SCI Working to Reverse Airline Trophy Bans


deltaplaneSCI is working to reverse the ill-advised announcements from a fluid list of airlines that have suddenly declared a ban on the transportation of all hunting trophies as cargo. One airline cites a single incident of a mislabeled hunting trophy as its justification, while others appear to be reacting in knee-jerk fashion to an online petition campaign urging all airlines to adopt such a ban.   Evidence of the panicky herd mentality among the airlines is the fact that several cite verbatim from the petition that they are refusing such shipments “irrespective of CITES appendix.”   The airlines also appear to be unaware that the signatories of such petitions are not typically part of their customer base, while hunters represent a substantial market share of international travelers.

SCI is opening every possible avenue to counter this sudden outburst of trophy bans. SCI representatives are in direct contact with the airlines, several of which appear to be on the verge of reconsidering their abrupt announcements. SCI is also opening discussions with domestic and international airline regulatory agencies and trade associations, the CITES Secretariat, diplomats from affected countries, and Members of the U.S. Congress. More detailed reports will follow as the positions of involved parties become clear and can be communicated to the SCI membership.

In the interim, SCI would like to thank the leadership of Delta airlines, which has also been targeted in this campaign. In response, Delta issued the following simple statement:

“Delta accepts hunting trophies in accordance with all U.S. domestic and international regulations, which prohibits the possession of trophies or other items associated with protected species. Customers are required to produce detailed documentation of trophies to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials as their trophies undergo inspection.”

Hunters are encouraged to thank Delta airlines for taking a principled stand. A variety of contact information is listed online at www.delta.com/contactus/pages/comment_complaint/

And SCI members can rest assured that your team is working on this issue with all available resources. Watch this space for updates.

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17 thoughts on “SCI Working to Reverse Airline Trophy Bans”

  1. I will work tirelessly along with our organizations’ members who dwarf yours, to ensure that airlines companies around the world do not cave to your slimy efforts in demanding that they haul the slaughtered remains of animals home to satisfy your bloodlust. We outnumber your vocal minority, SCI. Mainstream society is growing away from sport killing. They realize that it is outdated, unethical, immoral and unevolved. Your time is finite.

    1. Can you name these organizations and list what they do for animal conservation? Is this the same mainstream society that abandons animals when they are no longer cute and small? Have you been to these locations where people hunt to see the animal population and then make your statements? I had a similar thought process until I went with my husband. Now, I will go with him on hunts – with my camera for the scenery – and allow him to hunt when he wishes.

      1. Hi Kris,
        Haha! No it’s not those organizations but unfortunately I know which one(s) you are talking about and that is a travesty in its own way. I spend a lot of time in Africa working on eco-social justice issues. Many different independent studies have conclusively shown that trophy hunting gives very little back, if anything to the communities. Africa is plagued with corruption so only the very few benefit. What suffers are the communities and the wildlife. On a humane, moral point of view, trophy hunting is cruel, unsustainable and unethical. There is simply no need to hunt. It is for reasons to stroke the ego. The claims of it being for conservation are unmerited. Hunting brings in less than 3% and of this close to 90% is pocketed by corrupt officials.

        BUT, I am glad you hunt with your camera shooting photos and not bullets 🙂 and speaking of which, photo safaris are much more profitable and humane than pleasure killing/hunting.

  2. And what organization would that be? Perhaps I can contact them to help them better understand the efforts and goals of SCI. Then, hopefully, they will pass that information on to their members so they can be better informed about SCI.

    1. Bob, we and the mainstream are all very aware of SCI’s agenda to slaughter wildlife to satisfy a bloodlust that sport killers crave. What would you disseminate? That without hunters, wildlife would perish? Sport killing is unsustainable, unethical and inhumane. The industry is corrupt and is expediting the demise of many species. This is a fact, unfortunately.

  3. Bob and Scott, as the moderator of this site I will gladly allow healthy debate but reserve the right to edit out any personal attacks in comments, or pull the plug on comments if it devolves. Thanks.

  4. Hi Scott,

    I would have responded sooner, but I have been out of town on vacation.

    I would guess that, in your mind, the killing of cows, hogs, chickens, and fish to provide meat for you to eat (perhaps you are vegetarian, but probably not), shoes to wear, etc. is acceptable. If so, is it okay for native Africans to kill zebra, oryx, kudu, elephant, etc for meat for their families to eat and sell the hides for some extra income? I am just trying to get your perspective (and still wondering the name of your organization).

