From the Savannah Morning News Opinion page..
Edward Fulford says growing up in the country colors one's political outlook.
Our society's growing separation from the land hides from its people some distasteful truths.
A basic one is that, for everyone but strict vegetarians, animals have to die if we're going to eat.
I know that most people realize that hamburger comes from cows, but there is a difference in picking up a ground-up square of meat from the grocery store and dropping the bullock you bottle fed off at the old country processing plant.
Shooing Pudgy the Hereford off a trailer one day and coming back a week later for steaks, hamburger and sausage leaves little doubt where winter chili comes from.
Then there is the myriad of things that small farmers do on-site. Castrating calves, butchering sheep or goats, killing chickens to put in the freezer.
All of it includes points when you have to set your jaw, resign yourself to the task at hand and get it done. None of it is fun.
Another distasteful truth that country folks know is that sometimes you have to put down a sick animal to put it out of its misery or avoid the spread of disease, or kill a predator for the safety of your family or your animals.
Such killing is not something you enjoy doing, it is simply a fact of life.
I believe this intimacy with death colors the political perceptions of people - like me - who grew up out in the country.
For instance, if you find a copperhead in the hen house, you don't put it in a box and feed it until it dies a natural death. You kill it and get rid of it.
In like manner, I have no problem with laws that call for the death of human predators. Some folks, by their murderous actions, revoke their right to keep breathing.
Take, for instance, Jack Edward Alderman.
Some 33 years ago, he and an accomplice beat his wife with a wrench, attempted to strangle her, and finally drowned her in the bathtub at their home.
Prosecutors proved that Alderman committed this brutal murder to collect on his wife's life insurance policy. For Mr. Alderman, there is no redemption, at least not in this life.
The man should have been put down after his 1975 conviction. Instead, we have put him in a box and fed him for 32 years.
His attorneys' latest attempt to circumvent justice has them arguing not that he is innocent, but that the state's method of execution is cruel and unusual.
They say there is a chance that he would be conscious and in excruciating pain while he is being executed.
Part of me feels that his wife was likely conscious and in excruciating pain while he was murdering her, and that he deserves no better treatment.
But the part of me that wouldn't torture a poisonous viper before killing it says Alderman deserves no worse treatment than a snake.
Lethal injection too painful for him?
That's why God gave us shotguns.
Edward Fulford is an editorial writer for the Savannah Morning News.