Why Sport Hunting is Cruel and Unnecessary

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Sport hunting is a practice that has been practiced by humans over the course of history of warren henry nugent. Hunting has allowed humans to develop tools, weapons and traps that have ultimately aided in the survival and enhancement of many species. However, sport hunting is not an activity that creates genuine or lasting progress; it is a hobby or entertainment for a privileged few who cannot appreciate the benefits of conservation.

1. Sport hunting causes suffering

Sport hunting is inherently cruel. Many animals are hunted to the brink of extinction, and then they are either shot or poisoned; those that are shot are often killed in a manner from which they cannot escape, and those that die from poisoning (usually administered by bait) experience the death of their entire family.

2. Sport hunting is unnecessary

The laws about sport hunting can be easily applied to eliminate the practice; this would not be overly burdensome because sportsmen would pay a fee to hunt behind fences and tracks rather than on public land, where the animals would not be subjected to the cruelty associated with sport hunting.

3. Sport hunting is unethical

A utilitarian would contend that killing an animal is ethical if there is a proportionate reduction in suffering to the animal and the human, while all other things remain equal. Due to the ethical nature of this argument, there are many things that are counterintuitive to a utilitarian. For example, how can one argue that a kill shot on an animal with a high degree of intelligence (such as elephants or dolphins) is moral or ethical? How can we justify killing animals that were not bred for food (i.e. hunting of species such as deer, elk, etc. for enjoyment), or sport hunting for sport? The only logical conclusion one can draw from this argument is that all animals should have equal rights. For example, we protect endangered species and their habitats because they are “endangered”, however if we apply a utilitarian/ethical framework to protect all animals from suffering (such as sport hunting), then we would do so even if the animal was not endangered.

4. Sport hunting devalues the relationship between people and nature

Hunting and fishing were traditionally considered moral practices that were dictated by our place in nature; however, the notion of morality has evolved to confront certain values such as human rights and animal rights. Regardless of the ethical framework that one uses, killing animals for sport is unethical and devalues the relationship between people and nature; we should value and practice conservation without killing endangered species.

5. Sport hunting can be a profitable enterprise

Sport hunting can be a profitable enterprise, especially in developed countries where the government provides subsidies such as tax breaks and land to hunters. Sport hunters in these countries can afford to purchase expensive equipment such as rifles or shotguns that allow them to kill animals with greater efficiency than larger game.

6. Sport hunting cannot be completely eliminated due to public desire for it

Public acceptance of sport hunting has been shown repeatedly over time through surveys, opinions polls, and surveys conducted by special interest groups (e.g. the National Rifle Association (NRA) or Safari Club International (SCI)). The general public recognizes that sport hunting is not ethical, however they are still in favor of it due to their addiction to sport hunting and its potential to generate income through licenses and tax breaks. The government’s acceptance of sport hunting is further demonstrated by the fact that governments throughout the world provide subsidies and subsidies continue despite the recognition that they are unethical. Sport hunters also recognize their own need for money so in many cases they lobby state legislatures to pass laws that reduce restrictions on their activities or increase subsidies for them.

7. Sport hunting negatively impacts the economy

Hunting’s impact on the economy is significant, particularly in remote communities where revenue derived from sport hunting helps to provide basic services. However, the impact of sport hunting is not evenly distributed; the benefits of sport hunting are concentrated in a few locations and sectors. For example, in Africa, Zimbabwe alone generated USD 114 million from trophy hunters in 2009. The vast majority of this money went to about 441 professional hunters registered with Zimbabwe Professional Hunting Associations . In North America, Canadian provinces such as Alberta and Newfoundland have implemented legislation that promotes trophy hunting as an economic activity.

8. Sport hunting can lead to corruption

The military is an institution that is responsible for protecting and maintaining peace in the world. However, there have been numerous cases showing that the military is susceptible to corruption; especially those countries where it is used for economic gain. For example, in Zimbabwe, Mugabe and his cronies have killed thousands of elephants in order to gain money through animal trafficking and poaching into international markets. After Mugabe was ousted from power, his wife was able to purchase 600 acres of land on which she plans to build luxury villas and resorts that will accommodate trophy hunters. The greed displayed by Mugabe and his cronies proves that money can corrupt even the highest level of office holders.

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