This is a short essay for children on the topic of hunting and why I believe it is bad. Anybody can use it as they wish under a Creative Commons licence. It is deliberately written in plain English and the discussion is simplified.
Kids should know the difference between right and wrong and between good and bad. When people behave in a bad way, their behaviour is immoral. What is morality? It is about the standards of behaviour that people expect of other people and themselves which make life acceptable.
When a person successfully hunts an animal he is causing the animal pain, discomfort and ultimately death. The hunter has created something negative and unpleasant. He has also created something pleasant for himself. He enjoys the hunt. He does it because it is enjoyable.
On the one hand we have a person who is enjoying himself and on the other hand we have an animal who is suffering pain and death. Is it fair that a human being should take enjoyment from the suffering of another sentient being1? If not then sport hunting is immoral and bad.
If a hunter had to hunt and kill an animal for a good reason other than his enjoyment then you could say that it is okay to hunt an animal. You could say that it is moral to hunt an animal.
Many thousands of years ago and even as recently as hundreds of years ago, the hunting of animals was done in order to eat them to survive. There was a real purpose to hunting. This purpose made it justifiable to most people but not vegetarians2.
Nowadays, some hunters also hunt animals to eat them. The say they hunt animals in order to provide themselves with a meal. But there is no need to hunt animals for a meal. These people could go down to the local supermarket to buy their meal there. If they did this they would not need to cause pain and suffering to an animal.
Therefore even if a hunter says that he kills animals for food it is unacceptable. It cannot be a good thing to hunt for food when there are alternatives which don’t cause pain and suffering. People who hunt for food are really hunting for fun.
When hunters say they kill animals for food sometimes they are saying it in order to stop people criticising them. They’re trying to turn behavior which is immoral into something which is moral. I would be quite certain that most of the hunters who say they hunt for food do not actually do it. Also hunting animals for the skin on their back (their fur) is immoral because the purpose, which is to make people look attractive in fur clothes, cannot justify the death of a sentient being.
Hunting animals for food is something people did in the past when it was allright to do it because it had real purpose. Nowadays it is mainly done for fun and this is not a purpose which can be justified. Many of the animals which are killed are beautiful. They grace our planet. They make the planet more beautiful. To kill them makes the planet less beautiful.
Sometimes hunting can be justified even though the animal is not going to be eaten by humans. These are the times when there are too many of a certain type of animal which may become a nuisance to humans. Then humans say they have the right to kill them. That is called “culling”. Even when people say that they have to cull animals they need to look at their behaviour as well. This is because there are too many people and not too many animals. Also people are often the cause of the problem.
Hunters do not see the immorality in causing pain to animals for their pleasure. This is a weakness in them. It is their failure. And sport and trophy hunters claim that hunting iconic wild species such as the Africa lion helps conservation by bringing money into the country. This is a lie. Protecting lions makes more money for an African country because there are more lions and more paying tourists to see them.
Hunting is a thing of the past. It needs to stop.
- Animals are sentient beings because they feel pain and emotions.
- Vegetarians are people who believe that humans don’t need to eat animals and should not eat them.