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Blood Sports Should Be Banned

Should blood sports be banned?

All the Yes points:

  1. The test for whether beings should enjoy moral significance is their capacity to feel pain. Animals…
  2. Blood sports are cruel since the suffering caused can be unnecessary and prolonged, especially in th…
  3. Another moral objection is that people take pleasure in the process of often-pointless killing. Man…
  4. Wanting to ban blood sports is not the same as rejecting the need for the culling of animals. In Br…
  5. An argument that highlights the economic costs of banning blood sports is analogous to arguing for t…

All the No points:

The test for whether beings should enjoy moral significance is their capacity to feel pain. Animals…

Yes because…

The test for whether beings should enjoy moral significance is their capacity to feel pain. Animals react in a way consistent with our understanding of what it is to be in pain – they scream and avoid the source of that pain. Research also shows that the pain sensing structures of animals’ nervous systems are similar to our own. A distinction cannot be made between animals and humans on grounds of intelligence since we don’t consider the new-born, senile or mentally impaired to be non-human. Therefore, both humans and animals should enjoy equal moral consideration. Any attempt to distinguish between animals and people is ‘speciesism’. To say that animals deserve less consideration simply because they are animals is analogous to claiming that women deserve inferior treatment by virtue of their sex. ‘The question is not, Can animals reason? Nor, Can they talk? But can they suffer’ (Vicki Hearn, What’s Wrong with Animal Rights?)

No because…

Common sense tells us that there is a difference between animals and humans. In the presence of the senile or disabled we feel sorry for them because they lack the faculties that humans normally possess. We feel no such pity for animals because they lack faculties that they can never have. For example, animals cannot construct hypothetical scenarios, don’t have values and are not consciously aware. The value of animals is not only instrumental but also because they contribute to the beauty of the natural world and furthermore because of the symbiotic relationship between animals and human communities. People are the most developed of all the species and as such are in the best position to consider the interests of all of nature.

Blood sports are cruel since the suffering caused can be unnecessary and prolonged, especially in th…

Yes because…

Blood sports are cruel since the suffering caused can be unnecessary and prolonged, especially in the case of hunting with dogs, where death comes only after an exhausting chase and may involve the animal being ripped apart by the hounds. Even when the animals are ultimately shot, they are seldom despatched by an expert, trained marksman, so they may not be killed immediately, but wounded and left to die very slowly from their injuries.

No because…

Hunting is an integral part of effective wildlife management and makes a positive contribution to the countryside in general. Only those animals that are edible or pests are hunted – and they would have to be killed anyway regardless of whether it was for sport or not. Hunting with dogs is not especially cruel as it is natural to many animals to be chased, and the adrenaline they experience limits their suffering. Hounds may rip a fox apart, but this only occurs after its death, which is usually very quick.In America, taxes collected from hunters are used to fund conservation work and monitor the number of animals that need to be killed each season. Evidence from America shows a strong positive correlation between increases in hunting and the numbers of game species, largely because hunting provides an incentive to protect land rather than manage it purely in the interests of agriculture.

Another moral objection is that people take pleasure in the process of often-pointless killing. Man…

Yes because…

Another moral objection is that people take pleasure in the process of often-pointless killing. Man has moved well beyond his natural state of being a hunter-gatherer and needing to hunt for food. There is something perverse about breeding animals, or managing the land to encourage them, just so they can be shot. Bear- and badger-baiting and cock-fighting have been banned already and it the abolition of other blood sports is well overdue.

No because…

Hunters are not bloodthirsty individuals- they derive their enjoyment from the thrill of the chase or practicing their marksmanship. The key difference between blood sports today and practices that have already been banned, is that badgers, bear and chickens are not vermin whose numbers need to be controlled. If animals have to be killed anyway, why does it make any difference that people enjoy hunting them?

Wanting to ban blood sports is not the same as rejecting the need for the culling of animals. In Br…

Yes because…

Wanting to ban blood sports is not the same as rejecting the need for the culling of animals. In Britain, the Burns Committee concluded that investing money in better nutrition for ewes rather than in killing foxes would save more livestock. Technology provides more humane ways of killing, (e.g. trapping and lamping), whilst also allowing devotees to test their skills against clay pigeons or in drag hunts.

No because…

Many of the supposed alternatives to hunting with dogs are impractical. For example, it is illegal to use guns in proximity to public roads and footpaths. It may not be possible to reach traps in time to prevent animals injuring themselves trying to escape. Traps are also indiscriminate as to what they catch. Shooting or hunting with hounds ensures a kind of natural selection with the weakest or sickest animals killed while the fittest survive, thus maintaining a healthy population. Death at the hands of hound or hunter is much quicker than a lingering death due to starvation or disease.

