Earlier this year peta2, PETA's youth division, released an article titled: What's Wrong With Hunting? Their answer… everything; as listed in eight detailed reasons why you should not support hunting. Live Love Hunt supports legal hunting, trapping, and fishing; here’s what we have to say about peta2/PETA’s article:
Before even beginning with the 8 bullet points, let's take a look at that opening sentence:
"Studies show that today, most hunters stalk and kill animals for the thrill of it, not out of necessity."
Studies? You're claiming that multiple studies have been conducted and all have the same conclusion to support this statement. Throughout your article you give quotes from conservation agencies and cite studies from universities; why not provide a link as to where you found evidence to support this leading statement? Because no such studies have ever been conducted; your article is not off to a good start!
1. peta2/PETA: Hunting causes pain and suffering along with interrupting families and leaving countless animals orphaned.
Hunting seasons are set around specific times of year, when that particular species is most vulnerable; while females are pregnant and tending to new young. When that particular hunting season begins, those babies have been weaned from nursing and can survive without their mother's milk, they’ve been taught to care for themselves not only by their mother but from social interactions from within their community, and have found their place within the herd/flock/pack. Female mammals begin to wean their young as soon as possible. For does (female deer) this begins as early as 8 weeks old and by 12-16 weeks are completely weaned and can survive without nursing; well before hunting season begins.
2. peta2/PETA: It isn't about conservation or population control.
Actually, that's exactly why hunting plays such a major role in conservation! As you’ve stated in your article, hunters will often target the largest, strongest animal (you’ve referred to this as Trophy Hunting). These particular males have spread their genes throughout their herd and continue to fight with the younger, competing males that are fighting to move up the ranks. These fights result in severe injuries, sometimes death. Please think about this, if the younger males in the herd are killed or run off by older males who are past breeding age... how will that herd continue on? This is often the reason as to why hunters are selective in the animal they target; saving the species doesn’t mean saving every animal.
peta2/PETA, you also talk about other methods to deter the deer population from unwanted areas by using repellents and high fencing; all with the goal of moving deer to an area where food is scarce, so deer will refrain from breeding which leads to fewer babies.
These animals will continue to breed because it's in their DNA, remember the breeding alarm clock. Plus, there are so many problems with the deterrent idea! When these deer are forced from multiple areas to the selected desired area, herd numbers begin to grow and with that comes the quicker spread of disease. A large herd does not always mean a healthy herd. As stated in your article, the goal is to make food scarce; starvation is NOT a safe or healthy solution!
3. peta2/PETA: Hunting is not a sport.
According to peta2/PETA, a sport is between two teams with a referee and hunters always have an unfair advantage. These animals live every minute of their lives listening and constantly watching for predators. A human hunter is no different than a furry predator; the end result is the same. If these animals aren't paying attention to every twig snap, every scent blowing through the wind, they will die. A deer’s sense of smell can be anywhere from 500 to 1,000 times more acute than humans and can see 5 times better than we do; a wolf's sense of smell is 100 times better than humans; and bears have been observed to travel up to 18 miles in a straight line to its desired food source!
Since you brought up sports:
4. peta2/PETA: There are few regulations. “Most hunting occurs on private land, where laws that protect wildlife often don’t apply or are difficult to enforce.”
Whether a hunt takes place on private or public land, the same regulations and limits apply. Conservation agents are out and will walk right up to a hunter/hunters and require proof of permit, to be shown game taken that day, they’ll inspect firearms and they will do so, thoroughly; 100% compliance is required!!!
peta2/PETA, you write about how loose the regulations are with exotic hunts in African. African counties will only allow a set number of permits to be issued each year. You say these countries only offer hunters a "trophy" when these hunts provide meat to the local communities (which is required by law) and also the employment of staff (local trackers, skinners, camp staff) who assist in these hunts.
5. peta2/PETA: Hunting is profit driven.
PETA claims that "Most federal and state agencies that manage wildlife refuges, national forests, state parks, and other public lands are partially funded by hunting and fishing activities, so agency employees often go out of their way to encourage hunting rather than regulating or policing it."
