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Anti Trophy Hunting
Dialogue between a typical recreational hunter and Anthony Marr
April 11, 2006
 
Being the only anti-hunter give honorable (dishonorable?) mention in your April-9 pro-hunting article about the BCWF, I feel obligated to write to offer at least a glimpse of a balanced view.
 
First of all, greetings to Mr. Holdstock. I remember him very well, and I believe we shook hands after our 1.5 hour radio debate in Kamloops in July 1996, hosted by Mel Rothenburger, where pro-hunting caller were all lined up even before the debate began. One thing I‘ll say for the BCWF - they certainly knew how to stack the phone lines, due to whi9ch, however, I got to do most of the talking.
 
That debate was just one of dozens of debates the hunters engaged me in throughout my 12,000-km province-wide road tour June-August, 1996. Wherever I met with local environmentalists and anti-hunters, the meetings would often be crashed by up to 120 hunters (Prince George).

Following is a compilation of some of the main points exchanged between a typical recreational hunter (TRH) and myself (AM):

 
TRH: "Your campaign is based only on emotion. There is no biological basis or reasons behind your demand that bear hunting ends."
 

AM: "Hunters is also hunt based on emotion, since hunters love to hunt. But deeper, for us, it is a moral reason. We believe that to kill animals for entertainment (“recreational” hunting) is morally wrong, just as what used to happen in the Roman Coliseum was morally wrong. But, we also have biological reasons for wanting to end the sport hunting of bears in BC, especially in view of the ongoing poaching and fragmentation of Grizzly bear habitat. 6 of the world’s 8 species of bears are endangered. We don’t want to force our own Grizzlies into that category

 

TRH: "You are challenging our right to hunt. This is wrong in principle."

AM: "Just as I am challenging the long-standing Oriental tradition and 'right' to use animal parts for medicine, an effort that hunters support."

TRH: "You are lumping us law-abiding hunters in with lawless poachers."

AM: "Law is a human concept. Where the bears are concerned, hunting and poaching are both killing. And where bear conservation is concerned, it is the total number of bears killed, hunted and poached. By the way, do you use baits when bear hunting

TRH: "Of course not. It is illegal, and not right."

AM: "Baiting is legal in Washington state. Does that make it right to do it there

TRH: "Hunters are the only true and effective conservationists."

AM: "There are two kinds of conservationists - those who conserve so that they could continue to have animals to kill, and those who conserve for the sake of the planet, and protect wildlife for its own sake. Once the latter have arisen as of the 60s, the former can no longer claim to be “true”.

TRH: "Hunting is good is keeping animal herds healthy.

AM: "Unlike other predators, who go after the weakest prey, thus genetically strengthening the prey species, hunters go after the most magnificent specimens, thus weakening the species. You are talking about quantity, but I‘m talking about quality."

TRH: "If you get rid of bear hunting, there'll be a bear population explosion."

AM: "There has never been any bear population explosion over the eons, before or after we humans came on the scene. Natural biological controls, such as food shortages, lower birth rate and intraspecies competition and predation will keep the population level steady."

TRH: "You should go after the Asians and their use of bear parts, not us hunters."

AM: "My very first campaign was to target the Chinese community in North America regarding their use and trade of bear parts, and tiger parts, and rhino parts... Regarding hunters, are not bear head and hide also bear parts?"

TRH: "Hunting is not killing; it goes way beyond that. It's a form of communing with nature. I can't expect you to understand."

AM: "Hunting is not killing? Some humans may buy that argument, but not the bears. It's not necessary to kill in order to commune with nature. Try camping or wildlife photography."

TRH: "Hunters are the anti-poaching field force. We are the eyes and ears for the conservation officers."

AM: "Relying on hunters to watch out for poachers is like letting wolves safeguard sheep from coyotes. Hikers and campers have eyes and hears too. Further, if Grizzly bear hunting is banned, then anyone caught killing a Grizzly would be a poacher."

TRH: "We humans are and have always been predators. To hunt is to be human.”

AM: “Tigers are more predatory than humans, but a tiger that is not hungry does not hunt. Evidently, we humans have more blood lust than even tigers. Please be honest. Recreational hunters hunt primarily for entertainment, not for food.

TRH: "Many interior and northern towns economically depend on hunting."

AM: "Eco-tourism and wildlife viewing have time and again proven more beneficial both in terms of economy and employment."

 
As I have pointed out before, the BC Wildlife Federation should honestly renamed itself as the BC Hunting Federation.
 
Anthony Marr
604-222-1169
4118 West 11th Ave.
Vancouver, BC V6R 2L6

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