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Thread: The hunting argument

  1. #1
    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default The hunting argument

    The basic argument that I couldn't be bothered to have with some deer hunting num-nutz yesterday ..

    It works on the hunters preposition that hunting is necessary for population control:

    Q. What happened to the natural predators that kept populations in control before num-nutz with high powered rifles drove around in SUV's?

    A. We shot them all as soon as high powered rifles and SUV's were born.

    Q. Why?

    A. They killed our live stock.

    Q. What was the purpose of keeping the livestock that you shot all the natural predators in order to protect?

    A. So WE could kill the livestock ourselves of course.

    Q. So if you num-nutz hadn't wanted to keep livestock to kill in the first place then you wouldn't have had to kill all the predators and you wouldn't have to be out killing 'excess' wildlife now?

    A. Aahhhh ... But, but we would all grow three heads and devolve back into brainless pond slime within 2 generations if we didn't eat meat ... etc ... etc ... etc ..

    Q. If you hadn't already devolved into brainless pond slime then you would be able to work this kind of stuff out for yourselves and I wouldn't be having to explain it to you now?


    Anyways point simply being that I simply couldn't be 4rsed.
    All done in the best possible taste ...

  2. #2
    Johnstuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    ^ that reminds me of things like culling wild boar when they say we have to cull them to control numbers as there's no natural predators because we killed all the wolves. I think "well on that logic a cull of humans would make more sense surely as we have no natural predators to control our numbers".

    As a freediver I often meet spearfishers (people who do breath hold diving with a spear gun and catch/kill fish to eat).

    They like to point out that spear fishing is the best and sustainable way to catch fish and there is some truth to that. However the same people usually buy meat n fish from restaurants n supermarkets and I've never heard anyone ask the chef/waiter how the fish on the menu was sourced.

    That's a bit like all the happy meat folks really. Have you ever heard a meat eater check the source of meat when eating out?

  3. #3

    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    Or where their leather shoes and gloves come from, or their soap...

  4. #4
    Vegan Princess BellaTanie's Avatar
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    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    I was on a bus the other day and a woman pulled out a photo and was showing her friend who was sitting near me all proud, "look she shot him with her arrow all by herself!" I looked over....no idea why exactly????? But I did and there was a photo of a little girl who apparently had just killed her first deer, then the lady pointed at the little boy near the deer in the pic saying he was he was trying to wake the deer up hahaha. It was so disgusting.
    Tanya

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    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    Quote Johnstuff View Post
    ^ that reminds me of things like culling wild boar when they say we have to cull them to control numbers as there's no natural predators because we killed all the wolves. I think "well on that logic a cull of humans would make more sense surely as we have no natural predators to control our numbers".
    Exactly!

    And when hunters who want to go a'culling exceed the number of hunting permits available then the answer, by hunting logic, is very simple:

    Issue as many additional hunting permits as can possibly be sold and match each one with a special hunt-the-hunter permit.

    They like to point out that spear fishing is the best and sustainable way to catch fish and there is some truth to that. However the same people usually buy meat n fish from restaurants n supermarkets and I've never heard anyone ask the chef/waiter how the fish on the menu was sourced.

    That's a bit like all the happy meat folks really. Have you ever heard a meat eater check the source of meat when eating out?
    Which 'minds me of an amusing encounter in my local Curry House ..

    Guy says something or another about meat and quickly latches on that he is in the presnce of the enemy: Quickly whips out his 'defensive omnivore bingo card' and opts for the old "I hate factory farming and only eat meat I have caught and killed myself ..." chestnut:

    2 minutes later his chicken tikka massala arrives and he goes a kinda funny shade of red when I look him in the eye and ask "where was that one (chicken) when you caught and killed it then?"

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote BellaTanie View Post
    I was on a bus the other day and a woman pulled out a photo and was showing her friend who was sitting near me all proud, "look she shot him with her arrow all by herself!" I looked over....no idea why exactly????? But I did and there was a photo of a little girl who apparently had just killed her first deer, then the lady pointed at the little boy near the deer in the pic saying he was he was trying to wake the deer up hahaha. It was so disgusting.
    Fair makes your flesh crawl, doesn't it?
    All done in the best possible taste ...

