Sunday, January 22, 2012

Oppose Blood Sports-- Part One: Hunting

"Blood sports" is a term used to describe a "sport" that requires violence against animals, like hunting, fishing, trapping, rodeos, etc. These always amount to either the death or injury of an animal.
Today, I'm going to talk about hunting. Hunters constantly seem to be defending their demented pastime with excuses. Here are a few of them, with my responses:

1. "We need to keep the wildlife populations in check".
Truth: Can Mother Nature not take care of herself? Some hunters have even been reported to feed the animals so that their populations rise, then go out for a kill. The wildlife population theory is just an excuse to put our skeptical minds (and their guilty ones) at rest. (Sorry hunters, but you haven't fooled me.)

2. "It helps the economy."
Truth: Sure, it increases the amount of money people spend in the country. But is that a good thing, considering that humanity is overconsuming so many resources that the Earth cannot replenish itself?

3. "It's better than animal farming-- hunted animals only suffer at the end of their lives!"
Truth: Although hunting is probably less harmful to individual animals than factory farming is, it's important to remember that animals have intelligence beyond what we give them credit for. They have families and herds and babies who accept, rely on, and love them. When you (or someone else, because I doubt that hunters are reading this) kill the first wild animal you see, you are bringing untold damage into the lives of many others. Also, I can't even begin to imagine the fear that it causes all the animals of the forest when they hear the first gunshot of hunting season.

dad and george with dall rams

4. "It connects us to nature."
Truth: There are many other ways to connect to nature than killing the animals in it. Many hunters have major problems in their lives, so they go and take it out on the animals, but this is wrong. How about going on a nature walk, birdwatching, feeding the chickadees in the woods, having a picnic, skiing, cycling, and, um, well, going outside???
5. "It teaches our children about wildlife."
Truth: Children are being desensitized to the suffering of others to a high degree nowadays. People can take their kids to do any of the activities that I have mentioned in #4. As I progressed through school, I noticed my classmates becoming less and less caring... Do you really want to support that? Parents are supposed to teach their children to do good in the world and support themselves, not teach them how to kill!

"What can I do to stop this?" you must be thinking (at least, I hope you're thinking!). Well, here are some things you can do:
  1. Don't go hunting yourself. Please have compassion!
  2. Encourage others-- family and friends-- not to hunt. If they tell you that they want to start hunting, show them with evidence why it's a bad idea. If they are already hunters, show your concern for them by trying to get them to stop. It's bad for them to have an obsession (or even just a "hobby") with killing.
  3. Display anti-hunting  logos for all to see, on your car bumper, laptop, and handbag.
  4. Purchase a hunting license-- don't use it, of course-- just to take the opportunity away from other bloodthirsty folk who want one. You should also read more about the regulations in your area, first, though-- make sure that demand will not be met with more supply, otherwise you'll only be adding to the problem.
  5. If you're very brave, go out for a picnic during hunting season in a part of the forest where hunting is allowed. Be loud. Play music. Do whatever you can to scare the animals away into no-hunting zones.
  6. Link to my blog on your website, or send this post to friends. Really!
Okay, that's all for this week. Remember to come back next week!

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