|Re: Controversy: Trophy Hunting
||[Dec. 30th, 2010|03:14 pm]
I know this post is old but it inspired me to respond.|
( In response to this: http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/665670/ )
That's a very thoughtful journal entry. You do a good job trying to weigh the pros and cons. And what I get most out of it is that we all share an awe of nature and its beauty and that their are no simple answers to the complexity of our interaction with the world.
But...(and this is where my colors will show) all the best arguments for trophy hunting still can't address one thing. That it brings death and suffering to animals.
Throughout history we have weighed the pros and cons of many things. Federalism, slavery, capitalism, child labor, monarchy, etc... many of them are still in debate, others have been abolished. In the days of slavery, there were plenty of very friendly plantation owners. Went to church, nice to their neighbors and kids and probably treated their slaves pretty well. They argued that slavery brings economy and jobs to their region, that people owned were better treated then people rented, that conditions and welfare were improving all the time. Slavery was rationalized for a very long time.
Ultimately, we decided as a society that the keeping of slaves was immoral, no matter how nice the owners were or how well the slaves are treated. Frankly its not so much a matter of the people doing it are bad but that the institution itself is monstrous. And that is the truth when it comes to hunting. It has nearly wiped out most all of the major mammals on this continent (the same ones they claim to be preserving), cause over-breeding of the ungulates, damage the ecosystem, weaken the gene pools, and disrupt animal families.
The best example of it is wolf hunting. Everything behind it is bullshit. They claim they need to manage the wolves, when wolves have been successfully managing themselves and their prey long before we got here. None of the states doing it have any serious interest in preserving the species, several even openly said they wanted them wiped out. They hunt the wolves during the months that they are raising the young (meaning the pups will die if the parents are killed) and are even going so far as to trying to remove them from the ESA so they can exterminate them without the law getting in the way.
This is the path that hunting leads down too, we end up gassing, poisoning, trapping, and shooting anything that is competition to us so that we can get the most revenue out of the other animals that we see as nothing more then resources. We can try to romanticize it on a personal level but it ultimately, factually comes down to us cutting short the already difficult lives of the other intelligent wild species we share the world with.
All the altruism doesn't hide the fact that these hunters are in it to kill the animal. That doesn't make them bad people, its just part of the history of our species evolving. We were designed to enjoy a the hunt coming from hunter-gatherers. But we don't live in that day and age. In an age and society where we are living in such abundance of wealth, peace and prosperity (try living 50 or 200 years ago if you don't like this recession) there is no excuse for us to be mean to others around us and violent towards other species.
The only thing I shoot with is a camera. I've been to wildlife rescues, preserves and parks across many countries. I've interacted with many species, especially wolves and wolfdogs. That's how I feel connected to nature, and I find that far more enjoyable then putting a stuffed corpse on my wall.
Take a moment to run several scenarios through when thinking about their arguments. Can I rob you and give it to the poor? Is it right for a wife to kill her husband and use his life insurance policy to feed the hungry? Can I kill your dog or any other animal you've loved or cared for, for science in an attempt to cure disease? How about we release shelter dogs from their kennels into the forest and hunt them for sport? We could give the money we raise to a good cause. Means to an end are not acceptable when they trample the rights of others, not even if they are for a higher cause.
To be clear, I do believe animals have basic rights. I am vegetarian and regularly try to be as vegan as feasibly possible. While I admire other species and nature my true love is just canines. When I first started to make changes I only boycotted beef because of ranching anti-wolf influences (not because I liked cows). I later, after studying animal rights, came to the understanding that I needed to be as consistent about my values towards other animals as I am with canines (wild or my own). I am not perfect in my practice, as I will never free myself from my connection to an animal exploiting society or able to foresee the ramifications of all my actions. But I do my part, just like I give to nonprofits, rescue dogs from death row and recycle. My choices and actions do make a difference, and doing something is measurably better then doing nothing.
Thanks for the good topic vantid