When I ask people why they hunt and kill animals, I get answers that include “to eat”, “for sport”, “have fun with the guys”, and/or “ecological necessity”. If ever there is a shred of conscience present, the answer is followed up with the justification that they eat the animal they killed, as if that is acceptable.
No hunting is justifiable. There is no need to hunt for subsistence. Walk around any grocery store and there no shortage of food. When a counter-argument is offered, then another feeble excuse is offered: Animals kill each other in the wild, so it’s natural for humans to kill animals, too.
Yes, some animals do kill other animals, but plenty do not. There are many more animals that are vegetarian. The ones that are carnivores have no other options, but we have far more options that are healthier and don’t include killing. Humans are not carnivores because we have flat teeth, small mouths and we need to cook the meat first.
Calling hunting a sport is an insult to any sporting practice where real competition occurs. Killing an innocent animal that has no defense against weapons doesn’t take much skill. What it does take is an attitude of superiority over animals together with a ruthless, merciless streak of brutality. What could be fun about seeing an animal die? The hunter doesn’t think that the same animal may have babies that she was foraging for. Male or female, there is apparently no consideration given to the fact that they have the right to live in this world as much as we do.
Recently, a friend attempted to justify her boyfriend’s hunting as true sport because he killed animals with arrows. Apparently, there were a few times he actually shot turkeys right through the chest because of his accurate aim. When I asked what happened with his imperfect aims, she said that he and his buddies just followed the trail of blood until they found the suffering bird. Then they killed it up close. Chasing a terrified, wounded animal that is trying desperately to live is an activity that is diametrically opposite to any notion of fun.
Ecological necessity, ostensibly to control over-population, is a false argument. Leave nature alone and it will look after itself. Killing deer, for example, only causes the populations to have more babies, not less. Animals will breed more or less depending on the number of animals there are in existence in their species. It’s a sort of natural population control. Hunters upset this natural balance.
Lastly, I am always surprised when I hear people say that animals were put on this earth for us to eat. First of all, this is an anthropocentric claim. Humans are only part of the planet, not masters over it. Secondly, no animal, person or thing was “put” here for our use. There is voluminous research in fossil records to show that nothing was put on this planet by anyone or anything. We all evolved. And we all deserve to live here without fear of being killed by sadistic murderers. At least humans are protected by law. Animals should be too.