Fox-hunting: what I really secretly feel

'Do you think the hunting of anglers by hounds, known as "taking the dog for a walk", is morally justified?'
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The Independent Online

Most of us have fixed opinions about fox-hunting that, like our central-heating pipes or bicycles, have not been re-examined for years. But can you really marshal the arguments on both sides? And do you know whether you really are pro- or anti-fox-hunting, deep down?

Most of us have fixed opinions about fox-hunting that, like our central-heating pipes or bicycles, have not been re-examined for years. But can you really marshal the arguments on both sides? And do you know whether you really are pro- or anti-fox-hunting, deep down?

Well, you will know after doing this little questionnaire, which is the first one ever designed to probe to the part of your brain labelled: "Fox-Hunting - What I Really Secretly Feel". All you have to do is tick the appropriate box...

1. Which of the following strikes you as the best description of a fox? He is:

* A pest

* A ruthless killer which will strike for the fun of it and not even eat its prey

* A natural predator that helps to eat carrion in the countryside and keep the place clean of dead animals

* A colourful animal that leaves the countryside when young, as there is nothing to do there for a teenage animal, and drifts to big cities like Bristol and London looking for acting work in natural history films, but probably getting involved in drugs and in dustbin crime

2. Which of the following strikes you as being the best description of a fox-hunting person? He is:

* A pest

* A ruthless killer that will hunt down a fox and not even cook it and eat it

* A hard-hearted predator which hunts hard, drinks hard and mates furiously with hunters of the opposite sex

* A colourful figure which drifts out of the countryside when the weather is too hard for hunting and congregates to keep warm in countryside rallies in big cities like London and Bristol.

3. Does it worry you that if fox-hunting is banned

* More than 50,000 hunt saboteurs will be put out of a job?

* Packs of fox-hounds will be turned out into the countryside to fend for themselves, where they will survive by raiding chicken farms and will have to be put down by packs of trained foxes?

* Foxhunting will be driven underground and continued by means of the internet ("International gang of Net foxhunters jailed after two-year police operation") or on cards in Soho windows ("Phone Rita for a foxy time!")?

* Roger Scruton will go off his trolley?

4. Do you support fox-hunting because:

* It is a very efficient way of keeping down the fox population, and you, being anti-fox, are therefore in favour?

* It is a very inefficient way of keeping down the fox population and therefore, being pro-fox, you are all in favour?

(NB: You cannot tick both boxes)

5. Why do you think that, while fox-hunting is sabotaged, there are no militant protests against the shooting of birds?

* Because who wants to get shot?

6. In some parts of the country, anglers are regularly attacked by dogs who take their sandwiches, topple over their maggot boxes and then run off at their owner's frenzied request. Do you think the hunting of anglers by hounds, or the sport of "taking the dog for a walk along the river", as it is called, is morally justified?

* Yes.

* No, but Tony Blair can't see any votes in it.

7. It is said by opponents of hunting that no other sport involves deliberate infliction of pain. How do they explain:

* Boxing?

* Rugby?

* Commuting in and out of London?

* Chris Evans?

8. Many famous people have been named after foxes (Charles James Fox, Edward Fox, Twentieth Century Fox, etc) but nobody has ever been named after a horse, a fox-hound or a saboteur.

* True

* False

9. If the present Bill against hunting with animals goes through, Parliament will unwittingly have made it illegal for police dogs to catch anyone, even to sniff out drugs.

* True

* False

10. There is no word in French meaning "waltz".

* True

* Valse

Result. If you ticked mostly (a) boxes, you are a warm-hearted personality who would be more popular if you weren't so grossly overweight. Mostly (b) boxes: you are unsure of yourself, and quite right to be so. Mostly (c): don't worry! Very soon you are going to meet the man of your dreams! The fact that he is already married should not deter you.

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