  6. #6
    Consistency's Avatar
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    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    I would say from understanding human behavior very well is that hunters in general love shooting guns, don't have an instinct to kill and don't take into account the life they have taken from a distance. The same life they would not have taken in a million years in front of them unless it was for survival purposes. Dissociative or cowardly type of behavior.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    Some hunters will argue that they hunt to feed their families, and yet they have the animal stuffed or beheaded and mounted on their living room walls. Please don't tell me you didn't do it for status or bragging rights but to feed your family when you take the time, trouble, and money to have it hung on your wall or have someone photograph yourself proudly holding up a gasping fish or bleeding deer. Very few people in the world need to hunt for survival in this day and age, and those that do generally don't make a sport out of it.

  8. #8
    Vegan Princess BellaTanie's Avatar
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    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    Robin if I see one more hunter with a deer next to him grinning from ear to ear on facebook I just might scream. My stomach turns everytime I sign onto facebook and see what some moronic fool has posted, then I simply take them off my live feed and notifications so I don't have to see it. Cannot wait for hunting season to be over...... My step father is currently on one of his many costly hunting excursions.....this time in Montana ): Yes they do eat the meat but by no means do they have to "hunt" to survive. For one the hunting trips, equipment, licensing, special body and clothes washes, animal urine and whatever the hell else disgusting stuff they buy is much more costly than just growing your own food in a garden and freezing it for year round usage. Or how about stepping out of the cave man ages and understanding we have a grocery store now???? When I explain that to my parents they look at me like I am from mars, or speaking some sort of foreign language. I cannot win.....
    Tanya

  9. #9

    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    I hear you Tanya! Deer hunting season up here is a big deal and its all I hear about lately. What's worse now is wolf hunting season. Since the law was passed allowing wolf hunting in Minnesota (less than two years after wolves were taken off the endangered species list in Minnesota) over 100 wolves have been taken so far. It makes me sick. Wouldn't it be a lot cheaper to manage the deer herds if we allowed the wolf population to remain healthy and let the wolves thin the deer herds naturally?

    Last autumn, when my husband and I went on hikes in the woods, I used to make a ton of noise and try to scare off all the deer before the hunters got there for the upcoming weekend lol. One time though, years ago, I was walking in an old abandoned gravel pit with my dog. All of a sudden, bullets whizzed over my head. They were coming from beyond some brush and the hunters could not see us, even though I was wearing bright colors. I screamed for them to stop to no avail. My dog and I ran like crazy to get out of the area, all the while the bullets whistling around us. My dog was as terrified as I was. It took me days after that to calm down. You can't even be near the woods with all the hunters out there shooting their guns during deer season. They shoot at anything that moves. There have been numerous "accidental" human fatalities every year due to hunting up here. One year two dogs were shot that ran lose from a house across the street from the woods and into the woods while a deer hunter was sitting in his tree house tracking a buck. He denied shooting the dogs even though they were found within shooting distance of his tree stand. More than likely he was mad because they scared off his buck. My husbands parents (hunters themselves) actually defended his actions, saying that he probably came a long ways there to hunt and the dogs shouldn't have been loose. So that's a reason to shoot them? A lot of people were upset and disgusted by the shooting of those dogs. But nothing ever came of the guy getting charged.

  10. #10
    Draíochta Blueberries's Avatar
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    Default

    Robinwomb and Bellatanie, I am so sorry that you have to put up with hunters and hunting in your day-to-day lives, it must be awful. And Robinwomb if that incident with the bullets happened to me I'd probably never go outside again! I know that people do hunt in Ireland (fox hunting i think) but I don't know anyone who does and it's very far away from my day-to-day existence.
    Houmous atá ann!

