Hunting is cruel. It is deceitful. It is socially unjustifiable. It is ecologically disruptive. Friends of Animals opposes hunting in all its forms.
The cruelty of hunting involves the causing of gratuitous pain to wild animals.True, wild predators also hunt, but their killing is not gratuitous. Only humans kill for pleasure.
Hunting is deceitful because it claims to be something it isn’t. Hunting tries to cover truth with an enormous glossary of euphemisms. Even scientific literature refers to “harvests” and “culls” and “bag limits.” Hunters hardly ever like to acknowledge that they actually “kill.” Beyond this, hunters are fond of portraying themselves as conservationists, benefactors of wilderness and practioners of “sustainable utilization of species.” Hunters hardly ever acknowledge that they actually like to deprive an animal of life — although this is the whole intent of hunting. Anything else would just be a walk in the woods. Hunters often portray themselves as “sportsmen” and the animals they kill as “game.” But sportsmanship suggests an admirable conduct marked by generosity for fair play. Where is the fair play in a grown man or woman using a modern firearm to kill an inoffensive animal?
Hunting is socially unjustifiable because it is an unnecessary waste of life and of resources. In developed countries such as the United States, most of the land has already been taken from Nature. There is a question of social ethics involving the presumed “right” of hunters to turn what little wild areas are left into seasonal shooting galleries.
Hunting is ecologically disruptive. The hunter, carrying weapons with which his prey did not co-evolve, becomes a super-predator which disrupts natural ecological dynamics. The concept of “natural selection” becomes meaningless among heavily hunted wildlife populations, and hence evolution itself — the very foundation of life in all its diversity — is undermined. This disruption is exacerbated by hunter-controlled governmental agencies which manipulate wild areas to stimulate ever-greater populations of hunted animals. The whole philosophy of deer management is a paradox: the more you hunt, the more deer you get.
Friends of Animals is unequivocally against hunting and the destructive methods of “wildlife management” that caters to, and fosters hunting. Hunting is an act against Nature on both moral and biological grounds.
Across the country, more and more wildlife specialists are coming to see that using hunting to manipulate an environment leads only to more distortion, larger populations, and ultimately a complete loss of all that’s natural in the environment. Hunting and habitat manipulation on public lands, in parks, sanctuaries and refuges, is a violation of public trust, and do not reflect the will of the majority.
Friends of Animals insists that our wildlife refuges be restored as inviolate sanctuaries which allow every species there to undergo the test of Nature to guarantee its survival over time. Friends of Animals will work for an end to the decimation of wildlife and its habitat on public land to bring creative equal protection for wild animals. Their rights to life and safety must be protected.