This is a topic that draws extremely polarized opinions. Some people say that hunting is more ethical than cruel factory farms, because you can give the animal a swift, painless death. Meanwhile, others say that hunting is cutting down on an ever-dwindling animal population. Here in this article, I will cut through the confusion and give you my unbiased opinion.
Hunting began millions of years ago, when carnivores preyed on other animals for food. When humans came into existence, we did the same thing. Early humans hunted for food in groups, until eventually the ice age ended and we became mostly herbivores. However, many humans these days consume much more meat as the world becomes richer. This is not a bad thing in itself. It means quality of life is improving, and that is something that most of us agree on. The downside is that producing meat requires lots of energy. To visualize, every six parts of energy you feed a cow gets turned into one part of energy in its meat. In other words, creating one pound of beef could have been the equivalent of six pounds of beef.
In addition, meat requires much more water. A single cow used for milk can drink up to 50 gallons of water per day, or twice that amount in hot weather. It also takes 683 gallons of water to produce just 1 gallon of milk. It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, while producing 1 pound of tofu only requires 244 gallons of water. According to PETA, a vegan saves approximately 219,000 gallons of water per year just by not consuming animal products.
Hunting, on the other hand, takes from naturally occurring resources that are in balance with nature. Also, hunting can manage the population of animal species like deer and hogs. In some areas, hunting is necessary so herbivores don’t eat all the young plants. Additionally, many people like to eat the cleaner meat that comes from wild animals, as compared to chemical-pumped factory farm meat.
Unfortunately, hunting cannot sustain the world’s meat obsession. The animal density in the wilderness is simply not enough to supply enough meat. This is the real issue. So with that information, how do we solve this problem?
In my opinion, humans simply need to eat less meat until lab-grown alternatives save the day (which is not certain). There are many health benefits associated with eating a largely plant-based diet. Many professional athletes, like Novak Djokovic and Lionel Messi, eat a mostly plant-based diet due to improved digestion and reduced inflammation. Additionally, land currently used for meat production can be repurposed into farmland for biofuels, biogas, and carbon-sucking forests. This would be a huge win for the environment. Also, this land could be used for wind turbines, solar panels, or geothermal energy.
In conclusion, hunting is sustainable if used somewhat sparingly, and people need to use less animal products.
Thank you for reading my article!