How can you be against hunting if you are not
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
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.
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
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
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
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.”
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
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
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
There is no need for humans to eat meat of any
kind. The percentage of vegetarians in several countries is as
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
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.
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
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
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…”
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 *
Bowhunting is a barbaric atrocity against wildlife and
should be banned everywhere.