Hunting, Conservation, And “Sport”

It’s been a few years since I wrote something about hunting, so before I begin my next series of posts relating to it, I thought it would be a good time to revisit an article that I wrote way back in 2009.

There seems to fair amount of propoganda coming from the hunting community claiming that they need to have yearly “culls” to ‘protect the species’ and assorted BS.

Now I know it is going to be hard for some readers to fathom this, and if you are shocked easily, please sit down before you read any further.

I am going to tell you now, and will stand by the following statement, hunting has about as much to do with conservation as McDonalds has to do with educating people on vegansim. Hunters hunt for their own selfish reasons and it has nothing to do with conservation whatsoever.

Now, if there are any hunters or those sympathetic to hunters reading this, before you get your flame thrower out and head straight to the comment section to tell me how ignorant and deluded I am, let’s have an objective look at the arguments/myths that the hunting fraternity use to justify the existence of this particular blood sport.

We hunt to conserve the species.

Ask any hunter how they select the particular target when they are out hunting, and the ones that claim to be “serious hunters” will tell you that they select the biggest and healthiest looking of the herd and go after that one. Now with this logic, they are actually going against natural selection and any evolutionary argument that ensures that the strongest of the species survives. Targeting the strongest of the species, the hunting fraternity is literally ensuring that the species will not survive, by ensuring that only the weak and less than the best survive.

When was the last time that you heard a hunter bragging about how they stalked a herd of whatever, spotted an old or sick animal, then went after that one? I would be willing to bet that those words have never even been whispered by a hunter. Because after all, they want to stroke their own egos by showing off with photos of the biggest and baddest boar, or mounting the head of the youngest and strongest buck, or whatever it is that they have killed.

If we didn’t hunt the XXX, we would be over run by them.

Could this be any further from the truth?

Nature has a funny way of keeping all the species that inhabit the planet under control. That is why there are predators to the different species on this planet. Remove the natural predator and increase the food supply of the species, and of course there is going to be a population boom. Mankind is constantly pushing predatory species to the brink of extinction. If any group is serious about “population management” then they should be ensuring the existence of ALL of the apex predators.

We can sustainably “harvest” XXX, to keep the population manageable.

This sort of ties in with above. Though I would also like to point out that there is not such thing as the “sustainable harvest” of any living species.

It is a legitimate sport.

How is it that when a supposedly intelligent human, getting dressed up in pretty camouflage gear, armed with any sort of projectile based weapon with the sole purpose to kill an unarmed animal of a different species that is unaware of the hunters intent it is called a sport. Yet when a swimmer goes swimming and gets attacked by a shark, or goes into the wilderness and gets killed my a predatory animal there is a public outcry.

Please correct me if I am wrong here, most people who go swimming know that there are all sorts of predators in the water, ranging from sharks to jellyfish, etc. yet they still make the conscious decision to go swimming, the same thing applies to those that venture into the “wild”.

To me this is ironic, that man without weapons, lures, traps, etc is still no match or any animal in their natural environment.

A sport is something where the participants are equally matched in skill, equipment and ability. And to the best of my knowledge there is only one place where the hunter would be able to participate on an equal playing field, and that is actual armed combat.

I would also be willing to bet that your average hunter wouldn’t want to “play” that game, because they would be going up against a better trained opponent, with the odds substantially against them.

We only hunt a particular species, leaving others alone.

Once again, another myth. Let’s see, fisherman have no idea what they actually have on the end of their hooks, until the caught animal is close enough to be seen. The same thing can be said for hunters too. If they did, then there would be no such thing as hunting accidents, there wouldn’t be code’s of practices set down advising hunters of the “safe” colours to wear, etc.

Man is a natural hunter/gatherer.

There is no denying that in our fairly distant past, man was a hunter. Fortunately those days are long gone, with the closest that a majority of the population coming to “hunting” for their own food, is searching for a bargain when the animal flesh is marked down for quick sale at the local butcher.

In our more recent past, our ancestors lived in a virtually “lawless” society where the only law of the land was the “law of the gun” and the only way to ensure your survival was to make sure that you shot your aggressor, before they did the same thing to you. With society becoming more “civilised” those days are gone with most of us only seeing guns on TV and in video games. So it is about time that hunting was left to future historians to read about as remnants from our barbaric past.

In today’s modern society that most of us live in, there is no justifiable, ethical or moral reason that could justify modern man killing any other species for pleasure.

What are your thoughts?