by MPD
Categories: Animals
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Joe Perry“I don’t shoot anything that I don’t eat. Hunters are conservationists and their heads are in the right place. … (Hunting) really gives you a great opportunity to keep in touch with reality.”

- Quite a loaded quote (pun totally intended) by Aerosmith’s Joe Perry in Outdoor Living magazine. Here at Razz we are definitely NOT fans of hunting, but what are your thoughts? Do you think hunting your meat is more responsible than getting it from a slaughterhouse, or is killing, killing. Voice your opinion and be heard!

  • Sean Cook

    When having a conversation with someone about feminism a few years ago the question was asked of me, “If women are supposed to be equal to men, then is it okay to hit women?” The question took me a second to process, but then it occurred to me, the answer is no, because it’s not okay to hit anybody. Sure if you’re really defending yourself from a physical attack it’s legitimate, but that’s it. I really think the same answer goes for this question. Is hunting okay because it produces less pollution. NO! Because killing anything is wrong. If you’re life depends on it, and you are defending yourself, then you may have to make a difficult decision, but otherwise, it’s still not okay.

  • Stephanie

    Hunting is no more ethical than buying meat from the store and vice versa. It’s killing either way, plain and simple. Also, thousands of animals are shot but escape and bleed to death every year. Not all hunters kill every animal on the first try. Most of the animals suffer. Go vegan!

  • jamie lynn

    better than factory-farmed meat, sure. but the kill still often goes to a processing plant where it can be exposed to grossness, so not really better than a slaughterhouse. honestly, it takes nothing out of a person to aim a gun and fire from a hidesight. i bet if he had to try to chase the thing down and stare in its eyes as he jammed a knife into it, he’d feel differently. hunters need to get over their bullsh*t need to destroy other creatures in order to feel adequate about themselves–that kind of thinking is primal and antiquated at best.

  • alex

    It’s not enough that we farm living creatures, we have to go into their homes (the forest) and killed them there too? No, it’s not okay to hunt, no matter the reason. Besides, this concept of “hunters as conservationist” although very popular with big organizations (WWF, Ducks Unlimited, National Wildlife Federation) just gives them an excuse to justify their Neanderthalian habits.

  • alex

    sorry, “kill” not “killed”…

  • Sea Shepard Fan

    Why kill to eat???

  • Rob

    If you don’t NEED to then it’s unnecessary. Isn’t it a bad thing to cause unnecessary harm?

  • erin

    Sure it’s better than factory farmed meat no doubt. BUT I think it’s ridiculous. Years ago man hunted to survive. This is not the case with Joe Perry.

    I agree with Jamie Lynn- if Perry had to chase the animal down it would be different. Hunting with a gun is a cop out. You obviously have an unfair advantage (not that I promote chasing animals down with a knife)

    I guess I’d still rather see meat eaters consume animals caught like this who had lived a free life than eating factory farm animals. It’s the lesser of two evils .. but it doesn’t make it right.

    Honestly I think these hunters (even the women ones) just have too much testosterone! :(


  • shauna

    I’m a vegan from Northern Canada, so I run into a lot of small-mindedness when it comes to vegan, or even conservationist, matters.

    I grew up in a family that hunted, and have seen wild animals get killed, cleaned and eaten. No, I don’t think anything should be killed so that we can eat. It’s just unnecessary, as a bajillion vegans have proven.

    However, that said, hunting makes it a bit more personal. To see a moose/deer/whatever get shot and cleaned and to see its lifeless face, you really make a connection between the animal dying, and you having a steak on your plate. One of the worst parts of factory farming is that we simply tend not to make a connection between the animal dying a horrible horrible death after living an extremely miserable existence.

    At least people exposed to hunting, at least the ‘right’ (I use the term extremely loosely) kind of hunting (as opposed to trophy hunting with even less respect to animals and much more waste) can demonstrate the animal-meat link that factory farms keep people from seeing. And making that link is often the first step to realize that meat (and milk and eggs) is cruel, and changing your ways.

    People often demonize hunting, and then sit down to eat their factory-farmed food as if it’s better. The fact remains that both are wrong and unnecessary, but there is no point to pointing the fingers at hunters when there are the tiniest tiniest fraction of the animals being tortured and slaughtered on a daily basis.

