Many people argue against hunting as a sport, even when the principles of hunting with respect for life are applied. Organizations such as PETA would like to see hunting come to an end, because they consider it cruel and inhuman. Even proponents of hunting with respect for life want to see some forms of hunting end. Take our quiz on hunting with respect for life to learn more about the arguments on both sides.
Ethical hunting is not making use of unfair hunting practices and making sure the kill process is quick and painless. However, one man's idea of ethical can be very different from someone else's.
Respect-for-life hunters like to get out in the woods and hunt, but they are against practices like baiting, spring hunting and hounding. Many respect-for-life hunters are fighting to outlaw these common practices.
Dr. Randall Eaton states, "When we hunt we experience extreme alertness to the point of an altered state of consciousness. For the hunter everything is alive, and he is one with the animal and its environment."
Eaton says the "conscious and deliberate humbling of the hunter to the level of the animal is virtually a religious rite."
They see it as more than a way to hunt; rather as a way of life, a deep-seated belief, a moral code and an ethical code.
They tend to appreciate nature's bounty and strive to keep game populations healthy. They also never take more game than they need.
They place high value on maintaining and properly using their tools. Whether hunting with a bow, knife or gun, these hunters understand how to use their tools to implement quick, clean kills that will result in the least amount of suffering possible.
They follow through on a kill immediately to ensure the animal is not suffering. They are very careful to have a clean shot before firing on an animal.
Proponents claim that respectful hunting maintains animal populations and prevents overpopulation, which leads to sickness and disease and unnecessary suffering.
According to iwmc.org, hunting and fishing licenses provide needed revenue for fish and game organizations. Hunters provide $1.7 billion dollars each year for conservation.
Proponents believe that respect-for-life hunting is a more humane way to kill animals and control animal populations than many other options.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found in a survey that almost 75 percent of Americans value hunting.
The same survey found that 62 percent of Americans who value hunting also believe that many hunters violate laws and use dangerous or unethical hunting practices.
Enthusiasts who hunt for the thrill of the kill often bring large numbers of people with them who have little or no experience hunting. This makes wild lands dangerous to non-hunters and hunters alike.
According to animalliberationfront.com, studies show that bow hunting is often an unreliable means of hunting. One out of two animals shot with a bow will die painfully and slowly from their wounds.
Actor Hayden Panettiere made headlines by interfering with dolphin hunting off the coast of Japan. However, in the fall of 2008, Panettiere signed on with Dooney & Bourke, a leather handbag company.
The Hayden Clutch was released as part of the company's 2009 line. Although PETA still supports Panettiere, they released a statement saying they would be sending her undercover footage of cows being skinned for leather goods.
PETA deems hunting a cruel and unnecessary sport, no matter what form it takes.
PETA says alternatives such as sterilization and birth control are better methods of animal population control.
PETA prefers a natural means of population control, such as disease and starvation, letting nature ensure that the healthiest animals survive. They also prefer that natural predators kill off sick and weak members of a herd as a form of natural selection.