Well you are correct, these programs are funded by hunting and fishing activities! Through state licenses, fees, and taxes, hunting and fishing funding comes to $1.6 billion per year which aids to fund wildlife refuges, national forests, state/national conservation programs, etc.
As shown in your 2014 Annual Report, your organization put $12.9 million towards researching, investigations and rescuing animals; even though in the past 10 years, 92% of the animals rescued by PETA (other than spay/neuter animals) have been killed.
In July 2010, Dr. Kovich, an investigator for VDACS (Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) determined that “PETA’s facility does not contain sufficient animal enclosures to routinely house the number of animals annually reported as taken into custody.” It was also noted during this investigation that “PETA’s shelter did not meet PETA’s own published guidelines for operating a humane animal shelter!” PETA’s lawyer responded to VDACS arguing that a legal technicality protected their status as an animal shelter after an investigation determined:
PETA also seems to believe that it takes $19.4 million to educate the public about animal abuse and the evils of hunting. As we’ve already mentioned, hunters contribute over a billion dollars annually to conservation programs while PETA has NOT allocated a single cent towards any conservation programs, habitat preservation, or endangered species.
6. peta2/PETA: It (hunting) claims other, nontarget victims.
peta2/PETA makes the claim that hunters are at risk of injury from wild animal attacks. While this is true, people are at risk of being attacked by a wild animal at any time while outdoors; ie. hiking through Yellowstone National Park or camping in the Smokey Mountains. It is now common to read about predator attacks in populated suburban neighborhoods.
peta2/PETA, I'm not sure where your hunting dog facts came from; NEVER have I heard of a hunter turning lose their furry companions at the end of a season. Where are your facts to support this statement? (Probably alongside the “hunters only kill for the thrill” study!)
7. peta2/PETA: Violence against animals can lead to violence against humans.
Your argument here is that desensitization from hunting will cause a human to inflict suffering onto other humans. You’ve chosen the quotes "people who abuse animals are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against humans" and "inmates scheduled to be executed for murder practiced their crimes on animals beforehand.” Hunting is NOT a crime but a legal conservation tool; making your point #7 of thrill violence, irrelevant.
8. peta2/PETA: It's unnecessary.
peta2/PETA claims "that with all the delicious pastas, fruits, vegetables and grains that are cheaply available everywhere, there is no reason to kill animals to survive." Think about that statement. If everyone (even slowly) began leading the Vegan lifestyle, this would mean an extremely enormous amount of land would be turned into crop fields to produce the only source of food. This means there would be a massive amount of habitat loss, which is currently ranked as the primary cause of species extinction! Wildlife would suffer from starvation, parasites & disease would spread at an accelerated rate due to overpopulation, these animals would be considered “pests” and a threat to human survival. They would be repelled or poisoned as to keep them clear of the only source of human food. Predators including mountain lions, bears, coyotes, and wolves would flourish by wiping out what was left of the non-predatory wildlife; then moving onto their next source of food… pets and livestock. Hunting helps to keep the balance, hunting is absolutely necessary!
What can you do...
According to peta2/PETA you should "post 'no hunting' signs, join or form an anti-hunting organization, protest organized hunts, and spread deer repellent or human hair (from barber shops) near hunting areas because taking action is fun!"
HOW YOU CAN ACTUALLY HELP:
peta2/PETA has made it clear (per their financial reports) their primary objectives are to promote protesting & education, research & investigations, and to "rescue" animals. ZERO of PETA's donated dollars are put towards habitat preservation or any wildlife management programs, yet they are DETERMINED to ban hunting! Hunters contribute millions of dollars to these programs every year, while PETA spent $4.7 million for membership development.
If you truly want to help, make donations to organizations that are dedicated to conservation efforts, promoting wildlife & habitat management, and educating the public about the benefits of these programs. You can also help by donating your time, volunteer at a nearby state or national park.
This goes for pets too! Local animal shelters are always looking for donations which go directly to the care of housed animals and volunteers as well, give and help locally.
Do you have an organization or charity you'd like to add to our list, let me know and I'll happily add them!
Sources: PETA, Wide Open Spaces, NorthernWoodLands.org, WolfCountry.net, Ducks.org, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Missouri Department of Conservation, Peta Kills Animals, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Thanks for following along, Sarah Cox.