  11. #11

    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    I'm slightly sceptical about this argument that it would be preferable for wolves to control populations of herbivores. Is it really preferable, from the elk's point of view, to be torn apart by a wolf rather than (comparatively) painlessly culled by human hunters (with the usual caveats regarding the fact that hunting is a colossal industry, that many hunters do not follow best practice, that few to no hunters are actually dependent on killing animals for food, that many animals killed by hunters are bred in captivity for the purpose and released into the wild or moved cross-country to meet demand, and so on, and so on)? Assuming, naively, for a moment that all hunting were carried out to prevent painful, drawn-out deaths from starvation, why not also hunt deer to save them from painful, drawn-out deaths at the hands of nonhuman predators (particularly wolves, whose teeth and jaws are, according to an ecologist friend of mine, not suited to strangling prey in the manner of feline megafauna and tend to work by tearing flesh instead)?

    Additionally, there are some ecologists and anthropologists who reject the idea that wolves and bears represent significant controls on wild herbivore populations. Overpopulation in Yellowstone park, for example, was alleviated by the reintroduction of wolves, but there is no evidence that wolves were a keystone species in the area - rather, the herbivore population in Yellowstone exploded because the Shoshone Sheep-eater and Blackfoot people who lived and hunted in the area were themselves either exterminated or forcibly relocated onto reservations. According to this account, 'wilderness' is effectively a racist term, since it dismisses or ignores the activities and cultural practices of people living in the area prior to the arrival of Europeans. There is a bit of a tendency to assume that nature is wise, benevolent, tending towards balance and, most of all, separate from humanity (I'm not necessarily accusing anyone on here of making that assumption) - not to say that the solution is to condone or encourage hunting, even if it's carried out by the ancestors of displaced indigenous peoples.
    "Eventually, I realised that the reason I was so angry was because I want people in the world to be well." - Ian MacKaye

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    Johnstuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    But Wraithling, doesn't that hit on my point earlier. That if we have the right to determine a species has overpopulated and have the right to 'cull' said species then surely we must apply the same logic to our own species that has clearly overpopulated and has no natural predators.

    People are like "wolves overpopulate so we have to shoot 'em." "humans overpopulate and well that's all cool because we're special".

    A species that overpopulates really doesn't have the right to judge another species for overpopulation, much less 'cull' that species.

  13. #13

    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    Quote Johnstuff View Post
    But Wraithling, doesn't that hit on my point earlier. That if we have the right to determine a species has overpopulated and have the right to 'cull' said species then surely we must apply the same logic to our own species that has clearly overpopulated and has no natural predators.

    People are like "wolves overpopulate so we have to shoot 'em." "humans overpopulate and well that's all cool because we're special".

    A species that overpopulates really doesn't have the right to judge another species for overpopulation, much less 'cull' that species.
    Well, personally, I wouldn't really talk about a right to control species-populations: I can't think of any argument to justify that that could possibly be based on premises that vegans would accept. What concerns me is the question of whether we should be obliged to manage species-populations, including our own (and you're right - if we're obliged to control the population of any species, we should probably start with humans). We certainly should take action to manage the population of humans (a good first step would be to promote sustainable development, food security and social safety net policies in the developing world). I'm told that the most effective (or only effective, depending on whom you ask) way of managing populations of wild animals is to shoot them. I have no idea whether that is true or not, and if it is, the conclusion we might draw is that that in itself is a reason not to do it. But if we're committed to the reduction of animal suffering, it seems odd that we should be so quick to dismiss the idea that for some animals, death from a hunter's bullet might be preferable to whatever nature has in store for them.

    That's mainly what I'm saying: that this is maybe a more difficult question than some people (on either side of the argument) seem to think.
    "Eventually, I realised that the reason I was so angry was because I want people in the world to be well." - Ian MacKaye

  14. #14

    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    But if we're committed to the reduction of animal suffering, it seems odd that we should be so quick to dismiss the idea that for some animals, death from a hunter's bullet might be preferable to whatever nature has in store for them.
    If you were to turn this around, and say it was a human suffering from some terrible illness with no cure, who is in pain without heavy duty drugs such as morphine, would it be the humane thing to just shoot them or put them to sleep (ie assisted suicide) as opposed to letting them live out their life suffering and die in whatever way nature intends? How do we determine who has the right to live and who doesn't? The age old question and controversy. Where do we draw the line with suffering? How can we learn to live peacefully with other creatures as opposed to controlling them?

