Why Hunting Should Be Illegal

Sport hunting is a recreational pastime and rite of passage in some families. Many people view it as a tradition without considering the impacts the sport has on the environment, trauma for wildlife, and even on the psyche of young hunters. If you feel a pang of remorse when hunting animals, it's your humanity coming out. There are quite a few reasons to consider why hunting should be illegal. It's okay to break tradition and follow your heart.

Hunting Is Unnecessary

There was a time when hunting was the sole means of obtaining protein to feed a family. Times have changed. It's no longer the best option for putting food on the table. Better and less expensive alternatives are going to the local market. The food is already packaged and ready to prepare. It costs hundreds of dollars to buy the equipment used to hunt animals and birds. The cost of ammunition is consistently on the rise. There's no longer a need to track wild animals down and needlessly end their lives for the sake of a family's survival.

Hunters follow the traditions of their families often without considering the many reasons it's time to start new family traditions. It's time to modify our behaviors to adjust to a new age where hunting has become an archaic activity. It's a social construct whereby many young boys undergo conditioning to become hunters by their elders. Some join the sport out of duty without relishing the thought of slaughtering vulnerable animals in the wild. They give in to social pressure to please their elders, hardening their consciences to fit in as a member of the group of traditional hunters. If hunting is made illegal, it will relieve the pressure on those who find it cruel and against their nature.

There Are A Lot Of Hunting Accidents

When hunting season opens, large groups camp out in designated areas to hunt down their favorite prey, such as deer, elk, antelope, birds, or other animals. It's common for hunting parties to cross into one another's territory on public and private lands. In the United States, hunting accidents happen in record numbers as hunters mistake movement in the brush for an animal and accidentally shoot a human. In 2020 there was a marked rise in the number of hunting accidents involving serious injuries and fatalities in Finland. The country reports 5 to 10 incidents annually.

The most common hunting accidents are from tree stands. Hunters perched in tree stands fall from elevated platforms and receive series of injuries such as head trauma, fractures, and more. Reports of ATV accidents also increase during hunting season. Other injuries and deaths arise from animal attacks, drowning, falling trees, and other outdoor mishaps. Injuries from confrontations and altercations with other hunters over hunting territories also happen. Hunters move outside of their usual environments and into hazardous terrain for a few days of roughing it in the wild, but they're not always prepared to deal with the harsh new surroundings. A lot of different kinds of accidents happen to hunters. It's not a safe form of recreation.

Hunting Can Lead to Violence

Studies examined the relationship between hunting and violence among males of college-age. The results showed that there are links between hunting and illegal behaviors involving violence. Hunters involved in the study were twice as likely to express violent behaviors to animals with abusive behavior to domestic animals. There was also a high rate of vandalism and destruction of property. Most people who hunt were raised in families of hunters where the activity is a tradition among members. Hunters in the group studied also engaged in more physical altercations with humans.

Hunting desensitizes people who would otherwise shudder at the thought of unnecessary killing. It's common for young hunters to dread their first kill, but they are conditioned to overcome their feelings and carry out the violent task as a rite of passage. Once they've committed these acts of violence, it gets easier to take a life and engage in violent behaviors.

It Tears Animal Families Apart

Animals are capable of love. Mothers raise their offspring and tend to their needs. Instinct causes them to have a natural affection and concern for their well-being. Hunters who kill them for recreation cause pain and suffering in animal families. They take mothers away from babies that still need them to survive in the wild. It's an unnecessary act that tears animal families apart, often for no other reason than for the fun of killing.

Animals Have Rights Too

All life is sacred, and animals have rights too. We've enacted laws to protect the rights of domesticated animals. Acts of cruelty have been ruled to be illegal. People who abuse or neglect dogs, cats, horses, or other livestock are subject to penalties that include fines and even jail time. Some are banned from owning pets for some offenses. There are, however, no laws in place to address acts of animal cruelty for animals and birds labeled as "game." Game is a label that in itself suggests hunting these animals is done as a form of recreation and sport.

The big question we must ask is where is the fun in causing an animal to hurt and suffer? Have we lost our sense of humanity and compassion to this degree as a society? Is it ever okay to hurt, wound, maim, or murder an animal just because we enjoy killing? There are two ways to look at it. One is from the desensitized perspective that claims it's a tradition. The other is to see the situation as it is. Hunting for sport takes away the rights of these animals to live and enjoy their lives in nature. Don't we all have the right to live out our natural lifecycles here on earth? Hunting animals for sport is a legal right that humans enjoy, but it takes away any notion of the animal's rights to survival or living in peace.

Trophy Hunters

Some hunters do not like the taste of the wild game, so they don't eat the meat from their kills. They're only concerned with the size of the animal and its value as a trophy, and not as a food source. Trophy hunting is a competitive activity to see who can bag the biggest animal. Trophy hunting is an unnecessary activity that again, takes away the rights of these animals to survive. Animals that have managed to survive for years are chosen to suffer and die because of their beauty and uniqueness. One would think that this should entitle them to the right to live out their lives in peace and safety, but it's not the case.

