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Environmental Values

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Environmental Values

Hunting as a Moral Good

Lawrence Cahoone

Environmental Values 18 (2009): 67-89. doi: 10.3197/096327109X404771


I argue that hunting is not a sport, but a neo-traditional cultural trophic practice consistent with ecological ethics, including a meliorist concern for animal rights or welfare. Death by hunter is on average less painful than death in wild nature. Hunting achieves goods, including trophic responsibility, ecological expertise and a unique experience of animal inter-dependence. Hunting must then be not only permissible but morally good wherever: a) preservation of ecosystems or species requires hunting as a wildlife management tool; and/or b) its animal deaths per unit of nutrition is lower than that caused by farming practices. Both conditions obtain at least some of the time.


Agriculture, animal rights, animal welfare, environmental ethics, hunting, wildlife management

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Species Conservation and Minority Rights: The Case of Springtime Bird Hunting in Aland Elisa Aaltola and Markku Oksanen

'Back Together Again' Again. J. Baird Callicott

Animal Liberation is an Environmental Ethic. Dale Jamieson

From a View to a Death: Culture, Nature and the Huntsman's Art. Roger Scruton

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