Shooting Bambi To Save Mother Nature

Interesting topic that lends itself toward a discussion of different ethical approaches. There have been a lot of interesting cases of states and countries raising money for conservation through selling hunting permits. From a consequentialist perspective this seems to be a really ethical approach. Those who believe that hunting is categorically unethical would disagree, regardless of the outcome.

This is a good, brief podcast (10 minutes) which is worth a listen

(other good items related to this topic)

A lot of the funding for conservation in the U.S. has traditionally come from hunting. With the number of hunters is falling in the U.S., finding money to fund wildlife conservation is getting harder.

The New Case for Hunting Hunters, tree-huggers, and animal welfare advocates should be allies.

“In the absence of people, nature would establish its own balance among species. But having shaped (and disrupted) the natural environment so extensively, humans can’t very well wash their hands of responsibility for what happens when certain species over-expand. Hunting is one way to keep wildlife numbers in check, for the good of people, plants, land and other animals.”

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.

Are Hunters more Moral than Vegans?

“Essentially, the basis of Davis’ argument is, what gives anyone the moral right to say that the small rodents killed from crop harvest is less valuable than that of the cow (or deer in this case)? Although the debate still ensues on how many insects, rodents, birds and small mammals become causalities of the harvest, it is undisputed that it actually happens.”

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.