The American Humane Society reports that hundreds of thousands of wild animals are killed in the United States and other places around the world in trophy hunting activities. Hunters in it for trophy hunting only take parts of the animals including their claws, heads, hides, or bodies for taxidermy. They kill them for bragging rights solely. They're not motivated to obtain food. It's a competition to see who can get the biggest animal. Trophy hunting is deemed by the AHS as cruel and unsporting. It's worth noting that the AHS supports euthanization for the overpopulation of unwanted shelter animals and those that are suffering from injury or illness. They consider moral implications about ending the life of an animal but do not support the cruelty of trophy hunting and the suffering it brings before the animal dies.

It Can Lead To Violence Against Humans

The Daily Herald ran an article that reported on altercations between hunters in Current Creek Canyon. The Sheriff reported that a hunter shot at a human, and the event brought to light several incidents that involve human against human violence among hunters.

Two incidents unfolded in Pennsylvania and Iowa. Hunter Charles Carl Robers IV kidnapped ten Amish schoolgirls, bound them, and killed them. He was a passionate deer hunter who used guns and bows. Shawn Bentler, age 22, shot and killed his parents and three sisters. He was fond of riding four-wheelers and hunting in the woods.

Hunter Education courses teach children killing skills through the Division of Wildlife Resources through the state of Utah. Joe Miele is the Vice President of The Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting and he shared these facts to help people understand that teaching a child it's good to kill animals can lead to violence against people when they're grown, and sometimes before they reach adulthood. Hunting can lead to violence against humans and this is one more reason why hunting should be illegal.

Lack of Regulation

The argument that sport hunting is subject to regulations doesn't mitigate the fact that inflicting pain on innocent animals for no morally defendable reason happens. Hunting animals legally requires a license and in some cases supplemental stamps. There are a few requirements for weapons use, but they do nothing to reduce the suffering wild animals experience at the hands of hunters. Inexperienced trophy hunters view animal hunting as a way to show superiority as a member of a group, and they often wound innocent animals that run off and disappear into the brush, to suffer and die. There are no rules or regulations that prevent those who are inexperienced from causing extreme pain and suffering to wild animals. No rules prevent them from shooting an animal, losing its trail, and moving on to another, only to do the same. If they're still in possession of a tag, they can go on wounding and killing until they finally tag an animal.

Bow Hunters only kill half the animals that they hit with an arrow. This is a cruel means of hunting animals and it's often preferred because it doesn't cause as much damage to the exterior as a bullet. It results in a slower death with more suffering for wild animals who wander into the sights of trophy hunters. Killing animals for sport is an invasion into their natural environment that impinges on their rights to survive. It also negatively impacts certain wildlife populations.

Is Drag Hunting a More Humane Alternative?

Drag Hunting is claimed to be a more humane alternative to the traditional fox hunt. It's still a type of trophy hunting but it doesn't involve killing animals for sport. Instead, a drags man is covered with artificial scent, and he runs along a trail as a fox would. there is no live fox involved and it gives traditional sport hunters an alternative to frightening and inflicting unnecessary pain on wild animals. This is one of the most humane forms of sport hunting in existence. It shows that sport hunting can be done in ethical ways with a little ingenuity [8].

What More Needs To Be Done?

The development of Drag Hunting is a positive step in the right direction. Trophy hunting is possible in some sense, without affecting wildlife populations or live animal hunting. There is enough evidence to suggest that we should ban trophy hunting that involves the use of innocent animals. There is more that needs to be done, however. People need to be educated and learn why hunting animals for sport is cruel and unnecessary. We need to make everyone aware of the dangers associated with game hunting. It can affect the way we think, and the value that we place on life.

Conclusion

There are a lot of honest, moral people who participate in hunting activities. It's long been a family tradition for many, who enjoy hunting as a way to connect with the natural environment, and some use it as a food source. There's no longer a need to depend on hunting animals for food, as it's cheaper to buy meat from a grocery store. Families can still get together in nature and enjoy the wildlife around them instead of killing the precious innocent animals who live in the wild. Trophy hunters who are set on the thrill of the hunt can defer to the Drag hunt to get their fill of the chase.

References

1. https://www.helsinkitimes.fi/finland/news-in-brief/18445-hunting-accidents-on-the-rise-in-finland.html

2. https://faunalytics.org/hunting-and-illegal-violence-against-humans-and-other-animals-exploring-the-relationship/#:~:text=Hunters%20were%20about%20twice%20as,destroyed%20private%20or%20public%20property.&text=This%20study%20tests%20the%20links,a%20survey%20of%20college%20students.

3. https://www.peta2.com/news/hunting-facts/#:~:text=1.,but%20not%20killed%20by%20hunters.

4. https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/opinion/letters/6725771-Readers-View-Hunting-tears-apart-animals%E2%80%99-families

5. https://www.humanesociety.org/all-our-fights/banning-trophy-hunting

6. https://www.heraldextra.com/news/opinion/mailbag/hunting-can-lead-to-violence-against-humans/article_c150bb3c-7580-502b-8acb-5cc553afebe1.html

7. https://www.peta.org/features/trophy-hunters-sport-hunters-the-same-thing/

8. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2005/02/what-s-a-drag-hunt.html#:~:text=Opponents%20of%20the%20blood%20sport,hunting%E2%80%9D%20a%20more%20humane%20alternative.&text=It's%20fox%20hunting%2C%20minus%20the,assistants%2C%20the%20whippers%2Din.

Michael Ethan
 

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