Hunting; ethical, unethical?
Stephen Palos, you write eloquently and passionately. You approach an emotive and divisive subject rationally and calmly, and you point out that not all hunting is the same, that some is good, and some is bad, and that the hunting industry is a major contributor in terms of economy, jobs and preserved habitat. But, the images that Jeremy Mansfield is most likely responding to, that of “sportsmen” sitting on raised platforms taking pot shots at animals driven past them is inevitably and unavoidably going to raise the emotive temperature of the debate. It cannot be otherwise. The spectacle of some pathetic idiot taking pleasure from killing animals in this manner will never do your cause any good, and cannot but provoke responses such as Mr Mansfield’s. No amount of rational and calmly stated argument will prevail when such ridiculous examples of what hunting is about are shared with normal people. Your predictions of the damage that may be caused if hunting in its greater ambit is “destroyed”, as you put it, including the parts that you infer are “quite magnificent”, may well be valid. But you would be well advised, instead of berating Mr Mansfield for generating heat rather than light, to look inward at your industry, and to take to task the stupid fools who promote and practice the sort of pathetic killing that came to the fore recently instead. That sort of behaviour cannot be accepted, and if you are concerned for the well being of your sport and the industry it supports, you need to do something about it, not complain when people judge it with the contempt it deserves.