Based on the "owning a gun" thread and kaylynne's post about hunting, I just wanted to sound off a little bit. I'll start off by saying that I've never hunted and honestly don't think I ever could shoot an animal unless it was to save a person's life or one of my pet's lives. But my DH and his family are all big hunters, and after talking to him extensively about hunting, I am not completely opposed to it as I used to be.
I think legal hunting is actually quite necessary. The DOW gives out a certain number of permits per type of animal based on research of the herd populations in that area. There needs to be a control on the numbers, because as we start populating certain areas, wild animals lose their natural habitat. If hunters are not able to size down the herds, many animals will suffer slow deaths starving because of the lack of food. Responsible hunters are able to kill an animal instantly, instead of having it starve to death or freeze to death. While it's sad that an animal dies, there isn't any stopping urbanization of areas, so herds will constantly be fighting to survive.
The real reason I wanted to bring this up is because kaylynne mentioned that there are grocery stores available for meat, but in a previous sentence had mentioned that hunting rendered the animals defenseless against a human with a gun. Animals raised for meat in a grocery store are also completely defenseless, often living their entire lives in disgusting conditions. Their last moments of life are, I'm sure, sheer terror. Filing one by one into the slaughterhouse, through man-made contraptions with foreign sounds all around. During the slaughtering, many animals don't die right away and are left to suffer. Two weekends ago, DH shot an elk during elk season. He used one shot only, the animal died immediately, and never saw it coming. He died in his natural environment, there was no terror before his death, and he never felt a thing.
Using grocery store meat as an excuse to be against hunting is ignorant in my opinion. It's easy to see a couple of filets wrapped in plastic and forget that it was a living, breathing animal. From the one elk that DH shot, we have enough meat to last us almost an entire year. I agree that there are some hunters who are reckless and do it for their own enjoyment, but many are doing it to help out the animals just as much as, if not more, than for sport. To summarize, I think an animal that dies by the hand of a hunter dies a much more respectful, peaceful death than an animal that dies by the hand of a slaughterhouse worker.
This isn't a personal attack on you, kaylynne, as I know quite a few people who say the same thing. But I just wanted to share my thoughts on it. If anyone else wants to discuss, please feel free!