    Also, shooting an animal is not always the painless choice. I have heard countless stories from my husbands family, all hunters, who have shot deer and then had to track them (and occasionally lost sight of them until the next day)because the deer did not die right away but got away and slowly bled to death. Often it takes more than one or two bullets to do the job. Shooting is not the only method of hunting. Bow and arrow, using a team of hunting dogs, and setting traps are all legal ways to hunt wolves and other animals (at least in Wisconsin: http://dnr.wi.gov/files/pdf/pubs/wm/wm0538.pdf ). Also, there is not an overpopulation of wolves by a long shot. They have barely recovered from endangered status in Minnesota. They are a threat to farmers as they are known to take livestock (so are fox and other natural predators). Wolves are higher on the food chain and more intimidating to humans than other predators. They are highly feared and one of the most misunderstood animals. I have personally had encounters with wolves in the wild and they are very shy timid creatures. I am more afraid of moose because I have had encounters with them too and they are much more aggressive and not afraid of humans. As far as deer, I don't know if there is an overpopulation of them or not, but more and more of them are coming into the city and having encounters with traffic etc. This is not their fault. Human populations are soaring, we are taking more and more land and building cities and houses, and they have fewer places to roam. This is true of other animals too. I know in my city, several times "problem" bears who have managed to make their way to the heart of the city have been peacefully moved outside of the city by use of tranquilizer gun. There was one instance where the bear was shot as there was not a tranquilizer available and the bear was thought to be a danger to humans. At least if an animal is being chased by a pack of wolves for example, they have a chance to escape and live. You can't compete with a team of hunting dogs and guns, especially when being tracked from a vehicle or hellicopter. Traps can also be horrific contraptions that cause terrible pain before the animal dies. And the sound of a gun firing alone is terrifying. I have actually heard the gun versus ripped apart by an animal argument from omnivore friends in the past. But I don't think it is that easy to compare the two situations, given the variables involved.

  15. #15

    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    Quote Robinwomb View Post
    If you were to turn this around, and say it was a human suffering from some terrible illness with no cure, who is in pain without heavy duty drugs such as morphine, would it be the humane thing to just shoot them or put them to sleep (ie assisted suicide) as opposed to letting them live out their life suffering and die in whatever way nature intends? How do we determine who has the right to live and who doesn't? The age old question and controversy. Where do we draw the line with suffering? How can we learn to live peacefully with other creatures as opposed to controlling them?

    Also, shooting an animal is not always the painless choice. I have heard countless stories from my husbands family, all hunters, who have shot deer and then had to track them (and occasionally lost sight of them until the next day)because the deer did not die right away but got away and slowly bled to death. Often it takes more than one or two bullets to do the job. Shooting is not the only method of hunting. Bow and arrow, using a team of hunting dogs, and setting traps are all legal ways to hunt wolves and other animals (at least in Wisconsin: http://dnr.wi.gov/files/pdf/pubs/wm/wm0538.pdf ). Also, there is not an overpopulation of wolves by a long shot. They have barely recovered from endangered status in Minnesota. They are a threat to farmers as they are known to take livestock (so are fox and other natural predators). Wolves are higher on the food chain and more intimidating to humans than other predators. They are highly feared and one of the most misunderstood animals. I have personally had encounters with wolves in the wild and they are very shy timid creatures. I am more afraid of moose because I have had encounters with them too and they are much more aggressive and not afraid of humans. As far as deer, I don't know if there is an overpopulation of them or not, but more and more of them are coming into the city and having encounters with traffic etc. This is not their fault. Human populations are soaring, we are taking more and more land and building cities and houses, and they have fewer places to roam. This is true of other animals too. I know in my city, several times "problem" bears who have managed to make their way to the heart of the city have been peacefully moved outside of the city by use of tranquilizer gun. There was one instance where the bear was shot as there was not a tranquilizer available and the bear was thought to be a danger to humans. At least if an animal is being chased by a pack of wolves for example, they have a chance to escape and live. You can't compete with a team of hunting dogs and guns, especially when being tracked from a vehicle or hellicopter. Traps can also be horrific contraptions that cause terrible pain before the animal dies. And the sound of a gun firing alone is terrifying. I have actually heard the gun versus ripped apart by an animal argument from omnivore friends in the past. But I don't think it is that easy to compare the two situations, given the variables involved.
    I suspect that shooting is very rarely a painless choice, though I don't know for sure. Is it more or less painful than dying of starvation, or being eaten, possibly alive, by a pack of wolves? Again, I don't know for sure, though it seems plausible to me that it might be in at least some cases. So I think that you're quite right to draw the comparison with euthanasia: it is a controversy. We have to decide what should be done, preferably on a case-by-case basis, and with a commitment to doing as little harm as possible. Preferably, if we decided that it was any of our business to manage wild populations, we would develop ways of doing so without resorting to violence, such as re-location or distributing contraceptives. I've been told that these are currently not effective methods; if this is true, then it seems to me that whatever we decide to do in the short term, in the long term we ought to develop these techniques so that they are effective.

