Christian Bowhunters of America: Is it really Christian?

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Christian Bowhunters of America
Is it really Christian?
Comment by Veronica - 25 June 2005

My comment is in response to Jim Pryor's post.  He asked some rather odd questions to justify his "art of hunting" that I would like to answer with the help of PETA (People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals).

1.  "Are we exercising proper dominion when animals starve to death because of overpopulation?

 If left unaltered, the delicate balance of nature�s ecosystems ensures the survival of most species. Natural predators help maintain this balance by killing only the sickest and weakest individuals. Hunters, however, kill any animal they would like to hang over the fireplace�including large, healthy animals who are needed to keep the population strong.

Even when unusual occurrences cause temporary animal-overpopulation problems, natural processes quickly stabilize the group. Starvation and disease are unfortunate, but they are nature�s way of ensuring that healthy, strong animals survive and maintain the strength of the entire herd or group. Shooting an animal because he or she might starve or become sick is arbitrary and destructive.

2.   "Are we faithful stewards when animals die to disease because of overpopulation?

 Like I said before, nature will take care of its own.  But, hunting and slaughtering animals can exacerbate other problems. For example, the transfer of captive-bred deer and elk between states for the purpose of hunting is believed to have contributed to the epidemic spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD). As a result, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has given state wildlife agencies millions of dollars to �manage� deer and elk populations. The fatal, neurological illness that affects these animals has been likened to mad cow disease, and while the USDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that CWD has no relationship to any similar diseases that affect humans or domesticated livestock, the slaughter of deer and elk is slated to continue.
Another problem with hunting involves the introduction of exotic �game� animals who, if able to escape and thrive, pose a threat to native wildlife and established ecosystems. A group of non-native wild boars escaped from a private ranch and moved into the forests of Cambria County, Pa., prompting that state to draft a bill prohibiting the importation of any exotic species.

3.    "Is it good stewardship of the resources of God when 63,000 deer are killed on the highways in my home state of Pennsylvania a year?

 Just because we have taken over most of the land that animals have been using for years and built highways everywhere, doesn't mean we should kill the deer to protect them from being hit by a car.  That isn't the answer and it doesn't make sense.

He also says "Hunting makes great strides in controlling the animal numbers so that some of the above does not happen."

 There are 20 million deer in the U.S., and because hunting has been an ineffective method to �control� populations (one Pennsylvania hunter �manages� the population by clearing his 600-acre plot of wooded land and planting corn to attract deer), some wildlife agencies are considering other management techniques. Several recent studies suggest that sterilization is an effective, long-term solution to overpopulation. A method called TNR (trap, neuter, and return) has been tried on deer in Ithaca, N.Y., and an experimental birth-control vaccine is being used on female deer in Princeton, N.J.  One Georgia study suggested for 1,500 white-tailed deer on Cumberland Island concluded that �herd size in closed populations can be regulated in the field relatively quickly if fertile and sterile animals can be identified � and an appropriate sterilization schedule is generated
Hunting has contributed to the extinction of animal species all over the world, including the Tasmanian tiger and the great auk. Although less than 5 percent of the U.S. population hunts, it is permitted in many wildlife refuges, national forests and state parks, and other public lands. Forty percent of hunters kill animals on public land, which means that every year, on the half-billion acres of public land in the U.S., millions of animals who �belong� to the more than 95 percent of Americans who do not hunt are slaughtered and maimed by hunters, and by some estimates, poachers kill just as many illegally. 
I believe that when God said Thou Shalt Not Kill, he meant it.  He didn't say just don't kill people, he just said don't kill period.

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