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C.A.S.H. Letters to the Editor > 2005

C.A.S.H. Letters

Letter from Stan Tyvoll, a Hunter - August 19, 2005

Though I don't understand why you think what you think, I do know that this whole issue revolves around the belief/non-belief that animals are sentient beings of the same value of humans or resources to be used. I mean, if that is what prompts you to believe this trash, than you should say it right out front as part of your mission. If you don't believe that animals are beings with souls, than what is your argument against hunting? "Innocent animals"? How can animals be innocent if they are not sentient? If they are not moral beings, animals cannot be held accountable for their actions; hence they can be neither innoncent nor guilty, good or bad. Animals are animals. they have no rights. They are a resource just like wood, water, and air.

Yet that fact does not give us a right to abuse them. But hunting is not

C.A.S.H. Reply:

Hello Mr. Tyvoll:

Thank you for contacting the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting. I would like to address the points you raised in your message to us.

You wrote: "Though I don't understand why you think what you think, I do know that this whole issue revolves around the belief/non-belief that animals are sentient beings of the same value of humans or resources to be used."

Our mission is based on several areas of concern, each being as important as the others.

We are concerned with the way state and federal fish and game departments manipulate wildlife populations to perpetuate an overpopulation of animals for hunters to shoot at. Since the salaries of fish and game employees are funded through the sales of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses, hunters have to be kept busy if these people are to keep their jobs. We are also concerned about the clear-cutting that is done to create a larger food supply for deer.

Breeding and stocking birds such as pheasant, chukar and partridge concerns us because it has no ecological value and gives a hunting experience equivalent to shooting fish in a barrel. Those pen-raised birds who are not killed by hunters will undoubtedly starve to death or be attacked by predators since they have no survival skills.

We are also concerned about the suffering that animals must endure whether they are trapped, shot or stabbed (spear hunting is permitted in many areas), or when they are orphaned after their mother is killed by a hunter.

Animals who are shot, wounded, and manage to escape often die slow and painful deaths from infection or starvation.

Lastly, we oppose the continuation of the extreme violence that is a part of every hunting and fishing trip. In a world that is becoming increasingly violent with each passing day, we see hunting as an impediment to peace on earth.

"If you don't believe that animals are beings with souls, than what is your argument against hunting?"

Discussion about the existence of a soul is something that is best left to philosophers and theologians, and we do not have the expertise to tackle the issue in an authoritative way. What we know about biology and the dynamics of wildlife populations gives us our arguments to defend our case against hunting.

"'Innocent animals'? How can animals be innocent if they are not sentient?"

Animals are indeed sentient. They have highly-developed nervous systems and are able to experience physical sensations as well as a range of emotions.

Anyone who has ever heard an animal cry out in pain or has seen them nurture their young can easily see that animals are sentient.

"If they are not moral beings, animals cannot be held accountable for their actions; hence they can be neither innoncent nor guilty, good or bad."

Animals are "innocent" because they have done nothing to deserve the treatment they receive at the hands of mankind. We beat, burn, maim, poison, shoot, stab, drown, boil alive, skin alive, starve, suffocate, crush and psychologically torture animals by the tens of billions every year, and all of this is absolutely unnecessary.

"Animals are animals. they have no rights. They are a resource just like wood, water, and air. Yet that fact does not give us a right to abuse them."

If animals have no rights, why do we not have the right to abuse them, as you say? Animals do have rights. If you did to your dog what typical hunters and trappers do to wildlife, you would be brought up on animal cruelty charges. If animals had no rights, there would be no legal recourse against you if you beat your dog to death or if you set fire to your cat.

We understand that many people do not share our opinion when it comes to sport hunting, trapping and the role state and federal wildlife agencies play in creating many of the problems associated with wildlife. We hope that in time, as you continue to read The C.A.S.H. Courier and website, you will change your opinion and come to share our views.

Sincerely,

Joe Miele
C.A.S.H./Wildlife Watch

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