How can you be against hunting if you are not vegan/vegetarian?
We can see very legitimate reasons for people to oppose hunting even though they may eat animals. Given that hunting is an industry designed to keep wildlife populations above carrying capacity for the purpose of creating the illusion that hunting is needed to "thin the herd," many of our rights are trampled by the state to keep the status quo as it is. Property owners have been cited for hunter harassment for playing a radio during a backyard BBQ because a hunter claimed that the noise was keeping deer away from his tree stand. There are countless county and city parks that are closed to the public during hunting season, despite the fact that the non-hunting public pays taxes to maintain those parks. There is also the sad reality that hunting puts the public at risk, as non-hunters are killed and injured every year as a result of hunters not knowing what the heck they are doing. Additionally, hunting season causes deer and other wildlife to dash into roadways, increasing the number of accidents during hunting season. Add to those reasons the clear-cutting practiced by hunting agencies to increase edge habitat for deer at the expense of the species who need thick woods to thrive. Then there's the insane amount of lead (a potent neurotoxin) that is blasted into the ground by hunters. The list goes on.
So while it may seem hypocritical for a meat eater to oppose hunting, there are some very good reasons for them to do so.
Don’t you know that hunters provide the funding for wildlife and habitat protection, so without hunting there would be no wildlife and no natural areas left?
Actually, non-hunting gun owners pay just as much, if not more than hunters. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, there are about 13.6 million hunters in the US who pay into the Conservation Fund through the Pittman-Robertson taxes attached to the purchase of weapons and ammunition.
According to John R. Lott, Jr., a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, there are about 90 million gun owners in the US, who incidentally also pay into the Conservation Fund when they purchase weapons and ammunition.
Additionally, about 10% of those who buy duck stamps are non-hunting stamp collectors and their money is poured into hunting programs.
Tax dollars from the General Fund also support areas that hunters use to kill wildlife.
What will happen if we stop hunting deer?
When deer are no longer managed for the purpose of providing recreational opportunities for hunters, their populations will not be intentionally maintained at a level exceeding the biological carrying capacity of the habitat. Simply stated, biological carrying capacity is the number of individuals of a given species that can exist without imperiling themselves or other species sharing that habitat. Many factors play into the biological carrying capacity of an area, including the amount of available food and water, cover or shelter, prey and predator populations. Human activity and encroachment into wildlife habitat also plays a part.
Without organized recreational hunting programs the number of deer and other hunted wildlife will decrease, and along with the reduced population will be a system of healthier habitat and a lessened impact on the human population living in close proximity to wildlife.
Is C.A.S.H. anti-gun?
As a wildlife protection organization, C.A.S.H. is not anti-gun in an absolute sense, but we vehemently oppose the role that gun ownership plays in the perpetuation of recreational hunting.
Non-violent recreational shooters should not be forced to support hunting programs that benefit roughly only the 4% of the population that hunts.
What about hunting for sustenance?
Let's identify the distinction between hunting for "sustenance" and being a "subsistence" hunter. Hunting for sustenance means that you eat what you kill, while subsistence hunters hunt for survival. Of the 13 million hunters in the country, it's probably fewer than 1/10 of 1% (13,000 people) who are subsistence hunters. It is important to note that those who argue on Internet forums and who can afford to drive to the food market cannot claim to be subsistence hunters.
C.A.S.H. is 100% against hunting for sustenance since it is nothing more than recreational hunting - killing animals because it is pleasurable to do so. Do we give subsistence hunters a "green light" to kill animals? Absolutely not. But those hunters are not a part of our focus.
Without hunting and trapping wouldn’t there be a marked increase in disease and starvation among wildlife?
Actually, the opposite is true – hunting contributes to the spread of disease and the overpopulation that causes malnutrition in wildlife. In their paper entitled “Reproductive Dynamics Among Disjunct White-tailed Deer Herds in Florida” researchers Andreas R. Richter and Ronald F. Labiski, both of the Department of Wildlife and Range Sciences. School of Forest Resources and Conservation. University of Florida, Gainesville, showed that deer produce more offspring and increase their populations when put under hunting pressure.
Regarding trapping, there is the expert work of Gary Suhowatsky that shows trapping to be a contributor in the spread of wildlife diseases. Mr. Suhowatsky is a research analyst who was employed by the New York State Department of health. In 1977 Suhowatsky provided testimony before the New York State Assembly Subcommittee on Wildlife which indicated that not only is there no evidence to support the claim that trapping reduces the incidence of contagious diseases in wildlife, but “that trapping selectively kills the healthiest and most mobile animals in the population and leaves behind the most sickly and sedentary members to perpetuate the spread of, and elevate the incidence in, the diseases in wildlife populations.”
In a study published the August 7, 2006 edition of the journal “Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,” University of Georgia researchers explain that when an animal population is hunted, the survivors are left with greater access to food and shelter. This slows down the death rate and increases the birth rate, compensating - and sometimes overcompensating - for the loss of the hunted animals. Hunting kills individuals who have contracted a virus but have developed immunity as a result of their infection, thereby increasing the proportion of the population that is susceptible to disease.
Additionally – hunters needlessly kill more mourning doves than any other species. Annual kill totals have ranged from 20 million to 70 million – not counting those who are wounded and left to die. You’ve never heard a hunter complain about dove overpopulation, starvation, disease, or dove/car collisions, have you? Neither have we.
