Man: The Destructive Hunter

March 26, 2010
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Every year, over 100 million animals are killed by hunters, worldwide. Because of hunting, animal species go extinct, the local balance of nature is disturbed, and individual creatures are unnecessarily killed. Hunters always defend their killing through the excuse that it is man’s job to be the top predator, or it is necessary for the local ecological balance, or it gives them pleasure and satisfaction. Whatever the reason may be, the question that should be asked is: Is it worth the death of a living being?
One of the most easily dismissible arguments concerning hunting is that it is necessary for human survival and for the ecologic balance of nature. Meat in general is in almost all cases, not necessary for survival. The only time when it would be unhealthy to remove meat from your diet is in an environment when there isn’t enough vegetable protein (nuts, beans, grains) to fulfill a required amount of daily protein (Rowlands). Examples of this are in the Arctic and the desert; however, daily nutritional requirements do not mandate the consumption of animals in most areas of the world. Hunting is also unnecessary for keeping the ecosystem in check, and in most cases, causes harm to the bionetwork. Some of the most commonly killed animals include waterfowl, mourning doves, squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, crows, and coyotes, and do not require population control (Delaware Action for Animals). Nature is equipped to manage the populations of its various species and interference by humans only disrupts the process. Hunting by a human is never with the intention to help the environment, and either limits the amount of prey, causing over competition for natural predators, or removes predators from the region, causing other species to overpopulate and overrun the area.
It is largely because of hunting that 30,000 plant and animal species go extinct every year. Up until the year 1800, animal extinction went at a rate of approximately one animal every 55 years, however in recent years that rate has surged (Maruska). Although factors like global warming and human development have supplemented this rate, hunting is a large factor as well, and even contributes to loss of plant life. An example of this can be observed locally: With the human-induced removal of wolves from the eastern United States, deer populations have greatly expanded and are reaching their environmental carrying capacity. This means that the species is running out of resources to support their population and are removing woodland flora at an alarming rate. This in turn poses a threat to other local wildlife that relies on these plants, as well. In contrast, when prey are removed form the area due to hunting, predators such as foxes and coyotes turn to invading private farms to find food. Farmers lose chickens and livestock as a result.

Despite all these reasons against hunting, hunters maintain that their practice is perfectly acceptable. One of the main reasons they use to support their argument is that “hunting gives people pleasure and helps man find his place in the world as well as heightens his reverence for life.” (Loss) Hunters believe that they have the right to kill wildlife just as much as any other animal does, and coupled with the fact that it gives them joy and satisfaction, there should be nothing wrong with it. By pardoning hunting based on the excuse that other animals do it, we are completely ignoring the separation between Homo sapiens and the rest of the animal kingdom. Humans have a moral conscience that we are raised with from birth: the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Often there is a fine line between the two and it is difficult to determine what course of action to be made because of a sacrifice or obligation. However, when another creature on this Earth ceases to exist because a man for his own pleasure has put a bullet through its flesh, there isn’t anything right or moral to be found. To connect with nature, a man doesn’t need to put an end to the animals he sees around him. A walk in the woods or through the meadows with nothing but your eyes and ears is proof enough that you have experienced the wilderness.

There are many grounds for why humans should not hunt. It disrupts the balance of nature, it puts animals at risk of extinction, and it’s unnecessary for human survival or happiness. There should be only one reason, though, why humans should stop hunting. It is because it takes away from another creature all he has and all he ever will. That’s the worst aspect of killing another animal; not the eventual outcome as a result of many animals being killed, but the one animal that is dead as a result of you. That is why people should stop hunting and trapping, except only when they need to for their own survival. We should admire nature instead of eliminating it and should encourage others to do, as well. The immorality of killing something for profit or for pleasure should be reason enough for a man to lay down his gun.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

dfinley said...
Apr. 13, 2010 at 8:12 pm
I just wanted my article to have at least one comment lol
dfinley said...
Apr. 13, 2010 at 8:10 pm
Great article
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