    Even if we do decide that in some circumstances it may be necessary to manage wild populations by hunting, I think it's probably best left to trained conservationists and not today's recreational hunters. In the past, I've suggested that actually, people who already know how and are prepared to hunt animals might be 'enlisted' to help carry out this kind of work, but the more I learn about the hunting industry and the people involved, the more inclined I am to think that they should be kept as far away from non-humans as possible. There are more than enough vested interests involved already.
    "Eventually, I realised that the reason I was so angry was because I want people in the world to be well." - Ian MacKaye

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    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    Quote Johnstuff View Post
    But Wraithling, doesn't that hit on my point earlier. That if we have the right to determine a species has overpopulated and have the right to 'cull' said species then surely we must apply the same logic to our own species that has clearly overpopulated and has no natural predators.
    A point I latched on to many years ago and took it up on a non vegan forum, that one, John.

    M'argument being that meat eaters in the developed world were responsible for a cull, by starvation, of people in the developing world.

    The debate <ahem!> didn't quite go as I expected though. After many pages of heated posts (mostly trying to refute simple facts) someone decided to go a different track and came up with the idea that culling excess humans by starvation was not actualy a bad thing.

    Got worse. That quickly evolved into culling 'stupid' (i.e. dumb enough not have been born into Countries using morbid obesity as the prefered method of cull) humans actualy being a good thing. Natural selection by survival of the 'fittest' (oh, the irony of that!), improving the human gene pool, etc ..

    Even got close to the idea that the cruelty of culling humans by starvation was entirely the fault of ill thought out laws that prevented excess humans (loose definition: humans who compete with our livestock for food) being culled in kinder ways being fully and enthusiasticaly embraced.

    Point in mind, basicaly, being this; The good ol' huntin', fishin', meat-eatin' guys'n'gals who rallied round that argument did actualy do exactly as you said. They did "apply the same logic to our own species that has clearly overpopulated and has no natural predators".

    All they wouldn't do was extend that exact same logic into territory that didn't firmly exclude themselves.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Robinwomb View Post
    I know in my city, several times "problem" bears who have managed to make their way to the heart of the city have been peacefully moved outside of the city by use of tranquilizer gun.
    Remember Einsteins quote about the only two infinite things being human stupidity and the universe Robin?



    (Just want to make it abundantly clear that I would not have posted that if it didn't have a happy ending, btw!)
    All done in the best possible taste ...

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    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    Face Plant

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    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    Either the deer get shot to thin their numbers or they starve due to over-population. It would certainly be better for the deer if the natural predators thinned the herds. Predators would takeout the old and weak deer (and probably some young ones too) leaving the strongest to survive. With hunters, though, they try to take out the strongest deer for bragging rights which ends up weakening the deer population as a whole.

    I see both sides of the argument.

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    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    I don't know about deer but foxes control their numbers by having smaller litters when there is less food available. I think other animals do this too.

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    Default Re: The hunting argument ...

    Deer normally only have one offspring. At one time the Missouri Conservation Department was looking in to "deer contraceptive" but I don't know if anything ever came of that. I think it was determined the cost outweighed the benefit or some such.

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