    1. Hi Bob,
      I am adamantly opposed to meat consumption and have been a vegan for over 15 years. But to live means to destroy and on that note, my stance is minimizing the impact we have on the planet. Killing animals for pleasure and sport is unsustainable, among other things. Eating animals in our society is no longer a necessity. There is a big difference in our developed society and that of indigenous cultures that I assume you are referring to. I think there is a big hypocrisy in regards to the killing of species in Africa. A black African does it and he is a poacher, a white man or in some cases a woman does it and they are a hunter. What’s the difference?

      The African is doing it to survive… Out of desperation (with there being exceptions to the rule of course). Many have had their land destroyed or have lost their ability to make income from their trade, so they turn to poaching. They wouldn’t do it otherwise. Again keeping in mind the exception to the rule applies here as well. Unfortunately, sport hunters are doing it just for that, sport. And it’s not really a sport. To be a sport, both entities/parties must consciously know and agree to enter into such an activity. Furthermore, monies produced by hunting hardly if ever makes its way back to the communities, so the claim used by hunters to justify is without merit. Africa is plagued by corruption, case in point Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Mozambique, not to mention Namibia and South Africa. There have been several studies done to conclusively evident that trophy hunting only benefits the very few, while further impacting the wildlife already suffering from rampant and out of control poaching.

      There really is no Conservation in trophy hunting.

      In regards to my org, perhaps I will share a bit down the road. Hope you can understand. I appreciate the civil debate, by the way.

      1. If you are a vegan, you certainly get credit for “walking the walk”. However, I think you would agree that your choice of lifestyle is certainly the exception and that the large majority of people enjoy eating meat, and have that right (whether it is necessary or not). I doubt you would wish to impose your way of eating on me and I certainly don’t suggest you adopt mine.

        Although I do believe Africa is plagued with corruption, I do not believe the claim that hunting benefits a very few. When one goes hunting in Africa, it provides income for cooks, trackers, skinners, guides, maids, pilots, etc. This does not include the money hunters also spend to support staff at airports, hotels, gas stations, gift shops, car rental agencies, etc. Hunting also provides meat for Africans to eat. Raising sufficient domestic livestock for meat consumption in most parts of Africa is very difficult.

        It is important to realize that hunting creates value for wildlife. Without it, the animals have little value and many Africans would simply kill many of them since they either (1) try to eat them or their livestock or (2) complete with their livestock for food.

        I can understand and respect your decision not to hunt, I would hope that you would respect my decision to hunt. If animals become overpopulated (such as the elephants in Kruger) they have a very adverse affect on other species (such as the plains game) due to their destructive nature. Likewise, the recent uncontrolled expansion of the lion population in Zimbabwe has had a very negative effect on the cape buffalo herds. At some point, these animals will overpopulate an area and die a miserable death in large numbers due to disease. Hunting is an important tool in managing the various species so such extremes are avoided. SCI (and the hunting community in general) has an active and vested interest in properly managing and sustaining wildlife resources around the world.

      2. Hope your week is going great Bob. Sorry for the late reply. You bring up some fascinating points, which I have responded to below. In regards to vegetarianism/veganism and eating meat, meat consumption is not only unnecessary it is contributing to the loss of resources and over taxing our planet as a whole. A group of leading water scientists from around the world believe the world’s population will have to completely switch to a vegetarian diet in 2050 because of food shortages, according to the Guardian. As of now, most people eat 20% of their protein from animal-based products and foods. However, scientists warn by 2050, this consumption number might have to drop down to five per cent to feed an extra two billion people expected to be alive, according to the research.

        An infographic illustrated by grocery delivery program Door To Door Organics, found that Americans eat at least 12 ounces of meat per day, almost 50% more than the recommend daily amount. Producing meat not only requires space and resources to raise animals, but a lot of water to grow crops. In fact, a study from 2011 found that eating less meat could double the world’s food supply.

