Hunting should not be for sport

Megan Kelly, Staff Writer

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Here in Poolesville, hunting is an extremely popular activity among local students and members of the community. However, as a non-native, the practice is foreign to me. I don’t see the joy or value at getting up at 4 am, dressing in all camo, and staking out animals to kill. In today’s society, with the agricultural practices and rapid production of ready to cook meat, why is it necessary to further kill animals for sport? Why are innocent animals killed to serve as grotesque trophies?

While I can see the environmental benefits of hunting when populations threaten the stability of an ecosystem, according to Glenn Kirk of California-based organization The Animals Voice, hunting also results in “loss of biological diversity, genetic integrity, and ecological balance” in many environments (Scientific American). Additionally, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) contends that a large majority of the animals that are hunted in the US- waterfowl, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, foxes- “do not require population control” and yield “minimal sustenance”. When Yellowstone National Park faced the problem of over-population of Yellowstone Elk, the wildlife biologists at Yellowstone decided to reintroduce the wolf population in order to alleviate the pressure on resources the elk had caused. Not only did the newly introduced wolves help control the elk population, but their presence had other unintentional benefits for the rest of the ecosystem as well. Prior to introducing the wolf population, there was only one beaver dam, but afterwards there were 9.. This example serves as a healthy and natural alternative to hunting overpopulated species. (Yellowstone Park)

Hannah Helfert, an ISP senior, is animal rights activist who grew up hunting, and still supports the practice. Hannah is a vegan, but sees no problem with the practice of hunting if the animal is killed for meat, as she strictly opposes the meat industry and its environmental impact. Hannah is a believer in “only kill what you eat”, and says the problem with hunting is when it becomes a sport, where animals are killed for poaching.

Ultimately, the ethical question is this: why should animals be killed if not for necessity?  If the hunting is done so that the animal does not suffer and is used for meat, it’s understandable. However, killing for sport or trophy is unnecessary and wasteful.