Hunting for the common good

The Danes are in the shit because their zoos killed a couple giraffes and fed them to the lions. Worse, according to critics, they did it in public where children could see. I applaud the Danes’ openness and levelheadedness. We have become to unconnected to nature. It is good for kids to reconnect. We should not hide these things as though they are shameful or dirty. We need to encourage things like hunting and trapping. Not everyone can do it, but more people should.

We have come to see wild animals like pets and pets like members of the family. I know that most of my readers think this is a good thing. But it is fundamentally unnatural. We should not be concerned with the life or well-being of individual animals. In the case of the giraffes in question, they were genetically unfit to remain in the herd. Had they survived and bred, it would have weakened the stock. Nature is profligate. It creates many more animals than can survive. This is the way nature always has been and always will be.

I don't hunt myself; I never learned how. But I am glad that others do it. I encourage people to hunt on our land and contribute to hunting organizations. There are too many of lots of types of animals for my land to support, too many deer, too many turkeys, too many coyotes, too many rabbits and way too many beavers. I don't want them exterminated. In fact, I am really happy that my land can support some of them. I am also really happy that my neighbors are willing and able to keep their number down.

Some say that we should reintroduce big predators. This is usually impractical. And I really cannot understand why people who say they don't want animals to suffer from human hunters would ever advocate this. A human hunter kills rapidly and sometimes w/o much pain. Even a bow hunter who inflicts a bleeding wound and then tracks his prey is an order of magnitude more humane than a carnivore that will rip apart its prey and often start eating it while it is still alive.

I am not saying that we want to watch this happening, but there are lots of necessary things are unpleasant to watch. I certainly think that the option of observing should be available as a learning experience if nothing else. And hunters are heroes of the environment. We should give them more respect. They do for us what we need done.

Posted by Christine & John at February 14, 2014 11:41 AM
Comments
Comment #376453

I didn’t ever get the hunting bug. Tried it a couple of times but couldn’t see the merits. Plus never liked the taste of wild game. I have a friend however who is an avid hunter. Once a year he and his hunter friends go to an area of the country that are plagued by wild boar and feral hogs. They are greeted as saviors by the locals who can’t keep up with the rampant population of these animals. Also allows him to stock up his freezer. I’m not sure the Danish zoo thing was handled all that well. As I understand it there were other zoos that wished to take the animals in question but were refused. I suppose that there could have been all kinds of legalities involved that would have prevented that transfer smoothly. You almost made it through the posting without getting political but the line about ripping it’s prey apart and eating it while it was alive got just a little to close to some political aspirations.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 14, 2014 12:38 PM
Comment #376454

Speaks

I think it is important to remind people that nature is red in tooth and claw. I am not sure about politics.

Posted by: CJ at February 14, 2014 2:41 PM
Comment #376455

Politics is too, CJ.

All politics is basically about power over people’s lives. What laws are being made that give the government authority to use force against people. That’s the single consistent fact at the base of every decision made in all politics, local, state and federal.

An harsh example, much like the one you provide about the giraffe, is the story of Eugene Mallory, an 80-year-old retired engineer living in the rural outskirts of Los Angeles county with his wife Tonya Pate and stepson Adrian Lamos.

The deputies crashed through the front gate and began executing a search warrant for methamphetamine on the property. Detective Patrick Hobbs, a self-described narcotics expert who claimed he “smelled the strong odor of chemicals” downwind from the house after being tipped off to illegal activity from an anonymous informant, spearheaded the investigation.

The deputies announced their presence, and Pate emerged from the trailer where she’d been sleeping to escape the sweltering summer heat of the California desert. Lamos and a couple of friends emerged from another trailer, and a handyman tinkering with a car on the property also gave himself up without resistance. But Mallory, who preferred to sleep in the house, was nowhere to be seen.

Deputies approached the house, and what happened next is where things get murky. The deputies said they announced their presence upon entering and were met in the hallway by the 80-year-old man, wielding a gun and stumbling towards them. The deputies later changed the story when the massive bloodstains on Mallory’s mattress indicated to investigators that he’d most likely been in bed at the time of the shooting. Investigators also found that an audio recording of the incident revealed a discrepancy in the deputies’ original narrative:

Before listening to the audio recording, [Sgt. John] Bones believed that he told Mallory to “Drop the gun” prior to the shooting. The recording revealed, however, that his commands to “Drop the gun” occurred immediately after the shooting.

