Is There a Moral Way to Hunt?
Hunting with a bow and arrow is more moral than hunting with a gun.
This is not a Q1 violation, so long as you do not object to hunting animals in general and do not consider killing with a gun more humane than killing with a bow.
This may be a Q2 violation if you disagree with someone about what type of hunting is most moral.
Could one method of hunting be more moral than another? Should animals have at least some chance of escape? Should their death be quick and as painless as possible? Is killing from a distance unnatural? Or, once you have decided to hunt, does it matter how the animal is killed?
Consider the following types of hunting. Would any of them make the act of hunting more or less moral?
- Hunting using only a knife.
- Hunting using a high-tech compound bow and arrows.
- Hunting using only weapons and tools you made yourself.
- Hunting using traditional methods.
- Setting traps and killing captured animals.
- Hunting using only methods that don’t damage the animal’s pelt.
- Making sure that the animal has a chance to escape.
- Hunting only animals that could potentially harm the hunter.
- Hunting only predators.
- Hunting only animals that are naturally hunted by other animals.
- Tranquilizing an animal with a dart gun and then shooting it in the head when it is unconscious.
- Only hunting after you have become proficient enough to kill an animal with a single blow or shot.
- Hunting an animal that was previously captured and starved to make it unable to escape.
- Hunting with a machine gun.
- Shooting animals from a helicopter.
- Only hunting animals that aren’t "cute" (alligators and wild boar as opposed to bunnies and deer).
- Only hunting animals whose habitat you work to maintain.
- Running a Web site through which visitors can a mouse click to shoot at passing deer with a real gun.
- Catch-and-release fishing.
- Fishing with dynamite.
- Trapping insects for sale to collectors.
Does the reason for hunting make any difference? For example, would any of these reasons for hunting be more ore less moral than the others?
- Hunting to fulfil basic nutritional needs.
- Hunting because it is a cultural tradition.
- Trophy hunting.
- Hunting because it makes you feel powerful.
- Hunting socially (e.g., deer hunting with your son or buddies).
- Hunting as a sport (such as fox hunting or, perhaps, bull fighting).
- Hunting to eliminate vermin (e.g., rats).
- Hunting animals that prey on livestock.
- Hunting an endangered animal because part of it has magical healing properties.
- Hunting to maintain animal populations for conservation reasons.
This post is based on an excerpt from Ask Yourself to be Moral, by D. Cancilla, available at LuLu.com and Amazon.com. See the 2Q system page for details of the philosophical system mentioned in this post.