    Point: Yep, hunting sucks, but if had to be an animal that was going to be eventuallly killed and eaten, you can be sure I’d rather be roaming around a forest for a few years than be anywhere near a factory farm.

  • Aerofreak

    I adore all things Aero, but this really hurts. Joe, try stalking those deer with a camera.

  • Another aerofreak

    I see both sides. In a perfect world, everyone would believe like you and see that harming any living thing is wrong. How far do you take it? I am a meat eater, but I let bugs out of my house so I don’t have to kill them. Should everyone believe as me? Should I try to impose my beliefs on others? Tell you what. I know a lot of hunters who are good people who would be there to give you the shirt off their back when the goin gets tough. Hunting, can be seen as wrong, but it is instinctive and it is hard to change instinct. I agree it is really not hunting when you sit in a blind or a tree and pick off an animal from 75 yards. I know someone who recently went bear hunting. We call it bear sniping. The bear is shot from at least 100 yards with a high powered scope rifle. How is that a sport or hunting. I do love meat though. I don’t like veggies at all. I like meat and cheese. I don’t think I can change my taste buds.

  • bliss

    EVERYTHING WE EAT IS ALIVE!! PLANTS ARE ALIVE TOO! Just because you can’t hear them screaming doesn’t mean they’re not breathing. While living on this planet everyone needs to eat someone else to survive. It’s a hard thought to live with but that’s what we are. As long as we’re not eating everything with a pulse and eating only what we need, vegan or not, we’re just a part of nature.
    I hate hunting when you don’t eat it. It’s not processed with some unknown chemicals in a factory either.I agree with Joe; only when you hunt and leave the carcass for no reason it’s disgusting behaviour.

  • Whoever…

    The problem is that hunters hunt for pleasure!

    They feel good when they kill an animal.
    The rest is bullshit, plain and simple.

    Come on, how much money does a hunter spend to hunt? How much do the rifles, ammunition, hunting license and other hunting equipment cost?

    Besides, are they trained to kill an animal with only one shot? Can they all tell if the animal they are trying to kill is pregnant? Do they all know if it’s an endangered species?

    It’s very sad when I see people come up with excuses to defend hunting…

    And yes, obviously farm factory is BAD!!!

    “Just because you can’t hear them screaming doesn’t mean they’re not breathing.”, well, most plants aren’t necessarily killed in order for us to feed ourselves. For instance, most fruits come from trees – we don’t need to cut down the trees to eat their fruits now do we?
    Also, there are plenty of vegetables that can be eaten without the plant being cut off…
    Besides, plants don’t feel the way animals do and we can’t even compare their level of consciousness, therefore that is a false argument!

  • Ellen

    “Besides, plants don’t feel the way animals do and we can’t even compare their level of consciousness”.

    Are you sure? How do we know this? We assume this based on OUR perspective and understanding. Could we be wrong?

    Just asking …

    PS (I also love Aerosmith — I was hanging out around Lake Sunapee as a kid when they were teenagers jamming for the first time there. Joe served me more than one cone when he worked at the Anchorage down Sunapee Harbor.)

  • Remy C.

    I recommend reading The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith for a heart felt analysis on this issue.

    Part memoir, nutritional primer, and political manifesto, this controversial examination exposes the destructive history of agriculture—caused the devastation of prairies and forests, driven countless species extinct, altered the climate, and destroyed the topsoil—and asserts that, in order to save the planet, food must come from within living communities. In order for this to happen, the argument champions eating locally and sustainably and encourages those with the resources to grow their own food. Further examining the question of what to eat from the perspective of both human and environmental health, the account goes beyond health choices and discusses potential moral issues from eating—or not eating—animals. Through the deeply personal narrative of someone who practiced veganism for 20 years, this unique exploration also discusses alternatives to industrial farming, reveals the risks of a vegan diet, and explains why animals belong on ecologically sound farms.

  • Jeremy

    See what most people do not realize is that hunting is a vital to the survival of certain species. Let me start by saying I am NOT a hunter. I am however in my final year about to get a degree in Wildlife Biology and Management. Humans have eliminated most apex predators within many ecosystems in the US as well as the world at large. This lack of natural control is causing populations (especially of ungulates such as deer) to explode well beyond the carrying capacity of the system.