When it was all over, Eugene Mallory died of six gunshot wounds from Sgt. John Bones’ MP-5 9mm submachine gun. When a coroner arrived, he found the loaded .22 caliber pistol the two deputies claimed Mallory had pointed at them on the bedside table.

Mallory had not fired a single shot. The raid turned up no evidence of methamphetamine on the property.

An 80 year old man was shot, in bed, without a weapon in his hand before being given any instruction to drop the gun he didn’t have…

During a no knock police raid searching for meth that wasn’t there based on a ‘tip’ from an unknown informant.

This is just one example of what politics is and what the end result of our high brow discussions about esoteric subjects leads to, the destruction of people’s lives…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 14, 2014 2:53 PM
Comment #376456
The old saw that “government’s just a word for the things we do together” provides comfort to those whose politics demand a total (or totalitarian!) state, one that claims to care for and control almost every aspect of everyone’s lives. Leftist parties in some countries have gotten the paradigm down to an art. Take Venezuela, where Hugo Chavez considered himself and his party and the people of Venezuela one and the same. He created an expansive welfare state that built a dependency in the population not just on the Venezuelan government, but on Chavez’ United Socialist Party. After his death, his chosen successor Nicholas Maduro mobilized every part of the Venezuelan state he could to secure his election, “officially” winning with just 50.8 percent of the vote. That was enough of a victory, nevertheless, to claim a mandate to move forward on an ambitious program of total control by the state. What happened next shouldn’t be surprising. The standard of living in Venezuela continued to decline. The government imposed price controls on everything from used cars to toilet paper to all consumer goods, then blamed capitalists and not their own destructive government intervention on the economic disaster price controls exacerbated.

Now, less than a year after Maduro’s “victory,” a critical mass of Venezuela’s population has had enough, taking to the streets in some of the largest protests the South American country has seen in its history. El Comercio in Peru explains that the Maduro government is using its “Board of Social Responsibility in Radio and Television” to threaten news outlets in the country that transmit images that could “foment anxiety,” like video of the protests and government violence therein, with sanctions.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 14, 2014 2:59 PM
Comment #376457

Good post, Rhinehold.

C&J says, “Some say that we should reintroduce big predators. This is usually impractical.”

Why is this impractical, too many people maybe? We squozed the Indians out and we’re working on the other critters, IMO.

Posted by: roy ellis at February 14, 2014 6:55 PM
Comment #376458

Roy

Yes - too many people who don’t want to volunteer to be eaten by mountain lions or mauled by bears, not to mention have livestock killed.

These “critters” were generally squeezed out hundreds of years ago. It is a matter of bringing them back, BTW. The conditions have changed in the last 200 years.

In any case, these predators will kill in a lot more cruel ways. I suppose you think animal on animal violence is better.

Posted by: CJ at February 14, 2014 7:24 PM
Comment #376460

The big predators will come. We have an abundance of white tail deer where I live; 50 years ago there were no deer. We have deer living in our cities, wherever they can find a patch of woods. We now have Coyote (abundantly and even in the cities). Black bear and mountain lions have been spotted. The predators follow the game. When I was a kid, the most common animal hit on the highway was a rabbit or squirrel; today it is deer.

The liberals abhor the ownership of guns, the liberals (PETA) abhor the killing and eating of animals, and the liberals (GW worshippers) abhor humanity; so the increase of animals and the decrease of people is a good thing in the mind of a liberal. Human beings have ruined the earth and the planet would be much better off without them.

Posted by: DSP2195 at February 14, 2014 8:17 PM
Comment #376461

DPS

Animals are a problem. We grew up in world where deer were rare and mountain lions seen only on National Geographic specials. We will soon need to adjust to the new situation. Even liberals will need to accept that we need to kill some animals. I am watching attitudes toward deer change. I think that hunters will soon be more popular. What I fear is small groups of the PETA types can stop hunts.

Posted by: CJ at February 14, 2014 9:22 PM
Comment #376464

I have no moral objections to human hunters, but there needs to be caution because unlike natural predators, humans do not experience the feedbacks that keep predator and prey populations in equilibrium. I really have no concern for the actual welfare of any individual animal. I just understand the importance biodiversity has for a thriving ecosystem. I’ve never hunted myself, but of all my friends who do hunt, I’ve never heard a complaint that the laws were too restrictive. Everyone who wants to hunt seems to have an ample opportunity to do so in a manner that is safe.

There are certainly problems with overpopulation of various prey species; ultimately, the best solution will involve the return of the traditional canine predators. Eastern Coyotes/Coywolves are on the rise in much of the US and some of them are really adept at coexisting with people in populated areas. We will have to learn to accept them into our communities.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 14, 2014 11:15 PM
Comment #376466

Re-Warren Porter’s comments: state hunting programs are funded by the hunter’s buying licenses. The states are well able to control the number of animals through conservation programs. The problem is outside groups who try to take the control from the states. Land has been subdivided into housings communities of 5-10 acre plots. The animals continue to thrive in these small but forested plots. No hunting in these areas. There is no predators of the predators, hence the predators continue to increase. These predators see no difference between deer, sheep, cattle, dogs, or even people. You speak of the biodiversity of an ecosystem…perhaps you could explain the ecosystem of 50 years ago, when there were no deer?

C&J; sorry, but liberals will never understand the need to kill animals. There have been government sanctioned killings by the military, in order to thin out the herds of animals…result…the left cries about the killings. You forgot my point that the left considers Humans to be the intruders in the ecosystem. Global Warming or any other problems the earth faces is the result of humans. Therefore humans are the ultimate problem.

If you will notice the double speak of the typical leftist…like WP…he has no moral objections to human hunters, and then he goes on to list his moral objections. His complaint is uncontrolled hunting, yet in every state we find a growing problem of predators and prey.

I personally put 3 white tailed deer in my freezer a few months ago. We eat more venison than we do beef. But just to show how ignorant the left is…they complain the raising of beef increases the threat of GW (methane gas) though the release of cattle and pig flatulation or animal farts. The humans are at fault no matter what.

Posted by: DSP2195 at February 15, 2014 10:20 AM
Comment #376469

Warren

We probably need to expand the laws, maybe even allow limited commercial hunting. It is a recent trend. In the last twenty years, the animal population - deer, turkey, beaver etc - has expanded greatly and need to be trimmed.

DBS

“You forgot my point that the left considers Humans to be the intruders in the ecosystem.” - you are generally right and I mentioned it elsewhere. We need to be more open about animal death and hunting. IN any popular movie, the hunter is always a bad guy. But, as I wrote, this may change as deer are becoming as common as rats and people will start viewing them less as Bambi and more a problem.

Posted by: CJ at February 15, 2014 11:50 AM
Comment #376471

If it weren’t for the fact that crap like this happens all over the country several times a day, I could understand most people’s choice to turn a blind eye… But that’s just not the case. :/

http://reason.com/blog/2014/02/14/another-grim-reminder-why-it-is-always-d

It’s about how when Peretz Partensky called 911 when he stumbled across an injured biker on a San Francisco street, it led to him being shoved, tackled, kneed in the temple, having an existing elbow injury exacerbated, cuffed face down on the street, his hands stomped on, arrested, told he “was going to be a problem,” denied medical attention, stripped and shoved into solitary confinement, then let out the next day. When he went to court he had his charges summarily dismissed.

Beaten, damaged, stuck in solitary confinement… All for trying to help a fellow citizen by calling the police. His reward “uh, sorry”.

“The charges will be dropped if you show up on Tuesday. If you don’t show up, there will be a warrant for your arrest,” I was casually informed.

“Deputy, should I have been here in the first place?”

“No”

It was almost too good to hear. “Then why did I end up here?”

“You have to consider the source.” This phrase I remember verbatim.

“How do you mean?”

“I mean, there are a lot of young cops on the street, trying to make a name for themselves.”…..

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 15, 2014 1:35 PM
Comment #376473
state hunting programs are funded by the hunter’s buying licenses. The states are well able to control the number of animals through conservation programs. The problem is outside groups who try to take the control from the states.

Sustainable hunting is good news, but we all know that in the past, we hunted many species unsustainable. Also, there’s no way we can substitute Man’s judgement for nature’s equilibrium.

Think of it this way: you wouldn’t want to substitute a government bureaucrat’s whims for the judgments of individual business owners? The economy is a very complex system with lots of feedback mechanisms controlling various equilibria. There’s no way any group of people can possibly understand all of these nuances, which is why planned economies always fail.

Ecology and economics are actually very similar (notice the shared “eco” root). Just like how a planned economy is destined to fail, any attempt to micromanage the environment will bear similar fruit. There are just too many complexities. I am reasonably sure that the rate of hunting permitted by those state hunting programs is sustainable; however, I wouldn’t want to be in a position where we rely on humans to do what really should be a wolf’s job (or a coyote).

