A Sport by Definition? Pros and Cons of Recreational Hunting
Hunting has been closely linked to humankind for thousands of years. Our ancestors hunted in order to gather enough food and protect their families from wild animals. The situation is quite different nowadays, as with the development of food industries, hunting has been turned into a mostly recreational activity.
People who hunt recreationally are often the main target of animal rights activists who claim that animals, especially the wild ones, should not be killed for the sake of entertainment. On the other hand, hunters have also been some of the most active nature lovers, usually caring about not disturbing the food chain or endangering animals in any way.
The majority of countries allow some kind of hunting, but some of them have stricter procedures that hunters need to undergo in order to obtain a hunting license. The point is that hunting is still legal, and there are voices coming from both pro and anti-hunting advocates.
Let’s take a look at some of the arguments that were brought up by both sides that explore the advantages and disadvantages of hunting.
People who love hunting often state that overpopulation can become quite a problem in certain areas. Some animals tend to become dominant, endangering the environment, and hunters often see themselves as people who need to restore the balance. This somewhat makes sense as humans are also incorporated in the food chain, and despite being on top of it, they need to meddle from time to time so that it would not be disturbed.
Hunting can still bring additional benefits to hunters except for mere pleasure. Many hunters actually eat animals and use their fur and other parts for making usable tools and materials. However, hunters of this type are rare, as dead animals are often just thrown away or their parts are kept as a trophy.
Finally, many hunters argue that hunting is a well-regulated activity, meaning that no endangered species could be harmed, only the overpopulated ones. In other words, many countries have animal control units which make sure hunters do not point their guns towards protected animals.
On the other hand, arguments against hunting are quite numerous as animal lovers have been pretty active in their effort to protect the entire fauna of our planet. Therefore, they have come up with quite a substantial list against hunting and similar activities.
One of the main arguments coming from people who love animals is that we all have the right to live. Animals are often defenceless and cannot put up a fair fight against rifles and guns, losing their lives for the sake of entertainment. Furthermore, animals are often not instantly killed by hunters, so they tend to suffer a lot, sometimes even for days, as they die a slow and painful death.
Finally, anti-hunting advocates came up with an argument which hunters cannot deny as well. When hunting, many people accidentally kill other people, thinking they were animals. Hunters often respond to movement only, and when the terrain is not clear, meaning there are thick forests and bushes, humans are sometimes mistaken for animals, resulting in unnecessary deaths.
Both sides have some pretty strong arguments, but it seems that those opposing hunting are currently being louder. Are you for or against hunting?