Game Farming Is Not Compatible with Ecosystem Integrity
We see state agencies adopting policies that treat wild animals as persona non grata, rather than a valued part of our natural heritage. Nowhere do I see any attempt by these state agencies to educate hunters and the general public about the ecological benefits of predators, or pristine wild areas.
Nor is there any attempt to consider the social ecology of predators in management policies. Predators are seen as a “problem” rather than as a valuable asset to these agencies.
In recent years state agencies have increasingly adopted policies that are skewed towards preserving opportunities for recreational killing (Trophy Hunting) rather than preserving ecological integrity. State agencies charged with wildlife management are solidifying their perceived role as game farmers.
Their primary management philosophy and policies are geared towards treating wildlife as a “resource” to kill and trade. They tend to see their roles as facilitators that legalize the destruction of ecological integrity, rather than agencies dedicated to promoting a land ethic and a responsible wildlife ethic.
The goal of “wildlife management” is to increase hunter opportunities to shoot antelope - "desirable wildlife”. To do this, false ecosystems are created and "adequately enclosed". These are then sold under false pretenses as real "wild" areas. They are sadly nothing but tourist traps.
Government scientists like to (mis)quote Aldo Leopold, and venerate him as the “father” of wildlife management, BUT they fail to adopt Leopold’s concept of a land ethic based upon the ecological health of the land AS A WHOLE.
Aldo Leopold understood that ALL wildlife have an important role to play in ecosystem integrity. Decades ago back in the 1940s he wrote: “The outstanding scientific discovery of the twentieth century is not television, or radio, but rather the complexity of the land organism."
For example, lions, leapards and other predators are "managed" away from wild areas, to make the hunting grounds of fearful trophy hunters "safer". William Blake questioned the Creation of the "evil" Tiger: "Did he who made the Lamb make thee? ". Yes, actually. The Tiger is even more a part of nature than the lamb.
If the biota ("Mother Earth"), in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard parts, just because we do not understand why it is part of the ecosystem?
We should not tolerate management, but instead maintain natural ecological processes. "Management" should be limited to reparing damage done by human intervention, and returning the natural ecosystem to a pristine state.
The problem is that government environmental agencies have a conflict of interest. Their budgets depend on selling killing permits which depends upon the availability of elk, deer, moose and caribou to kill, not more predators. Any decline in the population of these “game” animals is seen as a potential financial loss to the agency.
WHAT DO WE THINK?
Most of the public tolerate hunting ONLY if it allows unnecessary suffering of the animals—in other words, makes a clean kill. No animal should die in vain, and killed by generally recognized codes of ethical behavior - meaning the animal is consumed rather than killed merely for “recreation”. Or worse - in the name of "wild"life management.
Wild animals should roam free, and remain wild. Anything less is
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Mere "survival", as per CITES' current AIM, which is "To ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival," seems to mean turning wild animals into livestock, and wild plants into hothouse plants. That is not what Mother Earth wants. She wants her wild animals and plants left alone, where she can look after them. This petition to CITES…
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