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Positive & Negative Effects of Hunting

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  • 0:01 The Debate on Hunting
  • 0:29 Positive Effects of Hunting
  • 3:42 Negative Effects of Hunting
  • 5:30 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dominic Corsini
For some people, hunting represents a cultural tradition or a livelihood. Others see hunting as inhumane. This lesson discusses both the positive and negative aspects of hunting. After the lesson, take a quiz to see what you've learned, and make up your own mind.

The Debate on Hunting

Hunting in some areas is part of people's livelihoods; they've grown up with it, and it represents something passed from generation to generation. However, in other areas, hunting is frowned upon. It is looked at as cruel, barbaric, or inhumane. For someone to truly be objective in an assessment of hunting, he or she must take an unemotional and critical look at each side of the argument. Let's do that now as we talk about the positive and negative effects of hunting.

Positive Effects of Hunting

The act of hunting has been around since the dawn of man and remains in practice today. Hunting advocates present a host of reasons hunting is beneficial; however, in this lesson, we will focus on four of the primary reasons. There are that hunting:

  • Helps control animal populations
  • Provides food
  • Provides recreation
  • Can help businesses turn a profit

Let's examine each of these reasons more closely.

Many hunters and hunting advocates feel that hunting helps keep certain animal populations under control. Animal populations are groups of the same animal species. Without the existence of hunting, research shows that some animal populations might grow large enough to inflict damage to the ecosystem and/or personal property.

Consider white-tailed deer, for example. The population of deer was originally held in check by predators, such wolves and cougars, but declining populations of these animals have left deer with a lack of natural predators. If their population were left unchecked it would increase dramatically. This would likely cause over browsing of wild plants, which could leave the deer without enough food to survive; increased impact on agricultural crops, which could hurt farmers and crops; and more collisions with automobiles, which cause property damage and can seriously injure people and animals. Hunting, when used as a tool for population management, helps reduce these issues.

People also use hunting as a method for obtaining food. This has been true for centuries and continues to be so today. In many rural areas of the United States, schools shut down for the opening day of deer hunting season. Those that remain open experience higher absenteeism than normal. Many hunters living in rural areas rely on the food provided by hunting as sustenance for themselves and their families. Therefore, the benefit of hunting is tangible to both the hunter and those relying on him/her.

The third pro to hunting is the recreational aspect. Many avid hunters claim that hunting is a fun activity and enjoy the skill of it. Hunting is considered to be a pastime and hobby for people of all ages and from all parts of the world. Families have used hunting as a means of bonding and source of camaraderie for thousands of years. While it may be difficult to understand for non-hunters, the recreational and aesthetic value of hunting is an intangible that cannot be devalued.

Finally, we get down to money. Hunting is big business on a number of fronts. Clothing, firearms, and ammunition are the obvious moneymakers for the hunting industry. But consider other less subtle, yet equally important, groups that have a vested interest in hunting. For example, organizations like Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, the Wild Turkey Federation, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation use contributions from their membership to purchase land and preserve habitat for thousands of different species - not just game animals. This helps global biodiversity in a way that non-hunters often do not realize. Biodiversity is a measure of how many species live in an area and how well each of those species is thriving. Most hunters are also conservationists, and the money they spend goes in part to conserving natural resources for everyone.

Negative Effects of Hunting

Anti-hunters have a host of their own reasons against hunting. We will focus on three:

  • Trophy hunting
  • The danger associated with hunting
  • Inhumane suffering

Again, let's discuss each individually.

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