    In the Northeastern United States the deer population is out of control to the point where collisions with vehicles are at record highs. Another negative effect is that due to the resources needed to support such a large population, deer in New England are now a major threat to endangered native vegetation in the area.

    And then there is the well-being of the deer populations themselves. When the density of animals in an area is too high many problems begin to occur. The resource issue was already briefly talked about. There is not enough to feed the entire population, especially during the winter months. Starvation is common and winter kill is rising. Also higher unchecked populations become pools for disease that can wipe quickly through an entire population.

    Many of you speak of hunting causing undue suffering for the animals being hunted. I am not completely disagreeing with you. Yes many animals are wounded and manage to get away, and yes these animals suffer. It is a hard truth. But if left unchecked how many countless other animals will suffer as they are not killed on impact from hitting a vehicle? How many countless other animals will die extremely slowly and painfully from disease, starvation, or unfit health through the winter months?

    We have an obligation to be the stewards of the environment. And I believe that includes making hard calls so that animal populations we have affected irreversibly can maintain health successful numbers. The system is out of balance in a way that most of us are unable to fully comprehend. Educated management is our way of trying to reset that balance as close as we can and hunting is an invaluable part of this.

    I have known many hunters and I agree that many of them are extremely respectful of the environment and conservation minded. Though there are always some who are disrespectful of life, I have found that most hunters see themselves as part of the bigger picture, more in tune and in touch with the natural world than most of us who live in cities and suburbs.

    There needs to be a balance in this issue. We cannot be all one side or the other, and people need to realize this. People who allow wildlife to suffer because they do not look at all the information are just as guilty of ignorance than the people who do not care about the natural world at all.

  • hil

    Jeremy, thank you for your comment. My grandfather was a hunter, and he was able to feed his family in the harsh rural Michigan winter because of it. Because of this experience at such a young age, as well as having the privilege of knowing some wildlife biologists that are avid conservationists AND hunters it is hard for me to say that ALL hunting is bad. Yes there are the “beer” hunters who just want to get drunk and sit in a tree waiting for a kill to come walking by. My grandfather used to sabotage those supposed hunters camps when he came across them, and nothing pained him more than to see a kill that a hunter was too lazy to claim lying on the forest floor. So I guess my point is that hunters can be advocates for conservation, and in many ways can be strong allies to those of us that are fighting for the same cause, the preservation of the wildlands left in our country and the earth in general.

  • Whoever…


    You make good points.
    However, I would like to emphasize that this global depletion of species is largely due to the action of humans.

    You mention that the deer population in the US is out of control, but you know better than I that that wouldn’t have happened if their natural predators hadn’t been hunted and their ecosystem destroyed.

    “How many countless other animals will die extremely slowly and painfully from disease, starvation, or unfit health through the winter months?”

    Well, maybe we should step back for once and let Nature do its work. Just because a certain species’ population is out of control, it doesn’t mean we should send a battalion of hunters to ‘control’ it!
    I would rather let Nature follow its course and balance itself without human intervention – after all, our record when it comes to interfering with nature isn’t the best!

    “We have an obligation to be the stewards of the environment”

    I’m sorry, says who? And what a great work we’ve done so far…

    “The system is out of balance in a way that most of us are unable to fully comprehend”

    I’m sorry, again, but as a Wildlife Biology and Management student you should know better. Depletion of resources, destruction of ecosystems, over-hunting and pollution are the main reasons why ‘the system is out of balance’. You don’t need a degree to realize this.

    “I have found that most hunters see themselves as part of the bigger picture, more in tune and in touch with the natural world than most of us who live in cities and suburbs.”

    I’m not a hunter and I live in a city. Nonetheless, I am extremely in touch with the natural world…
    I can even accept that some hunters are “respectful of the environment and conservation minded” (although it’s a paradox that they do it by killing animals) but the fact is that most hunters just enjoy killing animals and couldn’t care less about the environment (for instance do they pick up the empty shotgun shells and take them home? No!) or the animals.


