What this blog post is not: a statement/judgment against, or any sort of commentary on or about the subsistence hunts, practices, et al, of Native people throughout the world.
Onto what my post is about:
I am familiar with all the nuances of bird hunting; allegedly linked to conservation, and other pro-hunting arguments like that, which are used to support and defend even sport hunting.
Here’s a prior, FAQ-style statement from the Michigan Humane Society about the hunting of doves: http://support.michiganhumane.org/site/DocServer?docID=281
Like in the below linked statement from PETA, I don’t agree that allowing hunters to go out and shoot migratory birds and other targets of sport hunting, etc. is an effective way to manage a local ecosystem. https://www.peta.org/issues/wildlife/wildlife-factsheets/sport-hunting-cruel-unnecessary/
Admittedly, I played Nintendo’s “Duck Hunt” when I was a kid. It made me sad even if it wasn’t real and I didn’t play it much after the first couple of times. And never once could I imagine going out and shooting a duck in real life.
I always hear the argument that violent video games make people violent, but it’s seemingly unquestioned that putting a gun in a child’s hand and taking them out into nature to shoot at an actual living lifeform, and terming it as a fun (or necessary) activity, doesn’t cultivate the callousness needed to commit a violent act.
Personally, I do not understand how shooting beautiful, defenseless birds is classified as a “sporting” activity–essentially considered a fun, entertaining pastime, and one that is even encouraged among young people.
Though only a handful of states have banned migratory/dove hunting, and it’s largely allowed in United States, I am sharing information about the birds my new home state allows people to hunt: https://ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/When-to-Hunt/Migratory-Bird. (There’s other wild species on the website that the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT) allows people to hunt and fish.)
(You know, nobody thought the passenger pigeon would go extinct, because it was so “plentiful” as is the current argument I keep reading about doves, to excuse/support hunting of certain doves now!)
I’ve heard firsthand accounts about hunters and their behaviors, locally. (I’m keeping the source anonymous for their safety, and keeping my relation of their account general, for the same reason.) During hunting season here in Kansas, I’ve been told that hunters routinely and knowingly trespass on private property, leave behind a swath of destruction and a mess on private land that has to be cleaned up by the property owners in question, and these hunters have deliberately shot at people in their yards/at their homes.
If things like this happened to me, I would be raising all kinds of holy hell until something was actually done about it. I would consider that an absolutely unallowable state of circumstances. If one gun is fired, on private property, at a person/a person’s home, then why is anyone allowed to be shooting guns off out there in the name of “hunting”? Putting my feelings about sport hunting aside, I don’t understand why the KDWPT are continuing to issue permits, with these kinds of reported-to-law-enforcement activities going on. Yes, I’m from an urban area, but maybe because of that, I consider gunshots flying around in close proximity to people to be unequivocally unacceptable. To put it mildly.
Also, if hunters are really out there disregarding known property boundaries, and are, in fact, shooting at people and their homes, what other rules and regulations are they out there flouting?
It makes me wonder why the local law enforcement/powers that be are so eager and willing to trust people who are out shooting things on a regular basis, and to reward them with hunting licenses.
Do you really think these kinds of irresponsible hunters are following other regulations as established by the KDWPT? (My common sense conclusion would be telling me that they aren’t, even as a new transplant to this sort of rural environment!)
Things like obeying the regulation for non-toxic shot, for example?
More information on the regulation here: http://www.huntingwithnonlead.org/state_info.html and on the KDWPT website: https://ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/Hunting-Regulations/Migratory-Birds/Non-Toxic-Shot-Non-Toxic-Shot-Only-Areas
If you’re interested, here’s a full list of the statutes KDWPT is regulating by law:
How many of these are these gun-toters actually obeying these regulations? What’s the statistics on that, I wonder?
And, around the world, the following linked article states that illegal hunting continues even in countries with strong laws against hunting birds through the Spring migration period, and with an EU ban as well.
So it makes me wonder why hunting is allowed to continue, because these numbers point to a trend where hunters move through an environment where there are no repercussions for their actions, they can act with total immunity against wildlife and nature, and they grow more and more confident they they can do whatever they dang well feel like.
So, I argue that the more hunting is allowed, especially for sport and trophies, the more hunters feel like they can take advantage of the (laxity?) of it.
I believe that because they have guns, and plenty of them, they start to feel they are immune, and they have the freedom to do whatever they want to.
Illegally hunt animals. (Poaching, anyone? https://ksoutdoors.com/Services/Law-Enforcement/Operation-Game-Thief)
Conduct activities such as those that were related to me by way of firsthand local accounts.
And, gee, I don’t know, storm the United States Capitol building, for example?
While I abhor hunting and the killing of all wildlife, especially as a vegetarian, maybe there are ethical, sustenance-only hunters out there. But, as the saying goes, “a few bad seeds” and all that. And it’s time to put an end to the “few bad seeds”. It’s well past time for humans to start making sacrifices for wildlife and nature, in order to restore the balance between the human community and those inhabitants of the natural world, even if you are resistant to adopting a more sustainable diet for the planet.
Then when that balance is achieved and continues to be preserved, and human-caused climate change and widespread extinction of non-human species is a thing of the past, then you can talk to those who make more suitably stringent, and common-sense regulations about the “right to hunt”. And the powers that be might be willing to listen.
I might be willing to listen.
But I’m not going to listen, right now. This sort of mentality has dominated human thinking for hundreds upon thousands of years. And it’s time for it to stop. Especially with the whole natural world at stake because of our bad-seed choices, as humans. Yes, even mine. And I’m working as actively and as expediently as I can to undo what I’ve been conditioned by society to believe it means to be human.
It’s time for change. It’s time for our sacrifices, to repay all that animals and trees and nature have given us over the time humans have been on this planet. It’s time for humans to curtail their space and activities–to make room–so that wildlife in all its forms has room to once again thrive.
To (partially) quote the character Lindsey Brigman from the movie The Abyss:
“We all see what we want to see. Coffey . . . sees hate and fear. You have to look with better eyes than that.”
Here’s some links to people/groups that are looking with “better eyes”.
In articles like “The Mourning Dove: An Animal Rights Article” from All-Creatures.org, click link here.
I encourage all my eco-warriors, eco-writers, and just plain anybody who wants to write/has written a similar environmentally inspired blog post, to share their links in the comments.