Positive and Negative Effects of Hunting: Including Benefits and Disadvantages on The Environment
According to study of archeologists, prehistoric men started hunting around 1.9 million years ago. So, men are familiar with hunting from their ancestors’ very beginning. The main purpose of their hunting was simple although, we have some common misconceptions about hunting. It was for searching of meat for their carnivorous nature and thus ensuring food for themselves and their family.
With the advancement of civilization, the urge of hunting only for the collection of food minimizes, but there is still the appeal of hunting prevailing.
The thrill of hunting still attracts many people. That’s why; hunting is more favorite hobby among people around the world. But there some rules to cover the safety of user during shooting and hunting which less people followed strictly. Moreover, many people continue this task for their business purpose of food or meat industry.
Now the question is, though hunting can cause rush of blood in your body, give you profit in business, make livelihood, represents the cultural tradition in many regions or make food for your family, is it completely positive after all? Many people consider hunting as a very inhumane and brutal nature of man.
They also blame hunting for the imbalance of nature, a potential threat to wildlife or extinction of many rare species. Now which one is true? Here you will get your answer as I am going to describe all the positive effects of hunting and negative aspects of hunting as well. Be with me and learn the truth about hunting.
Table of Contents
- Why Hunting is a Good and Important Thing?
- Why Hunting is Bad for The Environment
- Final Verdict
Why Hunting is a Good and Important Thing?
You have already got some gist in my intro about that. Let’s discuss that in an elaborate way.
Controlling Animal Population and Ecological Balance
Hunting works as a population management tool as it helps to control the population of many animals in a territory. You have certainly heard about ecosystem.
In a certain territory there remain many living beings and they are dependent on each other in many ways. Foods, energy, nutrition are major issues of their interdependency.
If the number of one living being suddenly increases, interlink between other animals will affect negatively. The overall food chain and ecosystem will face the problems of imbalance. This phenomenon is applicable to any type of ecosystem.
For example, we can consider a wildlife ecosystem of a forest. In such ecosystem, plants work as the producer and the herbivorous animals such as white-tailed deer depend on those plants.
So, they are the first level of consumer in the system. Second level consumers are the carnivorous animals who prey the first level consumer. Examples of such consumers are tigers, wolves, or cougars.
Naturally always there remains a balance in the number of these animals. When the number of deer increases, the carnivores get more food and due to their hunting the number of deer balances.
But, if there causes any abnormality, then hunting can help keeping the animal populations under control. Here, abnormality means if the population of the second level consumers gets declined for any reason.
Then, the number of deer will increase rapidly which will also lessen the number of plants and other producers available in that region.
Due to the declination of plants, deer will face the shortage of their foods, will have to starve and ultimately they will lead to mass death. Producers provide not only food but also work as the source of oxygen and energy for all the animals.
So, besides food pyramid, both nutrition and energy pyramid will also get destroyed due to the same effect.
Moreover, it will also put negative impact on the agricultural cropland of farmers. Hunting can survive from such problem as you can control the amount of deer for the sake of the ecosystem.
Providing the Source of Food
As mentioned earlier, hunting has been considered as a medium of obtaining food from the prehistoric ages over the centuries. It’s true that people from most of the part of the world are dependent on crops or meats of domestic and grown-up animals.
But still, people from many regions depend solely on hunting animals for their food.
For example, in rural parts of the United States, many aboriginal groups are habituated of having their meet by hunting and they even close the schools on an opening day for the purpose of hunting. The Aboriginal Australian people also have their sustenance by the means of hunting.
There are many more such examples like Torres Strait Islanders or some Indonesian Island dwellers.
Hunting as Favorite Recreation
According to Outdoor Recreation Participation report (in short ORP report) of 2017, the participation of all types hunting (including rifle, bow, shotgun and handgun) in 2016 got increased in average by 8-10% in the last 3 years.
Hunting ranked at 12 of most popular outdoor recreations or sports on the list. In total people of around 16 million have the habit of regular hunting as an outdoor sport.
The activities also suggest that people aged more than 20 are more interested in hunting than others.
Even in some countries, hunting is considered as a traditional and ritual customary. In the tradition of Germany huntsmanship is known as “waidmannsart”.
This is century-old tradition and collection of rules followed by a hunter. Both New Zealand and Australia have century-old great hunting culture.
In India, traditional hunting is known as “shikar”. South African people defines hunting as “Safari”, comes from a Swahili word and known as “a long journey”. Hunting is also a long time tradition in the USA, the UK, Russia, Spain, Japan, Trinidad and Tobago, Greece, and so on. Trophy Hunting is another very popular version of hunting followed over years.
Economic Value of Hunting
Hunting does not only work as the food provider medium but also has an economic value of great extent. In the year of 2016, the European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation (in short FACE) published an analytical study that represents the details of the economic benefits of Hunting in European regions.
According to the study, hunting led to a huge income of 3.5 million Euro in France in the year of 2015 and also provided job facilities to 258000 people.
Hunting contributes around 2.5 million Pound to British economy on an average in each year. In total Europe has a total of 6.7 million hunters and they contribute an estimated amount of 16 billion Euro.
There are also many potential job sectors related to hunting there like hunting arms dealers, equipment dealers, arms manufacturers, gamekeepers, professional hunters, dog trainers, service providers, hunting trip planners, etc.
Revenue also comes from tax, sales, charges, fees, etc. Hunting is also a very popular option for earning profit in other parts of the world as well.
The USA has their own set of rules and regulations regarding hunting. Hunting earns around 3.5 billion USD taxes every year at the national level there. So, you can’t simply ignore hunting considering it a useless recreation only as it works as the livelihood of many people.
