Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

May 22, 2012

Hunting is not a sport

Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — Dear Editor:

Albert Schweitzer (Medical Missionary, 1875-1965) said, "When will we reach the point that hunting, the pleasure in killing animals for sport, will be regarded as a mental aberration?"

I believe that time has come because people no longer hunt for food, they hunt for the thrill of the kill, and it's sad to say, but those people actually enjoy killing. Some eat their kills, but I believe most are only interested in the animals as trophies.

Our government, businesses and private organizations support them. They have TV shows, web sites and social networks where they can brag about their kills. Hunters often try to justify their "sport" by claiming it prevents deer overpopulation. When the Hidden Valley Lake Property Owners Association in Lawrenceburg declared deer to be a nuisance, many showed up to help eliminate the pests. Bloomington officials are considering a similar plan, saying it's cheaper to shoot them than use conservation methods.

There are people who make a living providing animals for these people to shoot. They call them "game preserves," where animals are released in enclosed areas, from which they cannot escape, then the hunters go shoot them. In my opinion, these preserves are no different from houses of prostitution in that there is no need to go find a street walker when you can go to a house and pick one out.

Hunters say their license fees go towards conservation efforts, but actually, wildlife agencies do more to propagate species for hunters to shoot. The USDA Wildlife Services spends about $120 million every year to kill thousands predator species. They are out to conserve hunting, not wildlife. Predators usually cull out the weak, sick or old, whereas hunters target the large and healthy.

During this past Indiana legislative session, a bill was passed by the Senate that would allow hunters to use silencers, so that they can stealthily continue the slaughter. Fortunately, no action was taken in the House, but this bill will probably be reintroduced in the next session.

Joseph Wood Krutch (American author, 1893-1970) said, "When a man wantonly destroys the works of man we call him a vandal, but when he destroys the works of God we call him a sportsman."

These people actually think they are "good guys" and they teach their children to kill. Newspapers print pictures of them smiling by dead animals. I realize hunting has always been considered a tradition: a tradition of killing. They kill millions every year and orphan many more, all for their pathetic idea of "recreation."

Albert Schweitzer also said, "The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter now deeply rooted in tradition or surrounded by a halo." More people need to become "thinking" men and speak out to end this senseless slaughter.

James Wilson

Speed, Ind.