Is it wrong to hunt? This question has been asked, and hotly debated, for generations. Human beings have always been omnivores, reliant on hunting and trapping meat, as well as gathering and farming plant-based foods. Humans have many common traits with predators. Our eyes are in the front of our faces like most predators. We have sharp teeth designed for tearing meat. We are also intelligent trackers and trappers. Our endurance and ability to travel great distance made us the dominant species on the planet long before our modern age. However, many argue that the need to hunt no longer exists, and any hunting is simple cruelty, or a heartless sport. Let's look at some quick pros and cons of hunting.
Why Is Hunting Bad?
For many, our food comes from the grocery store. We no longer rely on a member of the family to bring back fish or meat from a successful hunting trip to eat. Animals are safely farmed and packaged for us, so it makes sense that we no longer need to go out and kill our own food. Animal rights activists will argue that people only do this to feed our egos, and not our stomachs. Aside from the issue of cruelty, humans can also over-hunt animals to extinction.
We hunt some animals, like the rhinoceros, to such an extreme, that as of 2017, there were only 3 living white rhinos in all the world! Their numbers are on the rise, but hunting of rhinoceros almost entirely eliminated the species. The saddest part is, we hunt rhinos for their horns, and completely discard the rest of the animal. Such a waste! This is trophy hunting, and it involves killing an animal for competitive purposes, and is often viewed as the ultimate cruelty.
Can Hunting Be Good?
Although there are some who will say that it is never good to kill, there is an argument for hunting. When hunters follow laws designed to keep animal species healthy, hunting can be very beneficial. Humans are apex predators, an important part of the ecosystem and food chain, and our impact should be taken into consideration before saying "all hunting is bad." There are many who do not have the money or access to a grocery market, and for them, hunting is a way of life necessary for survival. Hunting can also be necessary if a large predator is threatening livestock or other humans. Predators, like humans, have played an important role in keeping wildlife numbers in check and keeping ecosystems stable. Removing the human hunter from the food chain, could have dramatic and dangerous results on the environment.