Among NHES’ 12 guiding principles is a goal to discourage hunting, especially for sport. Whereas hunting had a place in early societies, and continues to provide substance to some native peoples around the world, hunting for recreation takes the life of an animal without the purpose of sustaining life for another. NHES believes that the lives of animals have intrinsic value, and should not be destroyed for human pleasure.
Doesn’t sport hunting keep prey species in balance?
In the absence of predators, prey species will flourish and eventually – exhaust valuable resources such as food and territory within their own ecosystem. Disease also flourishes in an environment where a species exceeds their natural numbers in a given area. These are just two reasons why predation is vital to the survival of both predators and prey. Human sport hunters cannot replace extinct or extirpated natural predators. A human hunter aims to remove the healthiest and most robust animals from the breeding population. Meanwhile, a natural predator, seeks out prey that is easiest to catch – thereby keeping prey populations in balance while weeding out the weakest specimens from a prey species’ breeding population.
Why is the hunting of predators harmful to the environment?
Known as “tertiary predators” to biologists, some predators, such as wolves, coyotes, and bobcats are not predated by other species. In other words, no other animal kills and eats them. For this reason, tertiary predators have a low rate of reproduction, and are particularly vulnerable to over-hunting by humans.
How does hunting destroy lives of animals?
Decades ago, philosophers such as Renee Descartes taught that animals were as robots; that they had no capacity for pain, fear, or love. Now, biologists and animal behaviorists acknowledge that animals absolutely experience not just pain and fear, but also affection, grief, and even play. Hunting may provide a day of pleasure for the hunter, but takes away a lifetime of experiences for the hunted.
How can I help wild animals targeted by hunting?