By Greg Goulder ’13
The topic of hunting has long been the subject of heated debates and criticism.
In this day and age, it may seem that hunting is unnecessarily cruel, but hunters are actually helping the environment in more ways than one.
The first and most important way that hunters are helping the environment is through the regulation of animal populations.
Without this regulation, populations of animals would explode before cold winters, and lack of food would cause the population of the animals to diminish rapidly.
Hunters also contribute to the preservation of the environment through the taxes placed on outdoor activities.
The funds from the sale of licenses and numerous permits all help the management of parks and wildlife refuges. In this way, hunters are assisting not only in the preservation of game species, but non-game species as well.
One more factor to consider is the current situation of factory farming.
In the wild, animals such as deer, turkey or game birds may never see a human, and a small enough number are harvested to preserve their population.
In a factory farming situation, the animals are grown as quickly as possible, live in inhumane conditions and are slaughtered as soon as they reach the proper age or size.
Taking an animal from the wild is much more humane than buying meat at a store because the animals in the wild live completely naturally, free of restrictive fences and inhumane farming conditions.
It is not feasible for people to solely consume wild animals, but the harvesting of this game could lessen the pressure on factory farms.
Some may argue that hunting is inhumane due to the methods of harvest of animals.
It is the responsibility of hunters to kill their game humanely and this responsibility may sometimes be abused.
However, this represents the minority of hunters with little respect for their quarry. It would be an over-generalization to assume that all hunters harvest their game inhumanely.
Overall, hunting is an important tool in the regulation of animal populations and the preservation of land.