        “There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations,” the report by Malik Falkenmark and colleagues at the Stockholm International Water Institute noted, according to the Guardian.
        And on the contrary, vegetarianism actually is becoming more prevalent. Less people are opting for meat and/or reducing meat from their diet substantively. Over 16 million people, follow a vegetarian-based diet. In 2008 over 7 million people were vegetarian, so more and more people are eliminating meat consumption from their diet for humane and health reasons. Approximately 2 million are vegans, who consume no animal products at all. In addition, 10 percent of U.S., adults, or 22.8 million people, say they largely follow a vegetarian-inclined diet.
        Data for this survey collected by the Harris Interactive Service Bureau. The study also indicates that of the non-vegetarians surveyed, 5.2 percent, or 11.9 million people, are “definitely interested” in following a vegetarian-based diet in the future.
        The study also collected data on age, gender and other demographic factors. Of the vegetarians surveyed:
        • 59 percent are female; 41 percent are male.
        • 42.0 percent are age 18 to 34 years old; 40.7 percent are 35 to 54; and 17.4 percent are over 55.
        • 57.1 percent have followed a vegetarian diet for more than 10 years; 18 percent for 5 to 10 years; 10.8 percent for 2 to 5 years, 14.1 percent for less than 2 years.

        So when you suggest that I should not take issue with “your” diet choices, I do for the aforementioned reasons. Are they wise decisions for you health wise and are they wise and compassionate and responsible decisions for the stewardship of this planet we share with so many others. Again, it is a luxury to eat meat, not a necessity and at what cost is it to obtain this luxury?

        In particular regards to hunting in Africa in relation to corruption… there have been several studies to conclusively evident that hunting does NOT substantially support the communities nor the people of Africa in the areas that do allow this practice. In fact it only benefits the elite few and corrupt officials. Look into the Economists at large report conducted on this issue and you will see that hunting does not support your claim. Hunting brings in less than 3% revenue to Africa and of this, less than 2% finds it’s way to the actual communities. Additionally trophy hunting is depleting wildlife already threatened by poaching.

        More over, sport hunting is theft. Hunting steals from the rest of the public at large the opportunity to see this wildlife. It is morally wrong and unethical. It is selfish and it depletes the gene pool as most trophy hunters kill the strong… It goes against the natural order of nature where predators take down the weak and sick. Never mind the slow deaths that often occur in hunting to sentient beings that feel the same feelings and emotions as we do. Quick kills are rare, and many animals suffer prolonged, painful deaths when hunters severely injure but fail to kill them.

        Bow hunting exacerbates the problem, evidenced by dozens of scientific studies that have shown that bow hunting yields more than a 50 percent wounding and crippling rate. Some hunting groups promote shooting animals in the face or in the gut, which is a horrifically painful way to die. The stress that hunting inflicts on animals —the noise, the fear, and the constant chase—severely restricts their ability to eat adequately and store the fat and energy they need to survive the winter. Hunting also disrupts migration and hibernation, and the campfires, recreational vehicles and trash adversely affect both wildlife and the environment. For animals like wolves, who mate for life and have close-knit family units, hunting can destroy entire communities.

        Over a thousand studies by animal behaviorists, scientists and biologists have provided documentation from studies that back this.

        Analysis of literature on the economics of trophy hunting reveals that communities in the areas where hunting occurs derive very little benefit from this revenue. How much revenue reaches communities?

        A report taken interviewed a community member who states, “We‘re more closely allied with the photographic operators than the hunters. They are finishing off the wildlife before we‘ve had a chance to realize a profit from it. Hunters don‘t recognize us; they only recognize the government…25 percent of hunting fees goes into the ‘hole’ at the district. We‘re supposed to get 5 percent: we don‘t even see that.” (Sachedina report, p152)

        Across the investigated countries, trophy-hunting revenue was only 1.8% of tourism revenues.

        Trophy killing is the modern day colonizing business – foreign tourists (aided by
        Foreign hunting companies) killing wild animals, including endangered species, in low-income countries with limited governance. Often times, in collaboration with corrupt government officials where both parties have set up financial arrangements where government agents are paid to look the other way while hunting outfitters operate dubiously without impunity.

        There are many stakeholders in the African trophy hunting industry. The hunters themselves are almost entirely foreigners, with an estimated 46% of lion trophies being imported into the USA (Telecky Report 2013).

        The Booth report of 2010 estimates on data collected that a mere 3% of revenues being shared with local communities is supported by other authors such as Sachedina report (2008) and IUCN (2009). Sachedina (2008) conducted extensive fieldwork in northern Tanzania investigating the role of foreign NGOs, tourism and hunting in conservation and development. He found that little hunting revenue was shared with local communities.

