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5 Ways Hunting Is Actually Environmentally Friendly

To slow down. Before you call PETA to ask them to send a hitman, listen to me. Most people eat meat, so why is farming a better source of meat than hunting? It turns out that’s not the case, at least in terms of the respective “green” scores. When done for sustenance and not only for sport, hunting can actually be an environmentally friendly activity.

Let’s be clear – this statement only applies if you follow a specific set of guidelines. You consume or use every part of the animal you kill, to the best of your ability, and you don’t just kill for the sake of killing. The population of animals you are hunting is a population that really needs control, and that control is professionally and/or appropriately managed. You also go to great lengths to ensure that the animal is killed humanely and that the weapon you use to do so is effective.

Think of Jake from Avatarnot Uncle Jimbo’s South Park.

With all of this in mind, consider that hunting has been a part of human history for countless generations. It is an ancient source of nourishment, connecting us to ourselves and to nature. It may come as a surprise, but here are 5 ways hunting is actually eco-friendly.

1. It maintains and controls animal populations

In the United States at least, hunting is a highly regulated activity. Laws are in place at the local, state, and federal levels that control the number of animals of prey. These efforts help us reduce the number of deer-vehicle collisions and protect our agricultural products from browsing wildlife, helping us to co-exist. At the same time, the overall health of the species is also protected in most places due to conservation laws limiting which animals can be hunted, when and where you can pursue them, and how many you are allowed to take. .

The process has and always will need constant management, so animal populations that are popular with hunters can have a head start as they will be monitored more vigilantly for conservation as well as for the preservation of the sport.

2. It circumvents animal husbandry practices

Whole books have been written about the environmental debacle of large-scale ranching. Let’s just cover the basics. We use 30% of the land on earth to grow vegetables used to feed livestock like cattle, chicken and pigs. We only use 10% to feed ourselves directly. We also use a third Earth’s fresh water that hydrates our farm animals. Not to mention that methane emissions from livestock, produced as a by-product of digestion, represent at least a third of all greenhouse gases linked to agriculture.

Like any other mass-produced food, commercially farmed meat is often wasted. Supermarkets, restaurants and consumers buy more than they need and end up throwing away too much. And unlike wild animal habitats, livestock farming has already required the destruction of millions of hectares of carbon-absorbing forests around the world, accounting for up to 15% of global carbon emissions.

Although smaller-scale and “backyard” farms are great alternatives to large-scale commercial sources of meat, hunting is also a viable option. Deer, elk, wild pig, duck and rabbit are all good substitutes for traditional livestock.

3. No Added Ingredients

One of the best things about eating game meat is knowing that it tastes like the wild. And you might be surprised to learn that much of our commercially raised livestock actually contains added ingredients.

Farm animals are often given small doses of antibiotics. Not to avoid infection, as one might think, but to promote growth, an accidental side effect discovered in the 1940s. This is a problem because the practice leads to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. Although the potential impact on human health has yet to be quantified, the possibility of a future outbreak certainly exists.

American farmers often give farm animals steroid hormones or synthetic equivalents to promote growth and metabolism of food into meat. The FDA says these chemicals are safe for human consumption, but studies have shown that they are excreted in feces, where they can find their way into water systems, causing endocrine disruption for humans. fish and other wild animals, and which may eventually reach us.

Unless you buy organic or grass-fed food, the meat you buy at the store has probably been raised on GMO foods. GM pet foods are made from plants that either produce pesticides themselves or are bred to withstand heavy applications of harmful chemicals designed to kill insects. These chemicals are not removed from the plants before they are fed to livestock. Instead, they accumulate in animal fat, which we then cook and eat, exposing us to substances that cause cancer, reproductive problems and many other health problems.

As long as you’re not hunting in an area with known environmental contamination, you won’t have to worry if your game meat is full of nasty stuff whose names you can’t even spell. No, just pure, natural, chemical-free cuts of tasty goodness.

4. The sport stays wild

Hunters are among the most active conservationists. It makes sense – to enjoy hunting as a sport, the land must remain wild. Without a well-preserved habitat, game species simply will not thrive and access to them will become limited.

People who buy hunting gear also make a huge financial contribution to the protection of hunting habitats. In 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Pittman-Robertson Act, authorizing an 11% tax on firearms, ammunition, bows and arrows. This ingenious piece of legislation has been a consistent and unbroken source of conservation funding ever since, raising more than $18 billion in total. The money is distributed each year to the states to spend as they see fit – education, research, restoration or as they see fit. The results, like the resurgence of bighorn sheep populations in the southern Rockies, are worth it.

Fees paid for obtaining a hunting license or tag also contribute to conservation efforts. States use the revenue to lease land that hunters can access, keeping it at least temporarily undeveloped. They also use it to run hatcheries, control invasive species, keep wildlife populations healthy, and provide special programs and education. In Colorado, the Department of Parks and Wildlife estimates that 62% of its funds for wildlife efforts come from license fees, with all taxes and grants combined contributing only 34% (donations and sales direct made up the rest).

In short, hunting pays off. Hunters as a group return more than they receive by paying higher taxes and fees on hunting-related products and services and by promoting land use that requires it to remain as it is.

5. It creates a lifelong appreciation of nature

Learning to hunt skillfully can give you a solid appreciation for animal behavior and the rules of nature. It teaches you respect for the earth and the animal, for the cycle of life and death, for our dependence on other forms of life for our survival.

Deer hunting is a full day effort, at minimum. It’s just not possible to spend so much time in nature and not connect deeply with it. Hunters learn to work with the land, rather than against it, to achieve their goals, and their enjoyment of spending time outdoors leads to a naturalistic passion that knows no bounds.

Are you a hunter? Has hunting brought you closer to nature? What other ways do you think hunting can be environmentally friendly?

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