Hunting destroys animal populations

50,000 years ago, if I wanted breakfast, I would have had to go out and hunt for it myself. Hunting once played a crucial part in humanity’s evolution. Similarly, we evolved from monkeys with good posture to the “civilized” beings we are today. In 2014, though, hunting is nothing more than the recreational slaughter of innocent, defenseless animals.

Some may argue that hunting is, in fact, natural. They say it is a clear demonstration of survival of the fittest. However, man is no longer living in caves, hiding from the tyranny of a mammoth or saber-toothed tiger. Humanity’s subjugation to natural selection is long gone. We are the pinnacle of environmental dominance. Hunting serves no more purpose than to amuse hunters.

Inserting ourselves into natural environments disrupts the way the environment functions. While humans are an animal species and do play critical parts in certain environments, it seems that we have a tendency to insert ourselves, and our guns, into whatever deer or turkey-filled environment we can find. A rifle should not regulate biodiversity.

According to Field and Stream, a website dedicated to hunting and outdoor life, of the 200 million animals killed each year by hunters, deer account for six million. White doves are the most hunted, with squirrels not far behind. Together, they make up nearly 40 percent all hunted animals, nearly 80 million combined. There is no reason, other than the amusement of the hunter, that these poor creatures are being hunted.

Hunting doesn’t exclusively have an effect on nature. It also affects society. Hunting encourages the acceptance of gun violence. Chai Vang, a self-professed hunting enthusiast, intentionally shot eight people while on a hunting trip in Wisconsin. Had he never been introduced to gun culture at a young age, he might never have had the opportunity to kill those innocent people with his hunting rifle.I’m not accusing all hunters of raising mentally unstable murderers, but hunting does create a society that is less cautious about the danger of guns.

Owning a weapon, however, does come with certain requirements. A license is required in order to own a gun or hunt, but a background check of the applicant isn’t always completed, and licenses are very easy to obtain. According to the Bureau of Justice, in 2010, only 1.5 percent of the 10.4 million firearm applicants were denied. However, according to the 2013 Geneva-based Small Arms Survey, a survey conducted annually to measure the amount of firearm owners in the U.S., nearly 270 million people own guns. The same survey estimates that a fraction of that statistic includes citizens who own guns with no gun license.

The necessity of obtaining a license in order to buy a gun is not always enforced. According to the Washington Post, makes background checks and a license easy to avoid. Nearly 2,000 firearms on the website require no background checks at all.

We, as a society, have accepted hunting as an appropriate pastime. But what of its immorality, its encouraging gun violence, and, most of all, its reign of terror on poor, innocent animals? We should not celebrate our environmental dominance by slaughtering millions of animals a year, but rather by treating all earth’s creatures with the respect and the love they deserve.

Billy Jump is a Copy Editor for The Patriot and