The Ethics of Killing Large Carnivores

Is “bagging a trophy” really an amoral choice?

This is a very interesting article that discusses the very core of issues we discuss on this blog.  I thoroughly recommend that you read it as I think it represents how I feel about wildlife, and more specifically large carnivore, management today.  The proponents of trophy hunting (and I think the North American Wildlife Management Model as well) claim that it is an amoral matter while, as the article points out, it is a moral matter.

In his paper, Environmental ethics and trophy hunting, Dr. Alastair Gunn states that “Nowhere in the (scientific) literature, so far as I am aware, is hunting for fun, for the enjoyment of killing, or for the acquisition of trophies defended.”

This passage is particularly relevant:

Unfortunately, jurisdictions in both Canada and the United States are saddled with a policy framework for wildlife conservation that is carried out within an artificial construct in which ethical considerations simply do not exist and management is driven largely by values, attitudes and deeply held beliefs that are ensconced in the anachronistic North American Wildlife Management Model that dates back to the early 1900’s. This narrow approach is primarily rooted in an agricultural mindset, as opposed to an ecological one.

The Ethics of Killing Large Carnivores.
Chris Genovali – Executive Director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation