I've had several non-vegans ask a specific question when I mention that hunting is not ethical. They say if animals (such as deer) were not hunted the population would skyrocket and that hunting keeps them at a "healthy" population.
Case in point - there is a large state park here that every couple of years will allow deer hunting in the park because of over-population. Any thoughts?
I don't understand what problems deer overpopulation would cause necessarily--except for unfenced gardens and driving concerns. Just because people have taken over wildlife habitat does not mean we have a right to kill the animals that live there because they might be an annoyance to us. Seems to me just another reason to validate and encourage hunting.
There are a lot of feral cats in our neighborhood. Should people be advised to go out and shoot them because there are just too many? I know on indian reservations, they will hunt all the stray dogs they find to "keep the population down"--however, most of us would gawk and talk about how barbaric.
The reason that deer and elk herds need to be "thinned" is that their natural preditors have been hunted and pushed out of their natural hunting areas. Bear, wolves, coyotes pose a threat to people. When we move into an area that was populated by deer because we want to see and enjoy them we don't realize that it also was once populated by the animal that hunted the deer for food. The minute we see a bear or a mountain lion we call animal control and they come in and move it to another location, if it poses a threat. Now you've got an overpopulation of deer/elk and they can carry diseases. So if the herd is not "thinned" naturally, it must be thinned in another way. We also feed the preditors, unintentionally, so why would it want to hunt when all it needs to do is find a nice trash can or go to the local dump?
What I find is really sad is that when there is a huge overpopulation the animals tend to be smaller and in not as good of health, so there is very little usable meat on them, especially when they are hit with a bullet, which will bruise in the area it was hit in.
In some places when there is a thinning a handful of hunters are invited and when the herd passes through, the hunters just start shooting. Once they are done they divide up the carcasses. I have seen this happen and the killers are in such a hurry to gut the animals that they can ruin a lot of the meat and since they are not shooting to kill they are just shooting to down as many as possible they will hit the animals in the gut which ruins the meat, at least on the lower half.
I know of a "thinning" that happened about 10 years ago in western Colorado. only about 6 or 8 local hunters were invited to participate. They killed about 30 deer, of the 7 carcasses I saw only 3 were decent enough to cut up for food, and even then there was a lot of waste.
So I do have to say that "if deer were not hunted the population would skyrocket" is true, but we should not be the ones doing the hunting.
During a good year (when there is lots of foilage and food for the deer) animals will reproduce and have more babies than usual, but then will die off when the food supply diminishes. If we would stop meddling Mother Nature will take care of it.
Thanks imblissful! That's what I was looking for...just couldn't put together a good argument in case I needed it.
I agree totally w/everything you said - we are killing this world and everything in it, unfortunately most people are either too ignorant to realize it or they just don't care. The sad thing is it's probably the latter...
We brought this question up the other night with some vegan friends of ours. They had an interesting point. In nature it is the smallest and weakest (deer) that become prey to predatory animals. The strong are left to survive and reproduce. that is evolution. However, hunters target the biggest and strongest of the species, which goes against the natural order as the smaller and weaker deer are the ones left to reproduce. They said it was kind of a backward evolution. I thought it was an interesting perspective.
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