Neither one nor two: 7 arguments in favor of hunting
“Hunting, is it good or bad?” Simple things like this fuel debates on television and social networks while scientific facts and figures have been underlining the ecological, social, cultural and protective value of hunting for decades.
Political interests, misunderstood environmentalism and ignorance of the rural world are responsible for the current campaign to discredit hunting and hunters in Spain. Its defense does not require emotional speeches or appeals to tradition: hunting is positive for nature and for human beings, as shown by countless studies from universities and prestigious organizations, which support the arguments in favor of hunting.
As it could not be otherwise, hunting is practiced and respected by people from multiple social spheres, highlighting contemporary celebrities such as chef José Andrés, singers Madonna and Avril Lavigne or actors Chris Pratt and Kurt Russell. In the past, national legends such as Miguel Delibes or Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente confessed their esteem for this millenary art, so often mentioned in Don Quixote de la Mancha.
Hunting, negative? These arguments show that hunting animals is highly beneficial
7: Hunting facilitates the control of game populations
Did you know that species such as wild boar generate an environmental impact comparable to the emissions of a million cars on the road? This was recognized by a study published in the journal Global Change Biology, which put these emissions at 4.9 million metric tons of CO2. This and other negative effects highlight the importance of controlling animal populations through hunting, an effective and environmentally friendly tool.
6: Hunting reactivates the economy of ‘hollowed-out’ Spain
The depopulation and gradual abandonment of the rural environment recognizes in hunting one of its remedies. According to the report ‘Economic and Social Impact of Hunting in Spain’ by the Artemisan Foundation, hunting activities generate 187,000 jobs and produce a wealth of almost 6,500 million euros a year. This is why there are such positive opinions about hunting in relation to its beneficial impact on the rural world.
5: Hunting is socially supported and respected.
Sport hunting, in any of its forms, receives majority social support. At least 61% of our population values the preventive and regulatory function of hunting on the ecosystems of the Peninsula, according to a study carried out by GAD3 for the Artemisan Foundation.
The defense of hunting – recognized as a constitutional right in countries such as Germany – is also capable of mobilizing thousands of people. On May 30, 313,326 people demanded that the European Union not legislate against hunting, in a massive initiative of the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE).
4:Hunting encourages a fairer and more sustainable food supply
Another of the advantages of hunting is that it makes it possible to adopt an ethical and ecological diet. A famous editorial in Greenpeace magazine, belonging to the famous Canadian NGO, defended the consumption of game meat for being “the most ethical and sustainable you can eat”, declaring it “fair, free and healthy”.
3: Hunting is indispensable for the preservation of species and natural parks.
The author of El camino and Los santos inocentes already warned that “a hunter is an ecologist with knowledge of the cause, not a romantic ecologist”. Delibes, not as a hunter, but as a person of common sense, understood that the conservation of species and ecosystems depended in part on hunting.
According to the recent study Consequences of recreational hunting for biodiversity conservation and livelihoods in the journal One Earth, sport hunting actively participates in nature conservation and is not harmful. Its authors, a mixed group of scientists from the universities of Helsinki, Turku and Flinders, recognized the social and environmental contributions of hunting after reviewing thousands of studies dedicated to “recreational hunting of birds and land mammals between 1953 and 2020”. Undoubtedly, one of the strongest arguments in favor of hunting animals.
On the other hand, Spain is one of the countries with the highest number of natural parks (195) and national parks (15), not to mention biosphere reserves (49). Believe it or not, a significant percentage of these protected areas would not be possible without the active and respectful exercise of hunting, indispensable for the regulation of animal populations. So much so that in many of them – the Picos de Europa National Park, for example – hunting activities were practiced normally.
2: Hunting prevents fires and other threats to the natural environment
Environmental welfare and protection depends to a large extent on the cleanliness of the forest floor and the maintenance of firebreaks and other fire-fighting tools. It is estimated that the hunting sector spends 233 million euros per year on environmental conservation work affecting the forests and pastures belonging to hunting grounds. Given that almost 90% of the national territory is catalogued in this way, it seems clear that this activity benefits an infinite number of biomes and ecosystems in our country.
1: Hunting helps to recover critically endangered animals
Far from contributing to the degradation of fauna, hunters promote the development of repopulation and reintroduction plans for endangered species, such as the Iberian lynx or the Iberian imperial eagle. In the journal Science, a hundred or so scientists expressed their rejection of the banning of wild animals, citing the authors as saying that even the much-maligned trophy hunting can “with good governance and management, have a positive impact”.