Don’t hunt; but don’t tell others not to

I found Radhika Upadhyaya’s viewpoint against hunting to be profoundly ignorant and wrong (Outlawing a primitive practice, 10/24/2008). Let me start off by saying that I have never hunted, nor do I plan to. However, to decry the entire sport of hunting based on many false statements is simply wrong.

Hunting is necessary and good because deer are wildly overpopulated. Because of past practices, we have eliminated the natural predators of deer. Hunting keeps herds at manageable levels that are scientifically managed by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. This is meant to protect the environment from an unnaturally large quantity of deer and the overgrazing that would result. Also, it protects drivers.

Michigan has the second largest number of car-deer collisions, and a driver has a 1 in 78 chance of hitting a deer over the course of the year. Allowing “nature to run its course” would result in even more accidents, greater spread of disease within deer herds and irreparable damage to their habitats. Deer hunting is also a tradition dating back hundreds of years that pumps hundreds of millions of dollars into Michigan’s economy.

The simplest solution to the author’s problems with hunting is the same one I chose: Don’t do it, but leave this necessary practice open for others.

Tom Duvall
LSA junior

Choosing the more ethical option: hunting or factory farms

I took offense to Radhika Upadhyaya’s viewpoint Friday lambasting hunting as an unethical practice ( Outlawing a primitive practice, 10/24/2008). Though I am a vegetarian, from Northern Michigan and think the killing of animals for any reason is a poor ethical choice, I take issue with people who try to distance themselves from the murder of animals.

Hunting forces people to recognize the taking of the life that is necessary for the consumption of meat. In contrast, people in cities who look down on the practice make the same choice every time they order hamburgers or chicken. Saying it is no longer “imperative to survival” is an endorsement of the factory farming system that puts animals through a great deal more torture than the quick, free and random death given to only some animals by hunting.

Also, Upadhyaya’s claim that hunting is not “imperative to survival” ignores how important and useful these animals are to hunters. Though I know dozens of hunters from my hometown, I have never known one to discard of a carcass. Impoverished families can acquire meat at a very low cost by hunting (roughly $12 for 50 lbs). And for those who hunt but do not need the meat, I have always known hunters to donate the meat to programs that help feed the homeless and the undernourished throughout the winter.

In the end, people who hunt have an acute understanding that the usual methods of obtaining meat are unnatural and that hunting itself is a more direct and ethical venture. Every pound of meat acquired through hunting is a pound of meat not bought in a store, which erodes support for the proven, rampant animal exploitation in factory farms.

Blase Kearney
LSA senior

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