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Should We Kill Animals on Hunting

  • Updated November 23, 2021
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My concern for wildlife and endangered species has led me to talk about this topic today. I was struck by how people indulge in hunting for merely winning some trophies and how hunting of most of the animals is legal in the U.S. I struggled with the issue of how we can ban hunting at some level without making the majority of the people unhappy about it.

Living currently in the US I have come across some people taking hunting for fun and leisure. I am well aware of the fact that people take hunting very seriously. I also agree that hunting can be conservative for the ecosystem. Although, I still think that taking someone’s life just for fun is that good of an idea. People should try to understand that like humans, animals want to live. They also love and feel pain. Moreover, they too have families and killing them tears their families apart. In most part of the world, hunting is considered a serious crime, whereas in the U.S there is no such law.

Nearly all the countries have banned trophy hunting in the last century, African countries, “Botswana and Zambia, once major destinations for pursuers of Africa’s Big Five African elephant, African lion, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros – have also prohibited this biologically reckless activity because of the harm it causes to wildlife populations” (Lee). Whereas, the United States, home to the world’s largest number of trophy hunters, still have to take major steps to control hunting. People justify hunting as it helps to maintain the ecosystem but in reality, this is no need for human intervention to help the ecosystem. In fact, the food chain and seasons play a major role in maintaining the ecosystem.

Animals and plants would find an equilibrium. Animals might eat lot more of our crops, they also might ruin forest vegetation, predators would eat a lot more of preys, and there may be more animal borne diseases to deal with, but we would still probably see a lot more of biodiversity and will be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the earth. Millions of people spent billions of money in traveling to different countries to see just get a little peek of animals. Countries like Sri Lanka, China, and India, where the population is mostly Hindu, Buddhist and people don’t hunt, are also nice and full of biodiversity. However, the U.S don’t have such history.

People justify hunting as a sport, but if you think about it, in sports both sides know who they are up against but in hunting animals have no idea on how or when they might die. It’s not just hunting which bothers me, it is the chronic pain the animals go through. According to Glenn Kirk of the California- based The Animal Voice, hunting ‘Causes immense suffering to individual wild animal.” and is “gratuitously cruel because unlike natural predation hunters kill for pleasure.” In a study done by U.S forest and fish department shows that 45% of animal victims, don’t die in hunting, they are wounded badly and have to live like a cripple till their death. Hunters hunt irresponsibly and cause immense pain to the animals.

Studies show that car/deer accidents increase during hunting season because deer are frightened due to hunters and start to migrate out from woods/ forests onto roads. Hunting does not address Lyme disease in humans because the ticks and bacterias are usually spread by mice, not deer. Moreover, many animals endure prolonged, painful deaths when they are injured but not killed by hunters. “A study of 80 radio-collared white-tailed deer found that of the 22 deer who had been shot with traditional archery equipment, 11 were wounded but not recovered by hunters. Twenty percent of foxes who have been wounded by hunters have shot again. Just 10 percent manage to escape, but starvation is a likely fate for them”(Clark).

According to The Washington Post “A South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks biologist estimates that more than 3 million wounded ducks go unretrieved every year. A British study of deer hunting found that 11 percent of deer who’d been killed by hunters died only after being shot two or more times and that some wounded deer suffered for more than 15 days.” Now, they’re gone. The same happened with bison and lot of other species, hunters were not part of the solution; they were the problem. Think of it in this way, would you even think about hunting, if it was your own dog?

Unarguably, you can never think of killing your own dog just for fun. We should encourage the same thinking with other animals. They too have families and feel pain. We think animal brains are not developed enough to understand what exactly is love/attachment? However, If you think of it you can find numerous cases where parent animals are willing to even sacrifice their lives to a predator in order to save their children. They manage their diet during pregnancy and go through immense struggle and pain to give birth to their offspring.

