Does Hunting Help or Hurt the Environment? Essay

Dear worldTalk: Hunting seems to be a genuine debate among environmental advocates. Are you able to set the record right: Is hunting good or detrimental to the environmental surroundings?
—Bill Davis, Nyc, NY

Like so many hot key problems, the solution to this concern is dependent upon whom you ask. Regarding the one hand, some say, absolutely nothing might be more natural than hunting, as well as just about every animal species—including humans—has been either predator or victim sooner or later in its evolution. And, ironic since it sounds, since humans have actually wiped out numerous animal predators, some see hunting as a normal solution to cull the herds of victim pets that, consequently, now reproduce beyond the environment’s carrying capability.

Having said that, many environmental and animal advocates see hunting as barbaric, arguing that it's morally wrong to destroy pets, no matter practical considerations. In accordance with Glenn Kirk regarding the California-based The Animals Voice, hunting “causes enormous suffering to individual wildlife…” and is “gratuitously cruel because unlike normal predation hunters kill for pleasure…” He adds that, despite hunters’ claims that searching keeps wildlife populations in stability, hunters’ license charges are accustomed to “manipulate several game [target] types into overpopulation at the expense of a much larger number of non-game species, resulting in the loss of biological diversity, hereditary integrity and environmental balance.”

Beyond moral problems, others contend that hunting isn't practical. In line with the Humane Society associated with the United States (HSUS), most hunted species—such as waterfowl, upland birds, mourning doves, squirrels and raccoons—“provide minimal sustenance and do not require populace control.”

Author Gary E. Varner shows in his guide, In Nature’s passions, that some types of hunting may be morally justifiable while some may possibly not be. Hunting “designed to secure the aggregate welfare associated with the target species, the integrity of its ecosystem, or both”—what Varner terms ‘therapeutic hunting’—is defensible, while subsistence and sport hunting—both of which only advantage individual beings—is not.

Despite one’s specific stance, fewer People in the us hunt today compared to recent history. Data gathered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service because of its most recent (2006) National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, show that only five per cent of Americans—some 12.5 million individuals—consider themselves hunters today, down from nine per cent in 2001 and 15 percent in 1996.

General public help for hunting, but is on the rise. A 2007 survey by Responsive Management Inc., a social research company focusing on natural resource dilemmas, unearthed that 78 per cent of Us americans support hunting today versus 73 % in 1995. Eighty percent of participants consented that “hunting has the best devote society,” as well as the % of People in america showing disapproval of hunting declined from 22 percent in 1995 to 16 percent in 2007.

Maybe matching the trend among the list of general public, green leaders are increasingly advocating for cooperation between hunters and ecological groups: in the end, both lament urban sprawl and habitat destruction.

CONTACTS: The Animals Voice,; HSUS,; National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation,; Responsive Management Inc.,

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