Anti-Hunting

In the 1920s there were about 300,000 White Tail Deer in the USA. Today they are estimated to number 27 million. Modern sport hunting has not caused the extinction of any animal. In fact, the opposite has happened due to scientific wildlife management. Most of the popular North American game species are more abundant now than they were a hundred years ago. The Wild Turkey population is now about 4 million compared to 30,000 at the beginning of the last century.

The anti-hunting movement will persistently attempt to paint a picture that legal hunting equates to population crashes. This vexatious claim is patently false. The term hunting is emotively used by the media and animal liberationists when reporting about an endangered species. Invariably what they are referring to is poaching i.e., illegal hunting. Controlled, seasonal, scientifically managed and legal hunting does not endanger wildlife, it promotes population growth.

In Australia, the recreational hunting of native animals is illegal. Exceptions to this rule vary among the states but, in general, if native animals are legally hunted the process is managed under permit for crop protection as per Wild Ducks and Kangaroo. Ducks taken under such permits can be eaten, but kangaroo meat resulting from shooting to protect crops cannot be legally taken for food by farmers or non-professional shooters who help them out. Modern hunters are astounded at this unethical and hypocritical practise which mandates that the animals must be left to rot where they fell. The Greens support this mindlessness.

Consequently, the modern Australian hunter is usually limited to hunting non-native (pest, invasive, feral) animals which are acknowledged as an enormous and persistent threat to biodiversity and agriculture.

This means that the Australian based anti-hunter has a difficulty with their narrative employed elsewhere. Animal libbers insist that limited, legal hunting endangers native animal populations in Africa. However in New South Wales the Greens (political arm of Animal Liberation) argue that unlimited, legalised hunting by close to 30,000 licenced hunters throughout the year is not effective and will not affect feral animal populations; therefore, it should be banned. Instead, they agitate for a comparatively small number of well paid ‘professional shooters’ to be employed by government. This highlights another characteristic of the anti-hunter, demanding the use of other people’s money and effort to address what only they deem a problem.

A new subspecies of human has suddenly appeared the homo sapiens animal rightists, who despise hunting so much they are prepared to put their feelings into action. In Guerneville California, AL activists have started fist fights with townspeople to protect slugs from being served in pizzas and raced during the annual Slugfest activities. In Victoria, Australia, legislation has been enacted to protect hunters from demonstrators. The Recreational Hunting Safety and Preservation Act 1993, makes hunt disruption a federal crime in the USA and is punishable by a fine between $500 and $5,000. If violence is involved the fine rises to $10,000.

In Kalamazoo Washington, USA a man was arrested in 1993 accused of killing eight hunters over a two-year period. Tanning businesses have to have sophisticated security systems to protect their businesses from arson and vandalism.

Peter Singer is accepted as the originator of Animal Liberation and scoffs at the belief that humans have a unique spiritual nature or moral stature. To him, “we are animals,” which means that interspecies sex, “ceases to be an offense to our status and dignity as human beings” and is not wrong unless it involves violence to the animal. Read the Boston Globe article about this.

James A. Swan states in his book, In Defense of Hunting pg. 113 that, “As a social scientist, the Achilles’ heel of the animal rights movement that I see is that it is an anti-culture, at least at this time. Not a counterculture, which seeks to create an alternative society, like a hippie commune, but a culture that bases its existence on needing to have an enemy. People in an anti-culture cultural group feel that they have the only legitimate values that all other views are not legitimate. Violence arises in these situations because they attract people who have other agendas about power and powerlessness, and the angry nature of the group gives them a soapbox from which to vent.” He also makes the point that money is to be made in creating conflict between people. Swan also feels that the leaders of animal rights have some responsibility for the murders of hunters; since their rhetoric and imagery are often so violent that they offer justification for unstable people to commit violent acts.

A hunter should never let himself be deluded by pride or false sense of dominance. It is not through our power that we take life in nature; it is through the power of nature that life is given to us.

Richard Nelson