A hotly debated topic. Probably one of the most polar arguments there has ever been, is between hunters, and anti-hunters. In fact, it has gotten so bad with the popularity and advent of social media, that many US hunters, once their photos of them with an animal hunted online is posted on social media, have their lives changed permanently. They start receiving a lot of hate and derogatory comments and messages, then their personal information is often found and shared, which leads to deaths threats against them and their families, some have even lost their jobs or had to close their businesses. This is a very sad reality given that hunting is conservation, and although most people that are against hunting will argue, we will show you what is the truth, with evidence and facts to back it up in this article.
Rewind a few thousand years, when our ancestors were living in caves and the wild, and had to survive by eating what they could find or kill. Yes some may even be as brash as to say, why do they have to kill, well, the whole natural ecosystem is in equilibrium and if there are no meat-eaters or carnivores, the rate of population growth of plant-eaters or herbivores will be too great, and they will soon destroy all plant life and it will become unsustainable for the ecosystem to continue. So due to the natural order of the world, whether you believe that the Lord made it, or if you believe in evolution, always turns itself into a equilibrium, as the nature of balance and existence, will also lead to some form of equilibrium.
So, back to those cave men, they had to kill to eat and survive, and as their population grew, so did their brains, knowledge base, and economic system, whereby it later turned to a system where some hunted, others gathered, others made, and between them, they traded to get enough of what each needed. So, as population grew even further, so too did the need for more housing and food, which both could only be provided by land, land that either needed to be farmed, as one the wild could only naturally grow so much for gatherers and hunters to live off of, and they had to actually help plant and breed more for them from less land, and they now also needed to build houses on part of that land to live on. Well, where do you think that land came from, as land is finite and no more is made, it was take from the wild animals and was once their habitat.
Fast forward a few thousand years further to our current modern day centuries and decades, where the trading system is still in effect, it simply has a means of carrying over value, in the form of money or currency. Our human population, has now grown to the point, where a large portion of land is needed for housing, and an even larger portion of land, is needed to produce food for the population to live from. This translates to even more land and habitat having to be taken from animals, as either they survive and humans die, or either humans survive (as they always will, just as me an you want to live) and animals have to give up habitat and then in the process die. In this natural order of progression, all land and natural habitat for the wild animals on earth, will eventually be needed to provide enough housing and food production (farming) land for the humans to live on and from.
This, is where hunters came in all along, and saved the day, so to speak, not only for our children and future generations to be able to see the wild animals in their natural habitat (which would have been gone and extinct if not for hunters), but also for those very wild animals that they are hunting.
How can hunters save wild animals by killing them you ask? Well, it goes deeper into the understanding of the above economic and ecosystem to know how that actually works. You have to focus on a wild animal, as a species, rather than an individual. So for instance with a deer, you have to look as the whole population and species of deer on earth, and not just at the one that is killed.
As we saw above, some deer or plant-eaters had to be killed, to not only provide food for the meat-eater (lions, leopards, tigers, wolves, etc.) so it does not die, but also to control the population growth of those plant-eaters in that area, so they do not become too many so there are not enough plants to sustain them, and they also die out with the plants in the end, and all of them. So naturally, some have to die, to save the rest or the majority, this is therefore the purpose of the meat-eaters.
By the same method, land is needed so much by the growing human populations, that it has become valuable, as either a place to develop for accommodation and economic activities, or a place to produce food or farm on. Now if this only went on, there would be no more place for those wild plant-eaters and meat-eaters to live and they would all die.
Now, comes in the hunters that hunt for meat to eat, mostly buck and antelope and other plant-eaters, so by being able to use them for food instead of farmed livestock and animals, they make if economically and financially viable to protect and maintain their populations, and basically farm them, so that they do not have to die out and be replaced by livestock. This is why by being able to use their meat for food for sustenance, hunters are able to protect them, and pay for their habitat and population maintenance. This point however, is often understood by most animal lovers and anti-hunters quite well once they grasp the concept.
Yet most of them, and even many sustenance hunters are very quick to still judge trophy, and predator hunters for killing rare species, or meat-eaters, whose meat they then do not eat, so these people often firstly think that there is then no reason to hunt and kill these animals as they will not be eaten, so you are then just a killer, and are wiping out the animal and it’s species. This is where they are still VERY wrong.
You see, as mentioned earlier, humans have become so many, that basically all land on earth has become needed for either housing, or for food production, and as such valuable, so if food cannot be had from land and it cannot be lived on, then it will have to be developed to land that can be lived on, or food produced on, as the owners, or people around it, need more housing space and food. This will then turn the natural habitat of those meat-eaters and other rare species, into farmland or housing land, their habitat they need to survive and live from will be gone, and they will die out as a species for ever.
Thus, by allowing trophy hunters to pay for, and hunt them too, the land owners or curators, are receiving an income from that activity on that land, which then makes if possible for them to be able to maintain, conserve and protect that land, and habitat, and ultimately that species of animals, so they keep breading and living, so that the land owners or curators could let more of them be hunted in future to receive more money to carry on protecting and conserving. So you see, by allowing SOME of them to be hunted, makes it financially viable to protect and keep their habitat land as is. So the circle continues.
Yes, in all of this, there needs to be an ethically responsible requirement to ensure, they are hunted sustainably, and not too much so that they die out or cannot have enough genetic variations to carry on breeding, so this is why especially rare and protected species, need to be controlled by permit systems monitoring the populations of them in the wild. This ensures that hunting and conservation remain one and the same thing.
There will still be some of those uninformed anti-hunters saying that you can make enough money from their natural habitat land to conserve and protect them through tourism, and photographic safaris. Although that sounds great, there is no land where photographic and tourism safaris alone brings in enough money to be able to sustain that habitat and land from it, NONE. All the state and government owned national parks in the world, also have to have government subsidization to make it viable to sustain, and then still, like we see in Kruger National Park and other, some of the meat or plant-eater species still get out of control, like the Elephants[efn_note]van Aarde, Rudi & Whyte, Ian & Pimm, Stuart. (1999). Culling and the dynamics of the Kruger National Park African elephant population. Animal Conservation. 2. 287-294. 10.1017/S1367943099000621.[/efn_note], and thousands need to be shot and killed, or else they will destroy the plant-life and habitat so no other animals will be able to live from that land.
This is not a fact that can still be argued, it is proven when looking at third-world nations, especially in Africa and India, where without ethical government conservation, even the national parks and habitat were and are being destroyed by the poor, either poaching and hunting for food, or chopping down trees to sell for money, or to plant crops for them to eat. Look at the tigers in India, or the decimated Gorilla populations in Congo.
So, to all anti-hunters, please think carefully before threatening and swearing at hunters, even legal trophy hunters of rare and endangered species, they are most likely paying and doing more for the conservation of that very species, than you.