Hunters kill animals because they enjoy killing animals – that’s the bottom line. They will kill first and make excuses for it later.
Isn’t it more humane to hunt than it is to eat factory farmed meat?
This one is perhaps the single question that is most often asked of us. It’s based on the faulty premise that if you’re not eating an animal who was killed by a hunter, then your only other choice is to eat an animal who was raised under factory-farming conditions.
There is no need for humans to eat meat of any kind. The percentage of vegetarians in several countries is as follows:
- Taiwan – nearly 10%
- India – nearly 42%
- Australia - 2%
- France – 2%
- Germany - 9%
- Italy - 10%
- Britons - 4 million strong
- Brazilians - 8%Americans - 3.2%
Sources for these numbers can be found at "Vegetarianism by Countries" on Wikipedia.
Since there is no need to eat meat at all, there is no need to hunt for food just as there is no need to raise and slaughter animals on factory farms (or any other kind of farm). Since it is all unnecessary, none of it can be considered humane.
We do not try to rank what’s “better” or “worse” because reality is that the individual is not benefitted in any way. Wild turkeys are not any better off because their domesticated cousins are being held in a factory setting. Doves are not better off because pigs are factory farmed. The truth is that all of these animals experience fear, pain, and suffering at the hands of humans for unnecessary reasons. It all needs to stop.
C.A.S.H. is not a “vegetarian” organization, but for us to address the #1 reason that hunters give for practicing their obscene hobby (they eat who they kill) we must first show that eating animals is unnecessary.
If I find an animal injured by a hunter or trapper, what can I do?
Coming across injured wildlife is indeed upsetting, but it is reality for those of us who wish to enjoy nature in a world where nature is “managed” by violent, anti-wildlife activity.
It is important to note that it is illegal to disturb a legally-placed trap even if you come across a trapped animal. Freeing a legally-trapped animal and getting her medical attention is against the law, despite the amount of good that you’d be doing.
If you come across injured wildlife in your yard or on other property where getting them help is legal, your best bet is to call a wildlife rehabilitator. Carry with you a list of phone numbers of rehabbers in your area, their contact information can be obtained through your state fish and wildlife agency since they are the ones responsible for licensing wildlife rehabilitators. It’s quite ironic that the agency in charge of licensing wildlife rehabilitators is the same agency that is responsible for so many animals needing rehabilitation.
Which major groups actually support hunting, so I can avoid them (and advise others against)?
The following information comes from: "What They Say About Hunting - Position Statements on Hunting of Major Conservation or Preservation Organizations" - printed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation
The Wilderness Society "...recognizes hunting as a legitimate use in wilderness areas…”
The Humane Society of the United States – “(Wayne) Pacelle, of the Humane Society, said his group does not oppose all hunting, only types it describes as cruel or unsporting,” San Jose Mercury News - 09/16/2008
"Hunters who operate within the bounds of sportsmanship and fair chase and who favor traditional hunting practices have no reason to feel threatened by HSUS Markarian said." (Michael Markarian is the Chief Program & Policy Officer at The HSUS) - The Star Press, Muncie, IN
The American Humane Association is "…opposed to the hunting of any living creature for fun, a trophy, or for simple sport…believes that sport hunting is a form of exploitation of animals for the entertainment of the hunter... when all other avenues have been exhausted and there remains a demonstrable necessity to kill some wildlife, it should be performed by responsible officials and methods utilized must result in instantaneous and humane death...considers sport hunting a violation of the inherent integrity of animals...and calls for positive action to prevent such cruelties."
The North American Wildlife Foundation - "Beneficial non-game wildlife populations and those that are threatened and endangered are given the full protection of the law. Surpluses of game populations can be cropped each year on a sustained basis under strict licensing and regulations…"
The National Audubon Society - "…has never been opposed to the hunting of game species if that hunting is done ethically and in accordance with laws and regulations design to prevent depletion of the wildlife resource…”
Friends of Animals, Inc. - "The premeditated killing of wildlife is abhorrent to most people, particularly when hunting is condoned under false pretenses, under the guise of 'wildlife management, overpopulation control,' or 'protection of crops and public safety.'…We believe that wildlife, which by law belongs to all of us, has rights and deserves protection, and that the non-hunting majority needs a voice, an active advocate…"
The National Wildlife Federation – “We support hunting because, under professional regulation, wildlife populations are renewable natural resource that can safely sustain taking…”
Defenders of Wildlife – "…neither an anti-hunting nor a pro-hunting organization, but most of its 80,000 members are non-hunters and their concern is with the restoration and protection of all species of wildlife and their habitats…"
The Sierra Club - "…is not opposed to sports hunting outside of appropriate sanctuaries such as national parks, provided it is regulated…regulated sports hunting may have a place for those who choose to pursue it, but there are more pressing concerns…"
World Wildlife Fund - "WWF recognizes that responsibly conducted hunting can be an appropriate wildlife management tool, particularly for abundant game that is maintained on a sustainable basis…”
I’ve heard that bow hunting has a wounding rate of over 50%. Is that true?
The following information appeared in the July-August 2002 issue of Bugle, a publication of the pro-hunting Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
"Back in 1987, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks surveyed bowhunters about their wounding rates. By their own admission, they shot 1,735 elk and recovered 850." That is a wounded loss rate of 51% (1735 - 850)/1735 * 100.”
Bowhunting is a barbaric atrocity against wildlife and should be banned everywhere.