The Ethics of Sport Hunting Essay

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Aldo Leopold pioneered “land ethics” in the first half of the 20th century. Inspired by Leopold, his fellow professor at the University of Wisconsin, Van Rensselaer Potter, coined the term “bioethics” in the second half of the 20th century (1970). Both terms have a powerful social and personal component. Both terms connote an integration of values and the environment. So, too, do “hunt ethics,” an integration of values and an action based upon biology and the ‘land.’ The hunter has affection and awe for all of nature’s creations, perhaps more so than any other human observer, for the hunter must read the most subtle signs of his quarry, its habitat and its behavior, to be successful. If successful, respect and regret are dominant…show more content…
Written by Felix Salten in 1924 and animated by Walt Disney in 1942, it featured a “depraved male” murdering “doe-eyed innocence.” In fact, the trope projected nothing more than a sentimental and romantic anthropomorphism, crying out against man’s very nature and his products of a scientific materialism, one of which is the gun. Bambi was a falsification of man and his place in the rest of nature, never forgetting that man himself is part of nature. Yet it was a very lucrative perversion for Disney and a damming defamation of the honest hunter. In fact, such a hunter has a love affair with nature and his quarry. Such a hunter reawakens, even recreates his biological center - all five senses fully and sublimely engaged. Yet, one must acknowledge that the trophy, the score, and the adulation by fellow hunters and fellow travelers represent for many trophy hunters the primary, even the only reason to hunt; hence “to collect.” It must be asked, Can this residue, the trophy, satisfy a sport hunter’s innermost needs? The answer is, yes, of course, providing the trophy is a byproduct and not the prime reason for the hunt. Trophy quality should connote a challenging hunt where we stay in the field longer and hunt harder for a larger old male in his last year or two of life. In the end, however, every animal we kill
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