Articles about the ethics of hunting endangered species

Is it ethical to hunt endangered species?

What if allowing legal hunting creates economic incentives for their preservation? What if

What if the “effective” way of conserving animal populations is morally abhorrent? What if the only ethical way to treat these animals (banning hunting) proves ineffective at protecting their numbers?

Below are some links discussing the issue from different perspectives.

  1. “Trophy Hunting: Killing animals to save them is not conservation.”

2. “The Heavy Price of Trophy Hunting”

3. “Save the Animals by Hunting Them”

4. “The Ultimate Pursuit in Hunting: Sheep”

“Permits to hunt bighorn sheep are auctioned for hundreds of thousands of dollars — and that money has helped revive wild sheep populations and expand their territory.”

5. The Fish and Wildlife Service said we have to kill elephants to help save them. The data says otherwise.

6. Why Can’t We Protect Elephants?

“What could justify the commercial hunting of threatened animals? The general answer is that the proceeds from the hunt — the huge fees people in search of these trophies fork over — can go to conservation.

“Whether or not such an argument is morally persuasive, the implementation of such a system requires a stable host country where corruption is kept in check and conservation programs are effective.”

Radiolab Podcast: The Rhino Hunter

How do we judge the morality of hunting? Is it ever ethical to kill an animal? What if the hunt raises money for conservation efforts? What if the animal being killed was a threat to younger members of the herd? Below is a podcast that interviews the famous/infamous hunter who was cast into international spotlight for his buying a permit to hunt a black rhino which is an endangered species. People had very angry and visceral reactions to hearing about this. The issue is much deeper than simple reactive anger and offers us a great issue with which to examine ethics. Below are links to some articles on the topic that I have previous posted.

“Back in 2014, Corey Knowlton paid $350,000 for a hunting trip to Namibia to shoot and kill an endangered species.  He’s a professional hunter, who guides hunts all around the world, so going to Africa would be nothing new.  The target on the other hand would be. And so too, he quickly found, would be the attention.

“This episode, producer Simon Adler follows Corey as he dodges death threats and prepares to pull the trigger.  Along the way we stop to talk with Namibian hunters and government officials, American activists, and someone who’s been here before – Kenya’s former Director of Wildlife, Richard Leakey.   All the while, we try to uncover what conservation really means in the 21st century.”

“A US hunter who paid $350,000 to kill a black rhinoceros in Namibia successfully shot the animal on Monday, saying that his actions would help protect the critically-endangered species.”

Here is an article arguing in favor of that policy.

Peter Singer: On Animal Rights and Human Rights

“Speciesism is an attitude of bias against a being because of the species to which it belongs. Typically, humans show speciesism when they give less weight to the interests of nonhuman animals than they give to the similar interests of human beings. Note the requirement that the interests in question be ‘similar.’ It’s not speciesism to say that normal humans have an interest in continuing to live that is different from the interests that nonhuman animals have.”

Texas hunter shoots endangered Namibian rhino for $350,000

“A US hunter who paid $350,000 to kill a black rhinoceros in Namibia successfully shot the animal on Monday, saying that his actions would help protect the critically-endangered species.”

Here is an article arguing in favor of that policy.

A Bittersweet Bow for the Elephant Ringling Brothers Will Retire Its Elephants, and an American Tradition

“ON Thursday, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced that its 13 traveling elephant performers would retire by 2018, ending a storied tradition for the Greatest Show on Earth.”

The Cruelest Show on Earth: Bullhooks. Whippings. Electric shocks. Three-day train rides without breaks. Our yearlong investigation rips the big top off how Ringling Bros. treats its elephants.

“That was in 1998, and at the time it seemed like a turning point in the decades-long fight over circus elephants. For years, animal rights organizations had been releasing horrific undercover videos showing Ringling trainers abusing elephants, but USDA investigations never produced evidence that officials deemed strong enough to warrant action. Now there was a dead body—and a recent precedent. The agency had just fined the King Royal Circus, a small family operation, $200,000 for allowing an elephant to die in an overheated trailer of an untreated salmonella infection.”

Lab mice can’t help us in the fight against cancer

Two articles linked below illustrate some interesting ideas about how we construct knowledge in the natural sciences. These cases raise a host of interesting issues. What assumptions do we hold when we try to learn about fighting human diseases by experimenting on mice? In what ways are these assumptions false? Is it ethical to run these experiments? Does the answer to that question depend on how effectively we learn from these experiments?

“Curing cancer in mice is unlikely to lead to a breakthrough for humans. So why do we persist in carrying out bizarre and freakish experiments?

“We are constantly being promised ground breaking advancements, cures, treatments and answers to this terrible and deadly disease that we have all lost someone to. It is, admittedly, beguiling speak and fulfils its purpose of justifying this kind of savage cruelty to animals.”

Retire the Use of Mouse Models in cancer studies

“We cured acute leukemia in mice in 1977 with drugs that we are still using in exactly the same dose and duration today in humans with dreadful results.”