by Ali Berman
Categories: Animals
Tags: , .

A few days ago we told you about Sarah Palin’s comments on her hunting expedition for her reality show, ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska.’

On her facebook page, she took the offensive by saying, “Unless you’ve never worn leather shoes, sat upon a leather couch or eaten a piece of meat, save your condemnation of tonight’s episode. I remain proudly intolerant of anti-hunting hypocrisy. :)”

Yes, Sarah Palin uses smiley faces.

Well, Aaron Sorkin, mastermind behind “The West Wing”, disagrees. In an op-ed on The Huffington Post, Sorkin isn’t shy about sharing his disgust with Palin’s love of hunting. He then proceeds to tell us why he’s not a hypocrite for eating meat and wearing leather.

“Like 95% of the people I know, I don’t have a visceral (look it up) problem eating meat or wearing a belt. But like absolutely everybody I know, I don’t relish the idea of torturing animals. I don’t enjoy the fact that they’re dead and I certainly don’t want to volunteer to be the one to kill them and if I were picked to be the one to kill them in some kind of Lottery-from-Hell, I wouldn’t do a little dance of joy while I was slicing the animal apart.”

Sorkin’s argument is that while he may use animals for food, clothing, etc. he does not take pleasure in their demise. Sorkin goes on to say, “You weren’t killing that animal for food or shelter or even fashion, you were killing it for fun.”

Palin does seem to enjoy the “killing it” herself part of hunting. Whether she’s shooting a caribou or enabling others to hunt wolves from planes, she’s never been on the side of the animal.

Personally, I’d love to see Aaron Sorkin extend his compassion a little further and question how he contributes to animal cruelty by eating meat and wearing skins. Heck, even C.J. Craig decided to pardon both turkeys after she got to know them on the Thanksgiving episode of “The West Wing”. Maybe someone should bring Mr. Sorkin to Farm Sanctuary to inspire him? If he feels so passionately about sport hunting, perhaps he’s a vegetarian in the making…

Read the full text here…

Unless someone like you cares a whole lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.

Dr. Seuss

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

View all posts by Ali Berman →
  • VZ

    I completely agree that it would be nice to see Sorkin extend his stance by not eating meat or wearing leather, but I also see his point that Sarah Palin is equating an activity where animals are killed for fun with regular people who have societally ingrained habits that include animal products. I am also encouraged that the idea of a life being behind the meat and leather came into the argument at all. Very small steps, but I am glad when society moves forward in their realization that we take these beings for granted. I am vegan – don’t wear wool, leather, silk, cashmere, angora, nothing from an animal! And I’m glad that Sorkin so blatantly called Palin out on all her crazy.

  • herwin

    In this case i am absolutely with Palin and Sorkin is an absolute hypocrite. Palin is talking about hunting and eating the dead animal, there is little hypocrosy and even little cruelty for the animal involved.

    on the other hand, EVEYBODY with internet acces can see the horrible videos of animals in the meat, milk, and egg industry. We can see undercover videos and read eye witnes accounts of so called “downer cows”.
    There is so much graphic information about these cruelties, ALL DONE SO PEOPLE LIKE Sorkin can eat meat.

    Its ABSOLUTELY hypocrite, as Palin says, for anyone who eats meat and wears leather, to critize regular hunting, and i just really have to agree with that.

    At least Palin is fair enough to make the distinction and give me (because i am a vegan and dont eat meat or wear leather) the right to critizcize her hunting. Thats fair, i would say.

    Again, the best advice is to look at oneself, mr Sorkin, and stop turning a blind eye to the sickening animal cruelty that you yourself are responsible for, and go vegan.
    Compared to the animal industry cruelties (for your meat and your leather, mr Sorin), hunting and eating what the hunter has killed, is the least of my concerns…

    • Michael Raymer

      “Its ABSOLUTELY hypocrite, as Palin says, for anyone who eats meat and wears leather, to critize regular hunting, and i just really have to agree with that.”

      I have to respectfully disagree with you on this. I eat meat and use leather products and I’ve hunted. But when I hunt (or fish for that matter), I do so for food. I gives a damn about antlers or heads on a wall. Hunting is an ecologically sound way of managing what is left of our environment, and is actually a necessity for keeping deer (elk, caribou, moose, etc.) populations from spiralling out of control.

      But, this charade that Palin put on is offensive. She makes it obvious that she has no clue what she’s doing. She’s killing an animal do accomplish nothing more than make pseudo-political points with her fellow ignoramus’s. And she’s looking for ratings. None of these is a valid excuse.

      • herwin

        Thanks for commenting :-), and i’ve seen that point (that Palin hunts on her show just for political gain and ratings) of view on other forums. I disagree. Palin obviously likes hunting very much, no-one will disagree with that. Now isnt it just natural that anyone, given the change, would proudly show and promote the things he/she likes on ones own tv show ?? She shows hunting because she likes it.
        I also disagree with you, on a stronger level, that hunting is a necesity, and the notion that elk, or any other animal popualtion, would “spiral out of control” if it wasnt blessed with human hunting. This is just the Mother of all Hunting Fallacies ; without “us” hunting, the whole ecosystem would collapse.
        I have read the article from mr Sorkin, i did find it very crude and rude with words like “fuck” being used, in overal this doesnt make a strong case against hunting.
        It would be more interesting this time, to ask Palin how she feels about other hunting forms like Canned Hunting and Trophey Hunting, something diferent from the Kill&Eat hunting that she is talking about.
        Anyway, Sorkin is a hypocrite of the worst kind, there is no question about that, because he seems not naive about it all but willfully reasons why Palin is Bad and what he does is not. He should go to the Farm Sanctuary as Michael suggest, and hear the heart breaking and unimaginable stories of slaughterhouse animals.

