Hunting & Morals

by Ricky Andromeda

Common images associated with hunting such as trophies, mounted animal heads and tanned skins can make morals and hunting seem far apart. The practice of hunting dates back to the beginning of human civilization and was started for survival, not sport. With appropriate practices and some common sense, hunting can be enjoyable and useful without conflicting with most moral codes.

Necessity

A basic moral imperative for human beings is to provide your family with sustenance and shelter. Hunting is a basic and primal way to capture and kill food to keep your family and yourself healthy and full. By taking an animal's life for your own sustenance, you are not acting without purpose; rather, your purpose is to obtain food so that you may live. Hunting, therefore, is often a necessity and does not represent amoral behavior.

Sport Hunting

Another form of hunting, sport or trophy hunting, is the practice of killing animals for their hide, fur, antlers or other valuable part with no essential purpose. Unlike hunting for food, sport hunters kill for trophies and the thrill of killing. Taking the life of an animal when you don't intend to use it to provide food is immoral by just about any account.

Conservation

Humans and animals occupy the same planet. As times have changed and animals grow in close quarters, there isn't always enough space or natural food sources for animal populations to thrive. In fact, when animals overpopulate, they can destroy landscape, property and die of starvation. Conservation and wildlife management practitioners hunt to thin overpopulated herds and keep animal populations healthy and sustainable. This practice follows the moral principle of promoting harmony between humans and animals and protecting the earth.

Morality

While different societies have different moral codes or guidelines, many of them coincide. Depending on your religious or cultural beliefs, your morals may vary. A moral guidelines is way to judge your actions' correctness in the grand scheme of things. For most moral codes, waste and killing are considering wrong, so hunting without thought to conservation or getting food, is both wasteful and wrongful killing.

Other Views

Although not the common moral viewpoint, some groups believe animals have a right to live and exist on the Earth just like humans. These people do not eat animal products and often don't even use products made from animals. While this may not be the common view, their moral code dictates that humans not kill or harm animals.

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