Mon, 07 Mar 2005

High tech hunters push ethical envelope

No, I've not mis-categorized this: it properly belongs in my main religion section, because hunting is a profoundly religious act.

It's not the various gadgets described here that I find so appalling, it's the centerpiece of the story: remote-control hunting:

A San Antonio entrepreneur recently created an uproar with a Web site, , that aims to allow hunters to shoot exotic game animals or feral pigs on his private hunting ranch by remote control, with the click of a mouse, from anywhere in the world.

This doesn't push the ethical envelope: it rips it to shreds, sets it on fire and stomps the ashes into the mud. This is not hunting, this is controlled killing. And it misses the entire point: even considering hunting as a sport, rather than a survival skill.

Killing is not the goal of the hunt: eating is the goal of the hunt. Furthermore, the means to the hunt (actually stalking the animal) recognizes the symbiosis between man and beast, and our place in the vast scheme of the world (the food chain). There's noting wrong with using technology to assist you: even the spear thrower gave an "unfair" advantage to the first hunter. There is everything wrong with shooting trapped animals via remote control for "sport". Why not go pigeon hunting in Manhattan with 88mm anti-aircraft guns? It'd be about as much "sport".

If you are not going to eat what you kill, and are not going stalk it through the brush, matching your physical skill with that of your prey, then you might as well go to the grocery store and leave hunting to those who actually care for the animals and the earth.

Ever since man picked up a rock to kill dinner, hunters have been technology pioneers. These days, they've got more gadgets than ever to choose from.

(link) [CNN]

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