Hunting drives many industries all over the world. A vast majority of animals get hunted each year for boosting the fur and leather industry.
Animals like fox, rabbits, raccoon, wallabies, coyotes, mink, bobcat, otter, weasel, beavers, lynx, mink, muskrat, and so on are really valuable for their fur.
Though in some countries, fur is banned but still, it makes a huge contribution to overall garments sector of world economy.
According to the British Fur Trade Association (BFTA), Minks and Foxes are the most popular furs in the UK and the fur trade makes revenue up to 500 million pounds each year.
The stat was from a decade away, and the figure swells up more at now. According to Vogue magazine, the fur trade in global market is worth more than around 40 billion USD.
Hunting also leads industrialists to other options such as meat, leather, raw materials, bones, rifles, shotguns, equipment, medicines, animal oils, buttons, combs, soaps, and the list goes on.
Helping in Biological Issues
Apart from ecological balance and animal population management tool, hunting plays some other positive roles to benefit the biological communities. It prevents many diseases from getting spread and also helps in retaining biomass as well.
Are you wondering how they can be even possible? Okay, in some definite regions of the world, hunting starts in the early autumn season just before the supply of food getting insufficient there.
Due to the lack of supply of food, the animals of those regions become weaken and they get very much prone to diseases as their immune system get fragile due to the lack of food. These diseases can get spread over other animals either by predation or have close contact over the winter.
So hunting can be a very useful tool for stopping such epidemic and helping the mass communities by harvesting those weaker animals.
In developed countries, hunters have their own hunting licenses. The authority donates those fees collected from their licenses to many environmental and wildlife conservation organizations. There are other fees like park permits, membership fee, and so other that are also used for the betterment of the environment.
Hunters also individually donate funds to many organizations for the purpose of preserving natural environment and wildlife.
After going through all those good sides are you confused why many people hate and disapprove of hunting? Well, there are also some negative aspects of hunting as well. Now you are going to put light on them.
Why Hunting is Bad for The Environment
Endangering Wildlife and Environment
Despite of making many positive contributions, hunting also leads many dangers to the environment and their wildlife as well. In most of the countries, hunters are allowed to prey certain species of animals only. Many environmentalists argue that this causes environmental imbalance and affect the wildlife for long run.
If a particular predator species of any food chain get lowered due to hunting, the number of their prey will increase drastically. Ultimately, this will lead to environmental imbalance and uncontrolled ecosystem.
The number of animals getting killed each year is really a shocking figure. In a study, it has come out that more than 100 million of them get killed by hunters each year.
If you just consider only fur industry- each year more than a billion rabbits along with 50 million of other animals are getting killed either by hunting or trapping for their furs only. These stats are enough to make you feel sorry for the wildlife.
Extinction of Many Animals
We have already discussed how much valuable hunting can be and what a huge amount of money is possible to make just only by hunting. This makes many evil businessmen and hunters tempted. That’s why; illegal poaching and trafficking of wildlife animals have become very common nowadays.
Every country has their own set of rules and regulations for limiting hunting and saving the animal kingdom. But the violations of these laws are also very usual.
Due to this reckless tendency, many animals are facing problems and some of them are on the verge of extinction as well. Sadly there are some animals that have already gone extinct in the last two centuries for hunting, trafficking, poaching and all other evil practices done by us.
Tasmanian tiger, West African Black Rhinoceros, Bubal Hartebeest, Javan Tiger, Great Auk, Tecopa Pupfish, Sea Mink, Pyrenean Ibex, Quagga, Caribbean Monk Seal, etc. are some of many extinct animals due to hunting.
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have red-listed around 100 species of animals that are being considered as the most threatened species to extinction. All of them have been due to hunting.
Unethical Nature of Killing
The humanists have always raised their voice against hunting considering how much brutal and gruesome this can be for the animals and wildlife. The pain and sufferings of the innocent animals, while they are getting shot or stabbed, is literally inhumane. Many people want to keep the wildlife free as they are and stop hunting forever.
They want to let the natural predation prevail as they feel hunting can’t add more benefits by providing any artificial predation as a tool of animal population management. So, according to many, hunting is totally unnecessary. It’s merely to give fun to human by punishing the animals, nothing else than that.
Pollution and Global Warming
While searching for any suitable hunting grounds, hunters have to go for long distanced trips. These hunting trips cause a huge amount of carbon dioxide emission from their vehicles.
Moreover, sometimes the hunters need to make camp in the hunting spots and reside there for some days. The campfires made there are also causes of producing CO2 gas and contributing to global warming.
The gunshot also causes sound pollution. Hunting causes the damages of many plants and makes the forest damaged. The lead ammunition of the guns are also a threat to the environment as they can cause air pollution, soil pollution and also hampers human’s normal respiration.
Promotion of Gun Violence
It is proved that humans have a normal tendency of loving violent nature and all of those deeds subconsciously. This tendency can grow more strongly if you continue your hunting activities more frequently.
Hunting opens the door of more arms dealing and uses of guns frequently.
People enjoy killing innocent animals and watching them suffer for their passion. This also leads them to more violence. There are many options for supporting this logic. Thus, hunting can affect you more negatively than you can even realize ever.
After all these discussions about negative and positive effects of hunting, you can’t blame hunting alone for all the negative things happened to the environment, animal kingdom, food chain, ecosystem, or even in your individual life.
There are certain laws set up by authority. It’s not a crime having some fun and letting your passion go by hunting.
But not let it be a reckless one so that it can put some violent effect on your surroundings. After all, it’s your world and you need to live here with all other humans and animals.
Don’t ruin something now that can even make you down in future. It’s not applicable for hunting alone, but all aspects of life.
Also You Can Read