The Shooter/Calculating Cruelty Petition

What do you see when you shoot?

Do you see a mother who starved herself,
for her hatchlings, in the spring?
Waiting for the buds and catkins to ripen,
while she pecked dutifully,
for insects, for her nursery?

Do you see a fighter?
A grouse born from a lone-surviving egg,
pale, yellow and fragile,
that the teenage boys had failed to smash,
in their wantonness towards the clutch of twelve?

Do you see the gentleness of a being,
who only an hour ago,
was basking in the first rays of the sun;
her grey-brown feathers relishing early warmth,
covering her heart of gold?

Or do you see a triumph, a trophy?
A bit of revenge,
a means of venting your anger,
from the row you had last night with your wife,
from the hollow laughter of your peers?

A way of getting your own back,
of feeling more empowered –
now that impotence has set in,
and your daughter’s not speaking to you any more,
and business is drying up?

Do you see a thing merely?
One of hundreds of thousands, of millions:
born to die, bred for blasting,
barely entitled to notice, (let alone compassion)
– unless strung up and hanging?

Do you see a pot-pie,
to fill you with memories and nostalgia?
A warm sentimentality,
over a long-dead grandmother,
the irretrievable gingham, of an idealized age?

A pudding to replace the patriotism,
that made you cry in assembly at school –
a boy, reliably whipped up by Jerusalem?
Do you see a few, exotic mouthfuls,
to be excreted out again in the morning?

In taking the life of another,
are you suddenly bigger, better?
More “here and now,”
more connected,
than you were before?

Do you feel a rush of blood,
as you drain hers?
The thrill of being alive,
as you force unnatural death,
upon another?

Will you be filled with stories tonight?
Puffed up with pride and ‘manliness,’
around the fire in the village pub?
Having played ‘God’ with your killing stick;
having put the world “in order.”

What do you see when you shoot?

What I see is a failure –
a blot on the divine landscape,
an empty heart,
that lacks imagination –
clinging to the camaraderie of a death squad.

A broken ego who cannot create,
and so he destroys;
a poor exchange,
for the broken bird,
now lying on the ground.

Heart fluttering,
eyes fading:
soul stolen…


Heidi Stephenson



Dear Ann,

Shocking new statistics show that up to a quarter of a million animals are killed each year on Scottish grouse moors to increase the number of grouse to be shot for “sport”.

The League Against Cruel Scotland, as part of the Revive coalition, has just published Calculating Cruelty – a summary of the most comprehensive and robust field study ever in Scotland, concerning the killing of Scotland’s wildlife on grouse moors. 

You can read the report Calculating Cruelty here


Over 15 months, an independent surveyor (with 20 years experience working on shooting estates) mapped the location and frequency of traps and snares set on seven grouse moors to calculate the true extent of animal killing as a result of predator control to sustain the driven grouse shooting industry. Analysis of the survey data by a leading scientist revealed shocking results:

  • 57,000 killing devices deployed each day in Scotland representing the equivalent of over 10,000,000 active trapping and snaring days per year.
  • Up to a quarter of a million animals are killed each year in an attempt to totally eradicate foxes, stoats, weasels and crows to increase the number of grouse.
  • Nearly half of the animals killed are non target species such as hedgehogs, dippers and mistle thrush.

If it were not for the fact that so many animals have already been wiped out by the grouse shooting industry, the estimates of those killed would be even higher.


What can you do about it?

Revive has teamed up with 38 Degrees Scotland to join up our supporters in calling for a ban on the needless killing of hundreds of thousands of animals in the name of grouse shooting. We believe that the Scottish public is with us, so please help us show it:




Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has announced she is going to make her statement on reforming Scotland’s grouse moors this Autumn. This gives us time and a real chance to make a real difference.

We won on Mountain hares and we can win with this. Your support is crucial to everything we do, so thanks for everything you do to make a difference.


Many thanks with kind regards,

Max Wiszniewski

Campaign Manager for Revive

By Heidi Stephenson

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