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The annual seal hunt media coverage this winter has brought a thought to my mind. In nature, there are many hunter/prey relationships: coyotes/rabbits, eagles/fish, lions/gazelles, and so forth. It is a natural occurrence. Even omnivorous (such as bears and raccoons) animal hunt.

Humans are not any different. Or are they? Are we at a point in our civilisation that hunting is no longer necessary? Should a hunting relationship be maintained?

5 thoughts on “Hunting

  1. Kim, very few animals kill for sport, leisure, or economic gain. The only animal I can think of that comes close to his is the orca, which sometimes kills seals and then tosses them to and fro, almost like a game. Many times they’ll leave the pup untouched (but dead from getting flung about). That’s the only animal I know of that “sports” on other animals.

    That said, hunting sort of isn’t really all that necessary so long as humanity is feeding off of domesticated animals, which we do quite well. That’s the whole reason animal husbandry rose up anciently — why hunt it when you can just knock it down and grill it up right in your back yard?

    I used to hunt extensively when I was a boy, and I can’t stand it now, but I do recognize the good that comes from those who purchase their tags and stamps and obey hunting laws. That said, I don’t know of anyone who hunts (primarily) for food.

    So yeah, philosophically I’d say it’s out, but people still do it for reasons other than for food.

  2. I’m all for it if it serves the purpose of a necessary culling of the species.

    I can’t think of any other reason, since food is so readily available (at least in North America).

  3. Which actually brings up an interesting point, rick. Humans were once predatory animals. As a result prey populations were kept in control.

    If humans no longer hunt, can other predators take up the slack? Do we have to introduce sport hunting simply as a measure for the imbalance civilisation has caused?

  4. Things are a little different here in North Idaho. Hunting can still be a significant food source. Some places that have had a reduction in hunting has required additional wild life management. Introduction of Canadian wolf, cost of a little under $1,000,000 a wolf. I was at the site of one capture in Canada the helicopter pilot asked if people in the US knew what a timber wolf was? Apparently we didn’t since the importation the wolf population has sky rocketed. Cattle ranching in many area has had to cease since losses to wolf has made in unprofitable. Wolves eat the easiest thing to catch. So the attempt to control wildlife with the introduction of wolves has been a marked failure. If any livestock is in the area the wolves eat those first. So my point is since we want to use the land we must control the wildlife and hunting is the least expensive even profitable way to do it. I am not sure but I would guess the seal harvest is the same. If we don’t harvest them we would need to dramatically increase killer whale or polar bear populations to do it, or let starvation and diseases eventually do it. I would guess polar bears make about as good as neighbors a timber wolves. Finally I would guess dominion of all animals would mean figuring this out to.

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