An argument that highlights the economic costs of banning blood sports is analogous to arguing for t…

Yes because…

An argument that highlights the economic costs of banning blood sports is analogous to arguing for the continuation of slavery because slave traders might lose their livelihoods. Investigations in Britain have cast doubt on the extent of problems that a ban would cause. Overall, however, the essential point is that it is morally wrong to kill animals for pleasure and no amount of economic benefits can make that right.

No because…

Many rural communities would be devastated by a ban on hunting. Figures from the US estimate that some 1,000,000 jobs depend on hunting, (which contributes $30 billion each year to the economy). In Britain figures from the Field Sports Society estimate, that hunting is worth £175 million to the economy with some 11,000 jobs depending on the hunting industry. Whilst these numbers might seem relatively small as a percentage of the workforce, the jobs are concentrated in a small number of areas across the country. The majority of those who seek a ban live in cities where their only experience with animals has been with animated or domesticated creatures. This encourages anthropomorphic attitudes that cloud judgements on rural issues and animal welfare. While opinion polls might be against hunting, any change in the law would be the result of a tyranny of an ignorant majority.

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oolong johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave

free society people should be allowed to enjoy blood sports and gambling
animal and human bloodsports such as the mayans sports game that ended in the losing teams sacrifice
the ancient Pankration where fights could end in death

those who disagree with such sports can ignore it and let us enjoy are fun

JocktheSab
11 months ago
Reply to  oolong johnson

I nominate you to play in the first resurrected Mayan Ball Game.

Put up or shut up.

JocktheSab
11 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Much of what has been written here in favour of blood sports and hunting is utter nonsense and is using statistics from the US where a larger population will of course skew towards more dramatic numbers in terms of the economic benefits or numbers of jobs supported by hunting. A better metric would be an analysis on percentage terms – though I suspect there’s a reason why the debater has opted not to assert their position in those terms.
In the UK for example, grouse shooting contributes just 0.005% of GDP. It would not be surprising to see similarly miniscule figures from the US if expressed in percentage terms, albeit with a suspected increase due to the levels of gun ownership which contribute economically. Although of course, one could simply shoot targets and clays.

Beyond that glaring omission, I see much of the myth and nonsense surrounding hunting that I myself was told and repeated growing up in the farming community, persists. Having attended fox hunts both as a supporter and latterly in opposition, I can assure anyone reading, that the “quick nip to the neck” thing is absolutely not true and indeed this is backed up by independent autopsies carried out on hunted animals whose bodies have been retrieved by activists.
Any notions of pest control are dashed by the practice of capturing and raising young cubs to be “bagged” (shoved in a sack with their paws cut to slow them down, then released in a covert near the waiting hounds to guarantee a chase and kill on a poor day.)

The assertion one cannot shoot near a footpath or public road is also misleading. Shooting in these locations is permitted in the UK provided certain precautions are taken and anyone in the hunting and shooting community would know this, thus revealing the dishonest intentions of the author.

Similar misrepresentation is occurring in the statement that shot game ends up on the table. In truth, whilst each gun will take a brace or two for the freezer, and occasionally a local butcher can be found with a game license, this isn’t true for the whole of the UK or even true for a particular shoot all the way through a season. Due to the high number of birds bred and the number of guns per shoot plus shoots per season, the bulk of shot game will simply end up on a “stink pit” – a hole in the ground full of rotten game birds, foxes, raptors etc used to attract scavengers like foxes or stoats, to be snared then shot, sometimes after days of choking in agony.

Finally we come to the old chestnut that only urban townies are against hunting. As previously stated, I grew up farming and supporting hunting. Since changing my views I’ve met many others who farmed or hunted, kept game or even poached or worked in abbatoirs who have since changed sides – many because of their direct experiences of the viciousness of that community and trade.
There’s also the simple fact that activists are only able to protest and sabotage hunts because they get tip offs from within the hunting community. Disgruntled locals, ex-hunters, farmers sick of losing lambs and pregnant sheep when the hunt rides over their land and sends them into shock (often without any ability to stop it if they are tenants on land owned by the hunt and/or their staff) and many others pass information that helps stop blood sports. Such information is often obscured as regards the source as local people who object to hunting often end up threatened, assaulted, abused, harassed and have even had their pets tortured and killed or dead animals dumped on their doorsteps. Chris Packham in the UK is the most high profile victim of this intimidation but it goes on almost constantly behind the scenes and away from media attention.

There’s much more to pick apart in this and it would be a real pleasure to do so, however a comment can only touch on the most egregious and deliberate errors in the piece. Much of what is written and said in support of hunting is either false or misrepresents the position and the argument is part of a long running culture war between rural landowners and those who support and/or work for them and the rest of society that understands the cruelty of what is happening.
Having been on both sides of this debate and having studied the topic at length – initially to disprove the animal rights lobby – I reached the only sensible and logical position: that hunting and shooting animals for pleasure is morally repugnant and environmentally unsustainable. It must be ended if humanity is to progress as a species.

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