy, spoke out in support of hunting rights during an appearance on the latest episode of The Chuck Shute Podcast. Referencing the fact that he cried for days after Happy died, Ted said in part (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I eat venison. I don't eat dogs. [Former U.S. president] Barack Obama eats dogs, but I don't eat dogs. And I have some friends in Vietnam and China that eat dogs, and it's meat. If that's what you wanna eat, but we don't have that relationship with our dogs. Even though if you go to a Chinese restaurant, I promise you you're gonna eat dogs at some point and cats. The point is, is that I'm a hunter, a fisherman and trapper. I harvest the surplus to maintain a healthy environment. Anybody who's got a problem with that is like brain dead. You've gotta be the dumbest motherfucker on the planet to think you can stop hunting for one season. I donate tons of venison, which is the purest, most healthy, nutritious, delicious protein in the world. [My wife] Shemane and I, and my son, my family, we donate tons of venison to soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Do you really know somebody that has a problem with that? Can you realize how soulless, how nasty a person would have to be to go, 'Well, you shouldn't feed the homeless venison.' [Laughs] Fuck you. "

Regarding the fact that hunting is often criticized for being inhumane and cruel to animals, Ted said: "As a hunter, fisherman and trapper, I provide the most humane, conscientious, moral, quick death of anything that dies in nature. When you don't hunt, disease runs in, distemper and rabies.

"When I drove to Detroit yesterday to jam with a bunch of guys, and even going 100 miles an hour in my Hellcat, I counted, just visible, 111 dead deer. I couldn't keep up with the raccoons and the possums and the skunks and the other dead [animals]. I mean, there's death every 50 feet. So if you stop hunting for one year, can you imagine the terror, the harm, the painful, agonizing death from cars and disease and overpopulation?

"To be against hunting is to literally have no soul," he continued. "You have no soul. And quite honestly, my son Rocco is a vegan and his new fiancée, they're vegans. They have dietary considerations. I have no problem with that. I've never said, 'You have to eat meat,' but some of these nutcases go, 'You're cruel for eating deer.' No, you're cruel for being against a meaningful science-based harvest of the deer, because they're having fawns now, and if I didn't kill a bunch of deer on my swamp, there'd be no room for those fawns and they would eat all the prime vegetation and they would end up…

"I'm a hunter and I couldn't be more proud," Ted added. "In fact, there's a gay pride month. Is that what that is? Well, I'm having a hunter pride month. I'm celebrating that I'm a hunter and I'm proud to be an American hunter. And anybody that's got a problem with that, shut the fuck up."

Nugent went on to criticize animal rights activists, saying: "The animal rights thing is a scam. The humane society in the United States has never saved an animal. All they do is they try to take advantage of people's ignorance and emotion and get [a lot of] people to make gargantuan donations. And then they don't do anything except pay them big salaries and fly across the country. It's a scam. If you really wanna do the right thing for an animal… if you wanna find someone that is kind, loving and supportive and humane to animals, I give you the ranchers and farmers, the family ranchers and farmers, the hunting families, the fishing families, the trapping families. If you don't harvest the surplus, the new production will have nowhere to live. It's so simple, even guitar players can figure it out.

"You've gotta reduce the fish population in any body of water because they're going to reproduce and the body of water is only so large," he explained. "It'll only support so much life. Do I have to say this in 2024? How embarrassing that I have to explain the simplicity of sustained yield science.

"Hunting, fishing, and trapping is the ultimate beneficial environmentalism available to man. If you want clean air, soil and water — it's insane I have to say this; it is not taught in schools, thanks to the teacher's union — if you want clean air, soil and water, and I think everybody wants clean air, soil and water, the best thing you can do is to buy a hunting license, a fishing license and a trapping license because all of our money goes to safeguard habitat, determine the sustained yield science of the annual harvest so that they don't deplete that wildlife habitat, which is the only source of producing clean air, soil and water. So if you want clean air, soil and water, thank a hunter, thank a fisherman, thank a trapper, 'cause that's what we do."

Back in 2018, Nugent defended trophy hunting, calling it "the ultimate discipline and test and sport on Earth." However, he stressed that it is most important that nothing is wasted and that the hunter uses every part of the animal. He also said that hunters get a bad rap thanks to the media. "Trophy hunters don't cut off the head and leave the body there [like] the media and the fake-news punks have perpetuated," Nugent told podcaster Mitch Lafon.

In 2015, Nugent drew the ire of animal rights activists after he posted a photo of fellow rocker Kid Rock posing with a cougar he'd presumably killed.

Nugent, a longtime board member of the National Rifle Association, fanned the flames with a comment that both insulted animal welfare supporters ("braindead squawkers") and boasted about their "trophy."

That same year, Ted defended the killing of Cecil the lion by American trophy hunter Walter Palmer, saying people were "stupid" for being outraged about the animal's death. He called lions "a renewable resource."

On Facebook, he commented: "All animals reproduce every year & would run out of room/food to live [without] hunting. The animals have more animals EVERY year!! Where would liars propose they live!!"

The 75-year-old Nugent has in the past referred to Barack Obama as a "subhuman mongrel." The musician later apologized for using "street-fighter terminology" and said he wished he used "more understandable language," such as "violator of his oath to the Constitution."

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