Big Game Hunting

The Complex Morality Of Big Game Hunting For Conservation

Big game hunting has been a sport that has been around for thousands of years.  There are ancient cave drawings of men in groups hunting the mammoth with rocks and spears.

 When the term “big game” is used it is referring to animals such as bears, elephants, rhinos, big cats, buffalo and the like. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was a big game hunter who, after his presidency travelled to Africa where he hunted big game. Today big game hunting takes place in the United States, Africa, Canada, New Zealand, and Argentina.

The debate about big game hunting is an intense one. Proponents of big game hunting will argue that they are bringing money into the communities while helping to keep the animal populations down. But as animal rights activists point out, much of the money paid for big game hunting never makes it to the local communities. Rather it ends up in the pockets of government officials and the parties which facilitate the hunting trips. Many of these poor communities are never seeing the monetary benefit but are watching their local wildlife slowly disappear.

In the United States hunting endangered animals is normally illegal, but ranches in the U.S. have brought in and bred some of these animals specifically to be hunted and killed. The argument is that even though the animal is endangered in its natural habitat, the animals on the ranch were specifically bred to be hunted and so don’t fall under the same rules. Needless to say this has those concerned with animal rights furious.

In Africa there are many species on the endangered species lists due to over hunting. Take for example an animal that is synonymous with the African plains, the Cheetah. The population of Cheetah in Africa has decreased in size drastically due to the demand for their beautiful coats and the loss of their natural habitats. The same can be said for the African Rhino whose population is also on the decline due to the value of its horn which is used as medicine.

The bottom line seems to be, if there’s money to be made its going to happen no matter if it drives a species to extinction or not. Hunting for “conservation” seems to be just another way to ease the conscious about the harm and damage they are doing because so far, the only ones who seem to come out ahead are the ones making the money.

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