Hunting Tradition: Treaties, Law, and Subsistence Killing
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from

FROM Dr. Lisa Kemmerer
February 2015

"The conflict caused by 'eating kin' was resolved through a spiritual relationship, a relationship guided by religious beliefs and ritual acts."

[Originally published by the Animal Liberation Front, February 2015]

indigenous hunter
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This paper explores “subsistence traditions” that entail killing nonhuman animals among ‘indigenous” peoples in North America. In light of historic ‘tradition,” contemporary practice, and the treaties through which these privileges are guaranteed, I challenge the appropriateness of laws permitting the continuance of “subsistence” practices.

I begin with a brief overview of the spiritual ethics behind “subsistence traditions,” then offer a concrete example of Washington State, including treaties, legal issues, and court rulings. I next elucidate the meaning of “tradition,” and compare contemporary lifestyles and practices with traditional ways. Finally, I consider whether or not current hunting, fishing, gathering, and trapping ought to be protected under the canopy of “traditional” activities.



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