There has been significant change in the thinking of Americans, fewer Americans hunt today than in recent history. Data gathered by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service for its most recent (2006) national survey of Fishing shows that “ only five percent of Americans- some 12.5 million individuals- consider themselves hunters today, down from nine percent in 2001 and 15 percent in 1996.” However, public support for hunting is on the rise. A 2007 survey by Responsive Management Inc., a social research specializing in natural resources, found that “ 8 percent of Americans support hunting today versus 73 percent in 1995. Eighty percent of respondents agreed that hunting has a legitimate place in modern society.’

I come from a country where people used to hunt almost a century ago. At present, Hunting of any animal is banned and breaking these laws have some serious consequences, even for celebrities or politicians. Recently, one of India’s most famous actor, Salman Khan, was sent to jail this year because he hunted a tiger 10 years ago. In fact, the common hunter is the reason why many species including tigers and lions are becoming endangered now. Hunters also claim that what we have now(diversity) is because of hunters, but it is important to realize that everyone hunted not because of sport or leisure but due to the necessity of feeding themselves and their family. It took a conservationist hunter to give us what we have today.

I am certainly not in favor of the idea of no hunting at all. I believe hunting can never go away. It’s part of what our world was founded on. It’s a great privilege and something humans have enjoyed for all our existence. Not just humans, nature follows the path of killing animals, which is known as the food chain. It is more of a need than a want. Nearly all the animal species have been predators or prey at times of their evolution. Hunting generates employment and revenue for the economy.

A study has shown ‘people who hunt and fish contributed immensely to the national economy, spending more than $70 billion in 2001. Expenditures included licenses, guns, fishing equipment, and the costs of lodging, travel, and other goods and services'(Petersen). According to The Washington post ‘The taxes from hunting activities go to the states or to the federal government for such purposes as enhancing wildlife habitat, managing and maintaining parks and wildlife refuges, and conducting surveys and research to determine the status of not only game but also some nongame species.” Therefore, hunters contribute to boost the economy and provides employment to millions of Americans.

According to the most recent survey which I found on New York Times, “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that 82 million adults participated in hunting, fishing, or wildlife watching in 2001, but only 13 million of those were hunters.” Yet I also understand hunting can be necessary at times. For example, In 2015, Australia, the population of wild rabbits was increasing rapidly and they were destroying the forests. Due to that, there was a significant decline in the vegetations. The ecosystem was disrupted and the need to hunt wild rabbits increased manifolds. Later, the government promoted people to hunt wild rabbits in order to save the vegetations which then resulted in conservation of the ecosystem.

After living in the U.S I have developed more understanding of the argument in favor of hunting, and I continue to ponder the ethical and practical issue of hunting versus banning hunting at some level. I think killing wildlife and fishes for food is a completely different story. This is something which we did since our existence for our survival but when hunting is taken as more of a recreation activity it turns into a controversy. It’s up to us to take steps by spreading awareness among the society to stop people from destroying families and killing numerous innocent animals just for some recreational purposes. Theodore Roosevelt said “In a civilized and cultivated country, wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen.”

I also know that people take hunting very seriously and causing a change in such behavior might be really difficult but still there is a way where government could initiate by banning the hunting of some of the animals and take strict actions if someone breaks them. Living in the U.S for more than a year I am starting to understand the fact that no amount of enforcement of hunting laws can deter determined people from hunting to harm others. I am not sure, however, that hunting of most of the animals in the U.S should keep going but I think we need to find a common ground, where hunters hunt responsibly causing minimum pain to the animals.

Work Cited

  1. Clark, Mike. Does Hunting Help or Hurt the Environment. Scientific American, July 2015.
  2. Holm, John. Why hunting is important. Nebraskaland, April 2014.
  3. John, Kim. What’s wrong with hunting. Peta2, January 2015.
  4. Lee, James.“Hunting- The murderous business.” In Defence of Animals, March 2016.
  5. Petersen, David. Hunting: Philosophy for everyone.Wiley-Blackwell, June 2010, pp. 121-35.
  6. Robbins, Jim. “The new threat to wolves in and around yellowstone.” The New York Times, May 2017.
  7. Walter, David. “Twenty-First Century Fox.” The Washington Post, February 2018.

Cite this paper

Should We Kill Animals on Hunting. (2021, Nov 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/should-we-kill-animals-on-hunting/

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