One hot button question and topic for debate is whether sports and recreational hunting should be banned for good.
Despite of years of debate on this subject, the question remains unanswered. Majority of the public is still undecided as to whether hunting is a moral or wholesome activity and if it indeed qualifies as a sport.
Try opening up this question and you’d likely get a mix of response depending on whose point of view you look into. For environmental conservationists and animal rights activists, hunting is non-negotiable and a total ban is a must; but for hunting enthusiasts, hobbyists, and other pro-hunting organizations, there’s nothing bad with hunting since it is a normal part of nature.
To better understand the issue, let’s take a look at some points of debate:
- Is hunting morally wrong?
Guided by the doctrine of doing no harm to any creature, hunting and killing animals can be seen as morally wrong. However, it may have a positive benefit for the environment. Hunting, in some degrees, may be required to preserve the integrity and balance of the biosphere. Controlling animal populations, such as predators, is necessary to allow preys to breed.
- Does hunting hurt the ecosystem?
Humans are not the only creatures that hunt. There are many predators and preys that coexist to create a harmonious biodiversity. And like all species, humans are dependent on natural resources to survive. However, since humans are endowed with higher intellect, we are able to create tools for hunting.
Having said that, hunting also has negative effects to the environment (some even believe that these negative effects overshadow its supposed benefits.) Over hunting, especially in a specific place or of a particular species, can disrupt natural order. It can also disrupt hibernation and migration of animals. Disruptions caused by unabated, uncontrolled hunting may affect the entire biosphere.
- Do humans still need to hunt?
Over the course of human evolution, our ancestors have evolved from being hunter-gatherers to farmers. And for the next thousands of years, domestication of animals and plants, development of irrigation, and discovery of various food preparation techniques have somewhat helped ensure the survival of humans. Given all these advancements, there seems no reason for humans to continue hunting.
Currently, hunting is seen as sports and entertainment. Perhaps, humans find hunting as enjoyable and entertaining because of its enormous role in our evolutionary history. Shooters and hunters point out that considering their dwindling numbers, the number of preys they take down won’t likely affect the environment.
All said, the future of hunting remains precarious. Taking into consideration the drastic changes in our planet’s biosphere, especially due to climate change, I can’t help but think that policymakers may press a total ban on hunting in the next decade.
However, there are things that can influence the fate of hunting: how hunters will regulate their practice, how pro-hunting groups will connect effectively with anti-hunting groups, and how they can make recreational hunting more sustainable. The fate of hunting depends on these three factors.
So, what do you think, will we see hunting no more?