Land has been subdivided into housings communities of 5-10 acre plots. The animals continue to thrive in these small but forested plots. No hunting in these areas.
This has more to do with property rights than hunting rights.
There is no predators of the predators, hence the predators continue to increase.
Starvation is the predator’s predator. Once the deer population becomes stable, the canine population will as well. This is the feedback that is missing with human hunters; a decline in deer population will not result in starvation among human hunters.
You speak of the biodiversity of an ecosystem…perhaps you could explain the ecosystem of 50 years ago, when there were no deer?
The ecosystem from 50 years ago was certainly unhealthy. Deer are predators themselves with respect to local vegetation and their grazing keeps many invasive plants in check. The fact is that time after time it is the most diverse ecosystems that are proven to serve mankind the best.
You forgot my point that the left considers Humans to be the intruders in the ecosystem. Global Warming or any other problems the earth faces is the result of humans. Therefore humans are the ultimate problem.

I’m not sure where you get this from. Ultimately, the environment will always outlast mankind. Long after you, I and our posterity are nothing but dust, the biosphere will still be here. This topic has much more to do with self-preservation of our own civilization than ecological preservation.

then he goes on to list his moral objections
I don’t see any moral objections. I just see a precaution against overhunting. Despite your claims to the contrary, over-hunting is a very possibility here. I don’t think our predecessors 200 years ago consciously decided to overhunt any species, yet overhunting ocurred. We mustn’t let history repeat itself.
I personally put 3 white tailed deer in my freezer a few months ago. We eat more venison than we do beef.
Good for you. Eating venison is a lot more sustainable than eating factory farm beef. Also, by eating the deer you hunt, you integrate yourself into the natural cycles that regulate the environment. If you want to put 4 or 5 deer into your freezer next year, all the more power to you.
We probably need to expand the laws, maybe even allow limited commercial hunting. It is a recent trend. In the last twenty years, the animal population - deer, turkey, beaver etc - has expanded greatly and need to be trimmed.
Definitely. I actually think commercial hunting may be better than hunting for sport; at least commercial hunting would be subject to market mechanisms. Posted by: Warren Porter at February 15, 2014 4:05 PM
Comment #376476

Warren

“Also, there’s no way we can substitute Man’s judgement for nature’s equilibrium.” - too late. I was going to say that was analogous to deciding you might not like the water when you were half way into the dive. But I think it more apt to say trying to decide if we like the water when we are already in the middle of the pool.

RE commercial hunting - I don’t propose to substitute commercial hunting for sports hunting but rather as a supplement. I would envision wild meat mostly sold in nice restaurants. Make it a classy thing, so that hunting image improves.

Posted by: CJ at February 15, 2014 4:53 PM
Comment #376480
I was going to say that was analogous to deciding you might not like the water when you were half way into the dive. But I think it more apt to say trying to decide if we like the water when we are already in the middle of the pool./blockquote>

Or maybe the analogy is that we should float with the current rather than attempt to swim against it?

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 15, 2014 7:02 PM
Comment #376481

Warren

We should indeed float with the current, but that certainly requires that we kill some animals and cut some trees.

Nature is impersonal. It is a system that has no values in way we humans use the term. It is all about relationships between and among the players. Our choices are ALWAYS human choices. We need to maximize our sustainable prosperity. We can do a better job than nature in many cases. I say this to be provocative, but it is also true. I can grow trees faster than nature would do and do this now and forever, or as long as practical time will take us. Are there tradeoffs? Yes. Some animals and plants are less common; some are more common. It is “better” from a human point of view. We really cannot speak for the others.

We try to pretend to be open to all, but we are not. We purposely and happily drove smallpox to extinction. We would do the same with malaria and polio if we can.

Have you been to Bolder, CO? Beautiful place and sustainable. Also very much a human creation. The “natural” area is mostly treeless and a little sparse. Made-mad Bolder is verdant and productive. It is indeed “going with the current” but directing the current too.

Sometimes we might want to reintroduce some predators. Many times, the best solution is for us to be the main predators.

We might also save some. For example, pandas should go extinct. They are really maladapted. We save them for the human value that they are cute to us.

