Controversy Abound: Hunting For Sport Isn’t Impressive
I like animals, and that shouldn’t be a secret if I’m writing this piece. I stopped eating meat three years ago so I wouldn’t sound like a hypocrite when I say I like animals. So, with my “hooray for me” spiel out of the way, let me get to my point.
I have nothing against the rural lifestyle, the rural culture is just different from mine. It’s hunting for fun that I don’t find ethical. To be clear, I understand some communities rely on hunting for food or to keep wild populations in check, which is necessary. I’m talking specifically about hunting for sport.
Sport is an interesting term for hunting because it’s just a whole new level of weird to make a competition out of murder. Sure, the animal can run away, but that’s what animals are designed to do because they’re prey, made to be eaten by wolves and vultures.
The fact animals die often doesn’t mean it’s less of a death — it isn’t something to have fun with. Here’s the thing — animals can be really dumb. Most people have seen raccoons get stuck in fences or a cats run into a glass door. Killing something that’s stupid isn’t much of an accomplishment, given we’re the most intelligent species on the entire planet. Plus, it isn’t necessary to wire a deer up with heart rate monitors to understand that it instinctively wants to avoid death. If someone has felt that kind of fear — that near-death fear — it blows my mind that anyone could have fun or take pride in inflicting that on something that can feel it too.
I’ve heard hunters bragging about the kind of deer they’ve bagged — talking about these crazy bucks they managed to bring down, but they didn’t exactly do anything commendable. Killing a deer is actually easy when you’re a sophisticated mammal covered in camouflage and wielding a modern marvel that can fire a .30 caliber round larger than your thumb — powerful enough to rip clean through just about any critter you’re stalking. That’s not mentioning the fact hunters are usually a few hundred feet away and thirty feet up in a tree, so even if they miss the shot, the animal couldn’t even defend itself. When you manage to take down a bear at arm’s length using only your hands, then I’ll pat you on the back for being a “big, strong man.”
Then there’s big game hunting. Given the drama over Cecil the lion, I don’t think I’ll be a vocal minority on this one — but it boggles my mind how rich you have to be that your idea of a good, exotic vacation is to fly out to Africa and hunt an endangered species. Go you, you killed a lion with a tranquilizer dart and a high caliber rifle. You’re a god among men. Who, I ask, who could be so brave and powerful as to fire upon the most dangerous of creatures from hundreds of feet away with a gun? Yeah, kind of lame, come to think of it. You’re an exterminator who is paying to be there.
But hey, congratulations! You’ve outsmarted something with half your brain power, you gladiator.