    “So I guess my point is that hunters can be advocates for conservation, and in many ways can be strong allies to those of us that are fighting for the same cause, the preservation of the wildlands left in our country and the earth in general.”

    Well, can you truly tell me that you believe that if hunters were told they couldn’t hunt for 5 years in order for nature to rebalance itself, they would agree with it? I sincerely doubt it!

    I can tell you that in my country they would never accept such a thing…

  • Elisabeth Kelly

    I think killing is killing, but it’s better he hunts it himself if he is going to eat it, wear it, etc.

  • Malcolm

    The system is out of balance. No denying it. If humans packed up and left, no eating veg, no eating meat, no roads, no cars, no houses, dams, airports, sewage systems, farms, hospitals, schools – the system would eventually find it’s balance again. However with circa 6bn people on the planet this isn’t going to happen for the foreseeable future. Like it or not, as Jeremy says, hunting, in one form or another has to be part of a management plan for most ‘semi-natural’ areas. You either let people do it as ‘hunters’ or you pay people to come in and do the same job, only this time it’ll be termed a ‘cull’. Which is more acceptable? Neither? So do you re-introduce a large predator back to the UK to control deer populations or just accept things like the bark stripping of the pine forests on Brownsea Island and lose the last population of red squirrels in the South of England as their habitat disappears? Wheels within wheels

    I’m an environmental adviser to the biggest conservation charity in the UK, I spend my days working on the resource and sustainabilty agenda. I spend my weekends, when I’m not with my family doing conservation work and yet I have hunted in the past and I still fish to this day. A kind of hunting no? Sure I’m not a beer hunter, I don’t sit in a hide and wait for something to go by, I take no pleasure in the kill at all. I do take pleasure in being able to sustainably take my own produce from the wild in a controlled manner that ensures that one day, my son will be able to do the same.

    Like many cultures around the world I believe there is a spirituality behind being able to harvest foodstuffs (meat included) as ‘humanely’ as killing any animal can be, in a controlled and, in it’s widest sense, sustainable manner. In the same way that I take pride in my garden produce, foraged blackberries and mushrooms etc etc.

    sorry for the barrage of text, I’m tired and have a biomass boiler to plan by 10:00!

  • hil

    It depends on the hunter:) If they were hunters like my grandfather they would (provided he had an alternative to feed his family which often times he did not in the bitter winters of rural Michigan, but the near by Amish community is usually willing to share their resources if needed. :) There will be poachers of course, but the more conversationally minded hunters are often the most effective at stopping poachers since they give all hunters a bad rap :)

  • Common Man

    Joe Perry’s comment is spot on.
    When you hunt and consume what you kill, you are in balance with a need to feed your hungry body. One can hunt and kill for sport which does not feed the body and does not use nature in a sustaining way which is wrong. You also can cook up a pot of oatmeal and eat all you’ve cooked up and be in balance with the need to feed your body. One can also cook up a pot of oatmeal and eat a few bites and throw the rest in the trash. Not consuming that oatmeal is not sustaining just as the person who shoots animals for sport.

    The only real difference here is that when you kill an animal it reminds you too much of yourself as a human. There’s blood and the flesh is similar to our own, and that is for some, is too much. Yet those who say it is “wrong to kill any animal” overlook the killing of the oat-stalk that produced the grain from which oatmeal is made. The only difference is we don’t see blood and plants and animals don’t have souls.

    The true issue here is stewardship and the responsible use of the resources God has given us to sustain life. By eliminating an entire category of food-source we would then be out of balance with nature and not good stewards of the resources we have been given dominion over.

  • Terra

    Here’s an interesting link relating to the subject.

