Sunday, June 18, 2006

... that even whales and lions should be hunted

What is the premise for banning the hunting of any animal? What philosophies and what ideas underpin this notion?

Fundamentally it comes down to if you believe individual animals or entire species have a right to exist.

Many profess that there is a great difference between believing that an entire species has a moral right to exist and the belief that every individual animal has the right to life. In other words it is the difference between thinking it wrong to kill a single animal and thinking it wrong to wipe out an entire species.

True enough there is a difference that seems vast to people on either side, however both are based upon applying rights where there are none.

No species has a right to exist, not even mankind. Existence is a state of being and has to be earned everyday and every moment, it is facilitated by evolution.

Animals learn to adapt their environment or die; mankind is special in that we adapt the environment to us.

Over 99% of species that have ever existed have become extinct. Why should the lion, tiger or whale be any different?

The argument has been made that extinction by the means of nature (“natural predator” or “natural disease”) is intrinsically good but unnatural causes (manmade) is wrong. You’ll often hear claims that we are “disrupting the natural order”.

But by what rational and for what reasons is mankind not natural?

We are the outcome of natural selective evolution; we are nature’s grandest achievement.

Animals can and have been forced into extinction by direct cause of natural forces.

Humanity is the greatest natural force. Humans have and can cause extinctions.

If animals have rights similar to our own then us killing them is wrong, but why do we have rights and can they be applied to animals?

The basis of our rights is that we can decide things for ourselves. We can choose to live or die. We can create things that were never possible before from the efforts of our minds independent of our biological constraints in pursuit of happiness. We can act against our biological imperatives and make choices, as such our choices over ourselves and our property are to be respected and deemed moral. With our rights comes the duty to respect and protect those rights in others, anything else would be immoral.

Animals are unable to choose death or subsequently life. They are ruled by base biological impulses. They are neither capable of resisting those impulses nor of even understanding they exist. They have no choice ergo they have no right to make decisions over their own bodies or the things they produce for their survival.

Animals have no rights.

I will not debate the mindset of those who seek to hunt animals for pleasure. Happiness is the goal of human life and each person has the right to pursue that goal, so long as it does not take away the rights of any other person.

So, what harm could there be in legislating to protect animals and ensure their survival Why not make laws protecting them? Many gain happiness from the animals being alive.

The laws protecting animals, like all laws, would rely on violence. Violence against other people in the pursuit of happiness for yourself violates human rights and is an immoral act, as no species has a right to exist nor do animals have any individual rights the only reason to protect them is for personal pleasure.

The laws set up a bizarre reversal in the relationship between animals and man where rights are being taken away from people and ascribed to animals.

The whole process is irrational and immoral.

The cause of the problem and the solution is ownership. The animals and the lands they inhabit are in the public domain, managed by the state or intergovernmental bodies. As such no one person or group has responsibility for the animals or the land nor do they have any personal attachment. This lack of financial responsibility has produced poor if not non-existent management.

People will over hunt because they have no cause to fear financial hardship if all the animals die off. If they had to buy the land and/or the animals the burden of cost would be placed upon the hunters. The animals being the main draw for customers or resource would be an investment upon which they could earn money. They would have to protect their investment in order to earn back the initial cost of the land, and then earn back the costs of maintaining and protecting their investments. The environment would also be preserved and maintained as not only is it a draw for customers but a vital part in keeping their animals alive. Health and population maintenance of the animals would also be crucial if the owners wouldn’t want to make a massive loss.

After the owners have earned back the initial and upkeep costs the land and animals start producing profit and provide greater reason to be maintained.

If however an owner would have no intention of ever hunting the animals it could be maintained as a preserve. Force would even be acceptable in defending the animals from attack; defending your property is a moral right.

The problem was caused by overactive governments, the solution won’t be found in asking the government to do more.


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