Friday, April 29, 2011

Is Deer Hunting Cruel?

I’m always bemused by those who consider deer hunting cruel, yet they don’t have a problem munching on fried chicken or gobbling down a T-bone steak. C’mon – you can’t have it both ways! Do they think that the animals they’re eating died of natural causes? Domestic livestock, in most cases, endure terrible lives. Chickens in large factory farms live in tiny cages, and cattle and pigs raised on factory farms spend all their time in crowded feedlots. Most never even get to experience grass beneath their hooves. Instead, they feel hard cement day in and day out. They have no quality of life at all.
And then comes the time for killing. Some of these animals spend hours or even days crammed into big trucks, without food or water. Then they stand in line, awaiting their turn for slaughter. I won’t go into all the grisly details here, but suffice it to say that many of these animals are not killed humanely. In view of this, I think you can understand why I think hunting is kinder than killing domesticated farm animals for food. So why do some meat-eating humans consider deer hunting to be a cruel practice?
Honestly, I think it’s because deer are beautiful, graceful creatures. I mean really, compare a whitetail deer to a cow or pig. Cattle and swine are not particularly attractive, nor are they graceful. But does that make them any less able to experience pain and agony? Does a deer have more of a right to live just because it’s cute?
Deer need to be harvested for the survival and health of the herd. At least, this is true in most places in the U.S. that support significant populations of whitetail deer. Also, many of the humans harvesting the deer are the very ones who enable the deer ‘s survival in the first place by planting food plots and allowing the deer to graze in their pastures. Even hunter’s who don’t help feed the deer directly support wildlife whenever they purchase a hunting license.

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