      • herwin

        Last but not least. i kinda feel that the whole thing isnt a sincere attack against hunting, but more a political attack because its Palin.
        How about democrat Jong Kerry who invited journalists on his hunting trip in his run for vice presidency ? Now thats what i call hunting and killing for political points. But John Kerry wasnt blasted for this by people like Sorkin.
        Its meateating people like Sorkin who are out there trying to make a political score and trying to bash Palin, and abusing the hunting debate for it.

      • Michael Raymer

        “without “us” hunting, the whole ecosystem would collapse.”

        Actually, it’s because of us that hunting is a necessity. Habitat loss due to …. well, civilization is what has brought the populations to the point where they need to be maintained (it should also be mentioned that the decimation of predator species, due to “civilization” is also a factor). The prime example of this is bison. They used to “own” everything between the Appalachians and the Rockies, and beyond. Now, that same territory is filled with cities, towns, roads, fences, etc. Ipso Facto, it is completely impossible to bring the bison back to even a fraction of the numbers that they used to have. The same thing applies to the other species. I used to own land in north-cental WA state. If hunting were eliminated in this area (and this is a very typical example), the deer population would face disaster in 5 years or less. Depletion of grazing land, the resultant erosion this would cause, disease, suffering of the other species that rely on the same food stocks. This is very real.

        ” Palin obviously likes hunting very much, no-one will disagree with that.”

        I would. If she enjoys it so much, why can’t she shoot a rifle? Why doesn’t she own her own hunting rifle, which she is familiar with and has properly sighted in? Why is she so concerned with the rifles kick, if she is such an old hand on the hunting grounds? Again, this is her own goofy style of politics and I have a big problem with that.

        P.S. you and I both know that when David, romika, etc. read this, they are going to accuse me of hypocrisy. That’s fine and I’ll deal with them. I’m just mentioning it here because I don’t want the doofus squad thinking that they’re scoring a point on me.

      • herwin

        Michael, i respect your point of view ;-) and thats a funny remark about the doofus squad, please dont even mention these dorkheads like David and his topic wrecking friends ou pathetic.

      • Whoever…

        “Hunting is an ecologically sound way of managing what is left of our environment, and is actually a necessity for keeping deer (elk, caribou, moose, etc.) populations from spiralling out of control.”


        You have no idea how Nature works do you!?

        Human population is so out of control – let’s start hunting people!!!


        The only ecologicall way of feeding ourselves is by being, at least, vegetarians – and yes it’s a very healthy and varied diet… and no, we don’t need meat, fish or even dairy products to live happy, healthy lives!

        Regarding palin, no comments… because she’s not worth it!

  • Ari

    ?”Like 95% of the people I know, I don’t have a visceral (look it up) problem eating meat or wearing a belt. But like absolutely everybody I know, I don’t relish the idea of torturing animals.” If you’re eating factory farmed meat, 99% of all meat produced in the US, you ARE torturing animals. You’re just paying someone else to do it for you. Sorry, but there is a major disconnect here. Sorkin’s piece for HuffPo was deeply hypocritical.

  • Reggie1971

    Sorkin is a hypocrite, pure and simple.

    The main argument against this seems to generally be that people who eat meat, buy leather shoes, and leather couches do so out of necessity.

    That is complete bulls–t. You don’t need any of those byproducts of animal deaths to survive and you know it. You buy them for pleasure…at the expensive of an animal’s life.

    Until Sorkin lives a vegetarian lifestyle and starts criticizing every liberal as well as Sarah Palin for using any kind of product that came from the death of an animal, HE IS A HYPOCRITE.

    But let’s be honest. This is about hating Sarah Palin. It isn’t about sympathy for animals. John Kerry has been filmed hunting, and it didn’t raise an eyebrow among liberals. This is simply a matter of a group of people on the left whose life mission is to express a passionate and insane loathing for Sarah Palin in any way they can conceive of.

    • herwin

      You are so right. Its all about hatin Palin and not about an issue.
      By defenition, we will only be served anti Palin articles, and by defenition we will only be served pro Obama topics, even when Obama isnt nowhere near animal welfare/rights but the just the usual crappy pro meat guy.
      Palin can go to Haiti and visit a cholera clinic but that will be ignored. It doesnt fit the image we want to create !

      Palin hunts : she is trashed by leftist meateaters who abuse the hunting topic.
      Democrat Kerry hunts : silence. (even he INVITED the press for his hunting trip in his race for vice presidency for some nice photo ops, speaking of killing animals for political gain ..)

  • N

    Haha, he’s telling us to LOOK UP the word visceral. As if he thinks that most people don’t know what visceral means. I hate how having a poor vocabulary has become the norm.

  • Jerry Denton

    Would there be this much hostility over her fishing? Why are hunters tagged with this Darth Vader image in a way that fishermen aren’t?