The Ethics of Hunting

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by Oyibo, May 26, 2011.

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  1. Prompted by some of the comments on the 'Air Rifles for Rabbits' thread I have hijacked Pigshyt Freedman's advice to Higgs bosun in starting this thread:

    My standpoint on hunting:

    1. I have no problems with hunting for food or pest control.
    2. I believe that such hunting should be done, within reason, in a manner that does not entail unnecessary suffering to the animal.
    3. Trophy hunting doesn't really do it for me, but there's a gray area with animals that are both trophies and tasty scoff - stags for example.
    4. In my opinion, a good clean shot to kill an animal in the field is more human than intensively rearing animals to be slaughtered.

    We all have our views on killing animals, I'd be interested to have some polite debate on this subject (it's not the NAAFI).

    Is anyone against killing animals in the field, but not a vegetarian? Should one go the whole hog (sorry), be a vegan and not wear leather. Where is the sensible middle ground between shooting black rhino and knitting one's own tofu?
  2. Mine too, especially point 4. A bunny who drops to the ground with half his head removed by a .17HMR has lived a better life, and died a better death, than any farm animal trucked off to slaughter. The same goes for a deer shot through the heart with an expanding round - dead before it hits the ground. Compare that to the terror of the stockyard and the blood-stinking mechanism of the shambles.
  3. I personally have no moral objection to hunting, stalking, or shooting, which includes trophy hunting of large and dangerous game hunting, as long as it is done responsibly and in such a way as to minimise the suffering of the animal by correct shot placement &c. I'm a firm believer that it is perfectly acceptable to hunt any quarry for sport, as long as it is hunted with respect and dignity. I only wish I could afford to!
  4. Fully agreed.

    There is one area I am not so sure about - snaring was mentioned in the rabbit thread. If I was starving, then fair enough, snare away. If I was a farmer conducting pest control I think there's probably better ways. If it's just for the pot when one could shoot the animals instead, I'm not in favour (see point 2).

    Unless one takes an extreme position of either killing anything by any method for the fun of it, or killing absolutely nothing neither in person nor by proxy, there are shades of grey in this debate. I do get annoyed though, when I am told that I have to take one of those extreme positions (this almost invariable comes from those who believe that nothing except humans should be killed)!
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  5. Just to play devil's advocate, where do you stand with those who get enjoyment out of the kill, and only the kill? (I'm not trolling BTW :) )
  6. Trophy hunting is more problematic for me - killing an animal for no better reason than to nail its head to a wall strikes me as a very odd thing to do. If, however, an animal is due to be culled anyway, on management grounds, and someone is willing to hand over largeish sums to take the shot, then provided he can make a clean kill I see no reason against it.

    One argument people make against sport shooting is to accuse shooters of 'just wanting an excuse to kill something', which is pretty fair balls IMO. Rather than spending a fortune on guns and shooting trips, people who merely delighted in killing, could just go and get a dozen assorted rodents from a pet shop, and spend a happy afternoon hitting them with hammers.
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  7. I have no objection to hunting as long as it is done for food/pest control.

    What I do object to is the hunting of animals for trophies. I.E. Big Game in Africa etc.
  8. Ah, but what if the animals to be culled that year as part of the management plan, were shot by trophy hunters at great profit, which then went to improve the management of the game reserve? Which as I understand it, and those nauseating 'trophy farms' apart, is what is done.
  9. I have no issues with hunting whatsoever (though trophy hunting isn't my thing).

    Hunting however needs to be managed, to allow the animal population to grow, and not weakened to the point of extinction.
  10. Quite the reverse. I AM a vegetarian but I'm in favour of killing your own meat (if you're going to eat it at all) and agree that a game animal or well reared farm animal killed with skill, properly, localy has had a far better life than some cow stuffed full of chemicals and raised in a crate. I'm all for 'happy meat' and have killed, cleaned and cooked it for non-vege friends. I personaly dont eat meat mostly as I dont like the texture and only partialy for health and cruetly reasons. I get really hacked off with people who refuse to admit their burger is in fact dead animal.
    I grew up on a farm and still live deep in the country. I have shot vermin and predators and would again. If a fox starts taking my mothers chickens I'll shoot it. What really does bug me is bad shots who screw the entire thing up and people who have no intention of doing anything other than killing just for its own sake. At least somebody eats the pheasants on the local shoot even if its not the chinless wonders who pay to shoot them. I'll skirt hunting foxes with hounds as thats a really complex arguement. I do think some sort of test should be considered to insure those that hunt are competent. I'm against snares and other traps.
  11. I generally agree with everyone on this thread. Hunting is more than fine for a good reason (eating first, or pest control) - it's what we have evolved to do. Lets face it, no matter what some beardy, lebian vegetarian might say, to us animals are food first.

    I'm against trophy hunting though, such a waste. If people really want to stalk large, endangered animals across the savanah, take a bloody camera. You'll get something out of it, and if you were a decent shot then you know you could have taken out the animal if you wanted too.
  12. What if, as Pigshyt said, they were due to be culled anyway (for animal management reasons)? I don't really get the trophy hunting thing, but where is the harm in it if it is done in a responsible manner? I believe there's a danger that if one condemns it because of the people who do it rather than considering whether the animal is suffering unduly, then one is onto a sociology debate rather than one about 'animal rights'.
  13. It is all about respect for the, in the past and in the future. Conservation is as much about ensuring that grockles can point and gasp at the bonny stags gambolling, as it is about ensuring every year there is venison in MY pot. It is the same with vermin/pest control. It is for the good of the eco-system as a whole that Bugs has to take one - be it .177, .22 or .25 - for the team.

    as i look in my game-book, i note that the comments column for a good day usually has a comment about the good conduct of my fellow shots. Likewise unenjoyable days usually involve some twunt who thinks that the total bag is more important than the quality of sport and who includes maimed and dead beaters/other guns in that total!

    The very well equipped but clueless git who shot with us last Boxing Day discovered that shooting a descending pheasant at point-blank range has consequences. In that the SC sent him home, with the somewhat shattered, all but inedible corpse of his targetted bird as a reminder not to be a knob. He also had a lecturette on safety in the field delivered to him and his host - who was very embarrassed.
  14. Reminds me of a line about Surgeons "Quite a few of us enjoy the cutting and the blood as a seperate exercise in skill, removed from the good we do."
    I understand someone enjoying the act, the skill, involved in taking a good shot and kill. It just needs to be done for good reasons. Or, for me, you might as well buy a bag of kittens and a hammer.
  15. I am with you on the snaring, likewise gassing. Unless a snare is checked on an hourly basis, which is pretty near impossible, then the animals caught are bound to suffer. Using snares whilst ferreting is ok though as the rabbit is dispatched almost immediately and the snare is net rather than wire.
    I come from a long line of MFH's, we have one of the last private packs in the country, so clearly have the hunting urge, however I am all for the sporting chance of the quarry. Foxes in their prime are generally much faster than hounds, therefore foxhunting with hounds is surely akin to natural selection ie survival of the fittest?
    I also loathe hugely commercial driven shoots. I live on the edge of one and it is like the Somme during the Phessie season (not helped by the training area behind me). The birds are over fed then turfed into the sky for gopping fat Americans to try and shoot - they only manage the 1000+ bird days through sheer volume, one is bound to hit something when shooting into a crowd... What is wrong with taking a couple of dogs up onto the moors and trying your luck?
    Rant over!