“Let’s Talk About Hunting as a Form of Entertainment”

Stephen Wiggins Article, Event 5 Comments


Chris Mercer’s (CACH) address at the Global March for Lions, Cape Town, 2 April 2016

Let’s talk about hunting as a form of entertainment. Hunters intrude in to a natural environment in order to inflict suffering and death upon helpless animals – for fun.

1.      They claim to be doing it for conservation.  They lie. They do it for entertainment; because they enjoy stalking and killing. True conservation means protecting animals, not killing them.

2.      They claim that hunting is the only way to save Africa’s wildlife. They lie. That is like arguing that the only way to save whales is by whaling.

3.      They claim that hunting creates jobs.  They lie.  Hunting causes rural unemployment. When land is taken out of agricultural production in order to provide entertainment, jobs are lost. Ten thousand farms now provide entertainment, not food. Partly due to this change in land use, the rural labour force has dropped from 1,6 million to just over 600,000. SA has lost a million jobs in the rural economy.

4.      They claim to bring billions of dollars in to the country.  Again, look at the whole Balance Sheet on land use to see how misleading this claim is. Bring to account the loss of forex caused by the change from agriculture to entertainment. Last year, SA produced 4 million kgs less wool for export, owing to the change in land use.  And that is just wool!

5.      Hunters claim to have increased wildlife numbers from the point where some species (like rhino) were at risk of extinction. They lie. First, it was the hunting fraternity itself that wiped out our wildlife, bringing game numbers to an alarming low point. So now the hunters want credit for saving animals from themselves. A typical extortion racket!

6.      No, this is the true story.  Having all but wiped out our wildlife in the wild, the hunters had to turn to captive breeding on fenced game farms in order to provide a constant supply of living targets for their entertainment. Those animals may look wild but they are not.  They have become livestock, being bred like sheep or cattle for slaughter.  The hunters have taken the ‘wild’ out of our wildlife.

7.      These animals no longer evolve against other species as they would in a natural functioning eco-system. They are being farmed as alternative livestock. And boasting about the increase in the numbers of fenced-in, captive-bred animals is as silly as boasting about the increased numbers of prisoners in SA prisons; as if that proves that we are a healthier society.

We know from studies published by IUCN that hunting is a wasteful use of land.  Vast tracts of national land – about 20% – are set aside to provide entertainment, mostly for wealthy foreigners.

Is this a necessary – or even desirable – land use?

So who is ignorant enough to swallow hunting propaganda hook, line and sinker?

Why, the SA government, of course. Edna Molewa (South African Minister for Environmental Affairs) and SA conservation structures all support hunting as if it were a tool of conservation, and not a major threat to it.

Any intelligent person can see that hunting is to conservation what pornography is to art – a ghastly parody of the real thing.

​And claiming that the only way to save our wildlife heritage is to kill majestic animals is as crazy as arguing that the only way to save art is by destroying the Mona Lisa.

Global March for Lions, London report

Comments 5

  1. Share Lomas

    Thanks so much for your posts Stephen!! Keep up the awesome research in support of all the helpless animals in imminent danger. Wish I could do more. But at least I am more aware now than ever thanks to your passion for protecting the Earth’s most beautiful animal species both large and small. I sign petitions but I don’t know if I am being of any help at all. I hope so at least in some small way. My heart breaks when I hear and see videos of the slaughter of innocent and unsuspecting animals. Such vicious cruelty makes no sense. You are right about Ghosts. In the future there will be only Ghosts of animals on hunter’s walls. I hope the Ghosts come back to haunt their killers. It is such a disgrace to humanity. My heart bleeds in pain for these majestic creatures. I mean I cried when I read the book Charlotte’s Web to my Grade Three class when Wilbur’s (the pig) good friend Charlotte the spider, died alone at the county fair after saving Wilbur’s life thru her cleverness in spinning words into her web which made the public think that Wilbur was SOME PIG etc. He won a blue ribbon. Wilbur carried her egg sac back to the farm in his mouth. And in the spring when Charlotte’s spiderlings hatched some floated away on the air currents but three of Charlotte’s daughters stayed behind with Wilbur. I don’ t care much for spiders but this story was wonderful . It was a story about a true loving friendship. Maureen read it at home and Mom said all of a sudden she heard her scream out No No! Charlotte can’t be dead!! It is a touching story about a little girl who saved a runt piglet and raised him. She stopped her father from killing the runt saying it was unjust. This is a fictional story but a must read for children. I truly believe that most normal children have big hearts and don’t want to see animals killed or abused or in pain. They write about their feelings in their journals and their thoughts are profound in some cases. I think education plays a big role in encouraging children to be aware of what terrible things go on in this world. They are not too young in school to learn empathy and to express their thoughts orally or in printing/ writing. They need to be aware that not everything is good in this world but that there are good people who want to help and get the awareness messages out.
    Apparently one of Donald Trump’s sons is a trophy hunter. I am not 100% sure of this but if it is true I am sickened by it. Who gives people the right to kill animals? What is the pleasure in seeing an animal die a horrible and unnessary death. Why all the smiling faces around the dead animal’s body? Pure evil. And yet if anybody hurt an American’s dog they would probably be shot and killed by the owner of the dog in retribution.

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