We sometimes fall into the misconception that hunting is cruel to animals. It's important to acknowledge that hunting has both positive and negative impacts on animals. While there are certainly downsides, there are also some benefits to consider. Therefore, we need to think dialectically about whether hunting is cruel to animals.
First, let us learn about the benefits of hunting for animals.
Control the proliferation of certain animals
When the number of certain animals is too large, it will vastly threaten the ecological environment. Many places are limited in the number of animals they can host. Some animals will have no natural enemies in certain areas. Currently, hunters assist in maintaining a healthy animal population by removing old, weak, sick, and disabled wild animals, which helps to purify the population and reduce the spread of disease, and unnecessary competition among animals. For example, when deer populations become so large that they wreak havoc on vegetation and farmland, hunters need to hunt deer to control the number of deer.
Money generated from hunting helps wildlife conservation
Hunting has promoted activities such as eco-tourism and hunting sports, which play a positive role in local economic development, so local people cut down on hunting animals. Furthermore, a portion of the money spent by hunters on hunting equipment, such as firearms and cleaning supplies, as well as obtaining hunting licenses, will be allocated towards animal conservation efforts. Hunters mostly hunt larger and older male animals. Old male animals will suppress young males within the group, causing the young males to be unable to reproduce, and the reproduction of the entire group will be affected, so hunting is also beneficial to animals.
For local people, a piece of land for breeding or planting can generate economic value. But wild animals can invade and even destroy their land, and locals may hunt animals for sale without government permission. Trophy hunting can generate local revenue, incentivize governments to preserve animal habitats and mitigate poaching and encroachment.
Reduce animal suffering
The meat we buy in the supermarket, like pork, chicken, and beef, these animals have lived their whole lives on farms, and when they are sent to slaughter, they see their companions screaming and struggling on the assembly line. The prey in the forest, born free until the bullet passes through, leaves the world without feeling the pain, reducing animal suffering.
On the other hand, hunting is cruel to animals.
Destroying animal diversity
Wildlife is an inherent part of nature. Through wildlife, the ecological balance of nature is maintained and preserved. Hunting leads to the wanton killing of wild animals, reducing the number of wild animals, and even the extinction of rare animals. If hunters hunt too many an animal, that animal will become endangered. The animal's natural enemies lose their food source. The biological world is interconnected. When the population of a certain animal changes significantly, it will have a greatly negative impact on the chain of being.
Affect the living habits of animals
Hunting will affect the living habits of animals, such as their rest and eating habits. Winter is the season when animals hibernate. And hunters also like to capture animals in winter. It prevents animals from hibernating, thus affecting animal migration in the coming year. Hunting affects an animal's ability to eat adequately and often depletes its reserves of fat and energy for the winter. A wolf pack is composed of closely related wolves, so when a member of the wolf pack is hunted or killed, it will have a devastating impact on other members of the pack of wolves and the entire wolf pack structure.
Destroy the ecological environment of animals
When traveling to hunting locations, hunters may drive vehicles that emit large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, increasing their carbon footprint. After arriving at the hunting location, the hunters set up camp. When camping, large amounts of smoke from the campfire are emitted, which increases the carbon footprint. There is also human waste on the ground, which can cause animals to suffocate, endangering wildlife and the environment.
People sometimes hunt animals to satisfy their competitiveness
In modern times, hunting is more of a sport. Hunters pay extremely high prices to hunt only to obtain trophies for bragging rights. Some hunters hang their trophies on the wall or spread them on the ground as carpet, and even take photos with their prey, completely ignoring the condition of the carcass and showing a lack of concern and respect for nature.
Hunting can be either beneficial or cruel to animals. Therefore it requires a nuanced approach. For hunting to do its job well, which needs to be properly regulated, it can provide many natural habitat benefits to the environment and surrounding communities. However, without proper regulation, the benefits of hunting are minimal. Furthermore, hunters must hunt scientifically and legally, establish an inevitable connection between hunting and conservation, and use orderly hunting as an effective means of managing wild animal populations and habitats. Only in this way will there be a more harmonious and beautiful ecological environment.