Hunting: Humanity's Ethical Struggle, Canterbury Crusaders, Kendall Jones And More August 08 2014
In light of the article published in the Daily Mail Online (8 August 2014), and amongst other stories recently reported on, I have decided to add my two cents' worth to the hotly-debated topic...
The Daily Mail shared images of players from the New Zealand Canterbury Crusaders rugby team posing with wild animals that they hunted and killed while on a recent trip to South Africa. This follows the recent condemnation of Kendall Jones, the Texan teenager who similarly posed with various animals that she shot and killed. Some of the animals that she targeted are on the verge of being endangered, like the magnificent rhino that are being slaughtered on a daily basis for their precious horn.
People, including the guilty ones above, argue that the animals were hunted legally, that the animals aren't endangered, and that they didn't hunt for 'fun' or 'sport'. You wouldn't say so judging by those big smiles on their faces, seems like a lot of fun was had.
I guess you can tell that I am absolutely against hunting for sport. There are so many arguments for and against this type of hunting. Those for it, say that the money paid for the permits and paid to the farmers to hunt those animals go toward conservation. In response,I don't see how taking out the biggest and oldest male contributes to that. If anything, it reduces the opportunity for genetic diversity. Or taking out the younger males and females of a population, so when the older generations die out naturally there are few strong younger ones to take their place.
And secondly, regarding the money generated from hunting going toward conservation, if you have been to game farms in South Africa, you will notice that they are often 5 star and really fancy (the hunting farms are just as glamorous). Yes fences need to be maintained and so on and so forth, but I am certain that more money is generated by people paying large amounts to stay in these luxury safari resorts so that they can see these magnificent animals ALIVE, than by staying in hunting lodges where they pay to kill them. I don't believe that the money generated from hunting these beautiful creatures helps one bit toward their conservation.
Another argument is that this isn't hunting for sport or fun, that the meat from the dead animals is eaten so it is seen as a method of obtaining food. I'm sorry, but aren't we slaughtering enough cows each day to satisfy our meat cravings? And hunting anything unless you are stranded in the bush or a desert island trying to survive, or you're a rural community that relies on age-old hunting methods to feed your family, is hunting for fun. Especially when you have a massive grin on your face while doing so. In the Daily Mail article, the one New Zealand rugby player even admitted that he didn't eat any of the zebra meat but his fellow teammates did. So what was his excuse for participating if he wasn't hungry and it wasn't for fun?
Some people even argue that hunting is a God-given right and that it is something that flows through their blood from their prehistoric ancestors. Great, I'm with you on that one, leave your rifles and large 4x4s at home, get dropped off in the bush alone with nothing but a knife or a bow and arrow, then the playing fields are equal. I just don't see how you can boast about your 'hunting skills' when you drive right up to an animal and shoot it with your high-powered rifle.
With the rhino poaching figures in South Africa standing at 618 for 2014 thus far, and elephants being decimated throughout Africa, these animals have enough to worry about. And we really don't need to hunt them for our survival. In an apocalyptic world this view might might change, but until then...
I know that some of you may or may not agree with my opinion, but its just that, my opinion :)