Posted by: CJ at February 15, 2014 7:19 PM
Comment #376484


C&J, I thought we were trying to save the Pandas for Chinese ecology. I believe the Chinese have overpopulated and have run the Panda out of his home to near starvation. Then there is shark fin soup, Ginseng, ivory and so on - - -
If left to their own mores the sharks would have to learn to live w/o fins, ginseng would have to turn itself into some horrible tasting, ugly plant in order to survive. Elephants and Rhino would have to recreate themselves so as to be so small they are impossible to find.
As I understand you, C&J, you would GMO the sharks so that their fins were the size of large sailing craft. Elephants and Rhinos would be ‘commercially adapted’ to drag around tusk the size of a humvee. Food for all and so on - - -

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at February 15, 2014 8:09 PM
Comment #376485
certainly requires that we kill some animals and cut some trees

Once again, I agree here. However, we shouldn’t play chicken with the environment. Instead of rushing into things, we can proceed with caution.

Specifically with regards to the case of deer overpopulation, I still believe the hunting job is best handled by canines. Wolves and coyotes are adapted to hunt and kill these sort of prey and the Eastern Coyote in particular has adapted well to urbanization. There really isn’t any reason for people to do a canine’s job for them.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 15, 2014 8:11 PM
Comment #376486

I should add that I don’t believe that humans shouldn’t have a role keeping deer populations in check. It’s just that a significant amount of the heavy lifting ought to be done by the canines. A solution whereby people have sole responsibility to thin deer populations is an unsustainable one.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 15, 2014 8:13 PM
Comment #376487

Roy

Pandas only eat a particular type of bamboo, for which their digestive system is not well suited. Unusual for wild animals, they tend toward a type of diabetes. They lay around all day and are unenthusiastic about mating. When they do mate, the babies often die young because the mothers neglect them. These animals would not long remain on this earth. Humans hastened their demise, but they were goners before we got at them.

Re sharks etc - I believe in conservation. Sharks should be conserved, as should rhinos and elephants. These animals are adapted reasonably well to their environments. Humans can and should manage them well.

Posted by: CJ at February 15, 2014 8:13 PM
Comment #376489

Warren

Re deer - lots of people like to hunt deer and eat the meat. It is not a chore for them but a joy. They will pay to do it. It is a perfect solution.

To the extent that there are not enough of them, limited commercial hunting can take a role. Again, it will pay for itself. Why let the dogs out?

Coyotes can kill fawns, but they will never be able to keep the deer population in check. They are too small and weak and they do not generally hunt in teams. Besides, they have the bad habit of attacking domestic animals.

Of course, my Southern neighbors use dogs to hunt. The dogs flush the deer where the hunters can shoot them, so I guess that canines are involved as partners.

Let me also add that deer are not as bad as wild pigs. They are truly horrible animals, but they taste really good. I don’t like deer meat but wild pig is great.

Posted by: CJ at February 15, 2014 8:19 PM
Comment #376494

From wiki: “The population boom in China after 1949 created stress on the pandas’ habitat, and the subsequent famines led to the increased hunting of wildlife, including pandas. During the Cultural Revolution, all studies and conservation activities on the pandas were stopped. After the Chinese economic reform, demand for panda skins from Hong Kong and Japan led to illegal poaching for the black market, acts generally ignored by the local officials at the time.””
“”Pandas in the wild will occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents or carrion. In captivity, they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas along with specially prepared food.[5][6]””
“”The giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan province, but also in the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces.[7] As a result of farming, deforestation and other development, the panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived.””

Posted by: roy ellis at February 15, 2014 9:05 PM
Comment #376495

Roy

So what? Bad luck for pandas, but they are not doing their part either.

We can see the difference between a successful species and pandas when we compare them to animals like bears, wolves or bison. These animals were hunted to local extinction. But when they are left alone, their populations bounce right back. They also can breed in zoos. There really is not much chance that they will go extinct. Pandas, despite all the hard work and I suppose even panda porn, really don’t want to mate and reproduce.

I doubt we will see the end of the pandas anyway. They are too cute to be allowed to die out. We will spend millions to keep them around. In all fairness, they are a big draw at zoos, so they may be paying their own way. But they are not well adapted for survival in general.

Posted by: CJ at February 15, 2014 9:35 PM
Comment #376545

C&J IF we were ale to clone a mastadon would you go along with it? They would make big piles of poop, occasionally step on a VW etc.

Posted by: roy ellis at February 17, 2014 5:16 PM
Comment #376546

Roy

I have actually thought about this. The idea of bringing back long extinct species is no longer just a dream. It would be a kind of game humans play, much like keeping pandas around.

Posted by: CJ at February 17, 2014 5:25 PM
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