  • D. Miller

    I am a hunter and conservationist. I have dedicated my personal and professional life to wildlife conservation, working as a wildlife scientist. There is NOTHING about regulated, ethical hunting that is counter to conservation. Many non-hunting conservation organizations accept and understand the role hunting plays in conservation. In fact in the U.S., hunting pays for most of conservation. In 1937, the Federal Aid in Wildife Restoration Act was passed. This law placed an excise tax (now at 11%) on all hunting related equipment that can ONLY be used for funding of wildife conservation efforts. This money (over $10 billion dollars to date) is distributed back to each state based on land area and number of hunting license sales. It is the ONLY stable source of funding for wildlife conservation. Non-consumptive wildlife users (bird-watchers, backpackers, photographers, etc.) are beneficiaries of wildlife conservation activites funding soley by hunters (a similar law is in effect for fisheries as well). Unregulated hunting and poaching can (and has) decimated wildlife populations. However, regulated hunting has NEVER caused extinction or extirpation of a species. In fact, hunting has provided reason for bringing back formerly rare species around the globe. And, protection of habitat for game species also results in habitat protection for nongame species. Some of the leading conservationists in the U.S. were hunters – Aldo Leopold, Theodore Roosevelt, and others. It was hunters that sounded the alarm bells about declining populations of animals in the U.S. and hunters that began the modern conservation movement. We owe those leaders, and hunters, our thanks for the abundance of wildlife we still enjoy today.

    It is impossible to explain the spiritual connection to the land derived from hunting to someone who does not hunt. Ever try to explain the love a parent has for a child to someone that has no children? It is impossible. It is not about the kill although that is the objective. Hunters understand more about the need to keep wild places wild and to sustain wildlife populations than non-hunters.

    In our desire to be more “earth-friendly”, we lose site of the need to conserve wild places. Who cares if the world is 4 degrees warmer in 100 years if there are only rooftops and parking lots to warm up? Yet, conservation organziations composed of hunters (Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, etc.) have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on purchasing land for wildlife conservation (yes, and hunting opportunity). How much did PETA spend last year to conserve habitat? What about HSUS? NOTHING. Who is doing more for wildlife conservation? You know the answer. Hunting is not a perfect system, but it is the basis of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, the most successful model for conservation in existence. I am proudly raising my 2 daughters to hunt, fish, and fully appreciate the outdoors. Without this connection to the land (which we are quickly losing due to urbanization), future generations will simply not care about wildife and wild places, and we all lose.

  • eric

    The simple fact is that those living in urban and suburban areas will never understand hunting because they lack the experience necessary to understand the workings of nature itself. When you grow up in nature, you see the cycles of consumption, you see the beautiful system at work, not on TV. Unfortunately, due to people like that, urban and suburban areas will soon be all that’s left apart from a few novelty parks complete with imax theaters and coke machines. Hunters value nature for nature’s sake not for some sick display for us to sit and observe. Like it or not, we are part of the cycle too. Sure, sport hunting is wrong… Sure, expensive hunting trips for the rich who don’t eat what they shoot are wrong. But honest local people hunting in their local environments are on higher moral ground than those who thoughtlessly consume things, whether meat from a death farm factory or vegetables from a soil depleting mega farm. Is every single thing you own cruelty free? Does your life affect no one at all? Has nothing suffered due to your existence? If you answered yes, you’re fooling yourself. How about all the nice toxic chemicals in that computer you’re using to read this?

    I’ve had plenty of people wearing leather shoes tell me how bad hunting is, and I just smile inwardly knowing that they’re on very shaky ground. It’s like a dictator who doesn’t have the cohones to kill someone face to face but will sign orders that kill millions.

    Summary: Hunters work toward wildlife preservation and conservation more than any one group of people and they respect the cycles of nature.

  • Cass

    I think you all have some good points, points from both sides, and probably more good points from the pro-hunting side such as Eric’s, D. Miller’s and Jeremy’s. In my personal opinion I do not like hunting and I sometimes have a hard time respecting it — but I think that is because I have not seen many good examples. What I don’t like is seeing the enormous pride of killing a living creature, especially if the animal is killed only for sport, to hang on their wall or for fur. If it is used for food, and especially by local groups, I really do not have a problem with it. I have just seen too many pictures of hunters with a wide grin on their face, blood all over their clothes, and a line of animals in the back of their pick up truck. I guess what’s ironic is that the hunters who don’t “show off” their kill are the ones I don’t see… and that’s because they don’t show off!! So it is really good to hear the good side of hunting and that there are hunters out there that do it responsibly and actually do care about conservation, nature and the animals. I think Eric has a great point that all of us do something that is harmful in some way. For me, hunting is something I don’t really like, but I am not against it all together. I will not hunt but I will not protest hunters or tell someone they are wrong for hunting.