        No matter how one slices it, if looked at objectively; sport hunting serves no one/nothing but a few. In regards to your claim that animals will over populate if the almighty human doesn’t step in, is false and fabricated by those who profit off hunting, including the USFWS. In fact, studies have shown that because of hunting, species like deer, bears, etc., will actually, instinctively produce more offspring. The pro-hunting speak you cite where if humans don’t manage the wildlife species has been a myth propagated from Game Commission personnel and other special interests whose salaries depend on hunting and trapping license fees. Case in point: Game Commission press releases issued prior to hunting season describe agricultural losses due to wandering herds of hungry deer. The annual public relations blitz talks about car-deer collisions. In response to their own media spin, Fish & Game agencies offer the same old solution: Hunt more to stem deer overpopulation and prevent starvation. The “good for the species” pitch is really about increasing hunting and license revenues. In fact, hunting triggers herd growth. It’s been scientifically and biologically proven that when part of the animal population is removed, new animals migrate in, or the remaining population rebounds due to food abundance. Foraging species propagate and the population increases. Since hunters always want more deer to shoot, they kill males over females. Pregnant species left with an ample food supply tend to give birth to a higher ratio of offspring
        Starvation? When is the last time you heard a hunter claim to track down the sickest, thinnest deer in an effort to “wean” the herd? Natural selection maintains deer herd size. Starvation is an essential mechanism of natural selection. Without humans, guns, arrows or traps—the weak naturally die off and the strong survive. Some wild areas preserved for hunting alter terrain to favor target animals. For example, intentional forest fires, timber clearing and flooding draw waterfowl. Manipulating nature to favor one species causes the endangerment or extinction of another. According to the Federal Endangered Species Act: “The 2 major causes of extinction are hunting and habitat destruction.”
        I would add that hunting is nothing but a business marketed as recreation or sport. Even in rural areas, no one needs hunted meat to survive. Without doubt, it is cruel and inhumane to stalk, injure and murder animals for recreation. Whether the killer actually eats the meat (which he doesn’t need to survive) is frivolous and the whole myth of “Animals are slaughtered for meat sold in stores and restaurants…so why not hunt?” reinforces why one shouldn’t hunt. Billions of animals raised for food already suffer intensive confinement, mutilations such as debeaking and tail-cutting, disease, and violent, painful deaths. Hunting doesn’t change this; it only adds to the many who already suffer. And while we may not be able to control the cruel factory farming industry completely—you can easily choose to not hunt. No matter how one slices it, if looked at objectively, hunting is unnecessary, unethical and unsustainable.

  5. Hello again, Scott. It is good to continue our conversation. I have been up to my eyeballs in alligators lately (figuratively speaking) and could not reply sooner.

    I tend to be skeptical of apocalyptic predictions such as those suggesting impending water shortages will necessitate everyone becoming a vegetarian by 2050. It reminds me of past predictions such as the global cooling craze in the 60’s and 70’s, the 50 million climate refugees expected by 2010 due to increasing sea levels, the melting of the polar ice caps, the Y2K technology crisis, etc. Often times, such predictions are made using straight line analysis, which is useless in these cases but helpful in furthering an agenda and striking fear in the masses who do not understand the flawed methodology used to arrive at the desired conclusions. In some cases, a computer model is used with data that has been added to, changed or omitted so that the preferred result is generated. The best example of this is the theory of man-made climate change. There are tremendous sums of money spent to “study” the problem. Unfortunately, almost all of it goes to researchers who confirm that any undesirable climate problems are caused by humans (based on faulty data and assumptions). The many scientists who are skeptical of this theory, and they are in the clear majority, receive little if any funding to dispel such myths. However, I would suggest that if such a water shortage is imminent, this is all the more reason to increase our use of wild game instead of livestock (considering that the majority of humans will continue to eat meat) since wild game is free range, antibiotic free, low fat, and very healthy.

    The Harris Interactive study I found indicated that 2% of American adults are vegans/vegetarians, 10% are former vegans/vegetarians and 88% have never been either. This is a very small percentage of the population and I seriously doubt it will expand significantly in the next 35 years. However, if that is something you chose to do, that is fine with me. Choice is a wonderful thing, and I (along with the 98% of other Americans, 95% of Chinese, 98% of French, etc.) will continue to enjoy eating beef, pork, lamb, fish, and chicken as part of my diet.

    The notion that sport hunting is theft is simply false. Man has been hunting animals for thousands of years. The fact that it is “unnecessary” has no relevance. Humans engage in all types of activities that are “unnecessary” but enjoyed. Perhaps hunting is in people’s DNA. I can understand that some people have no interest in hunting. But I don’t understand anyone that believes they are entitled to make decisions for me.

    If someone shoots a zebra, there is always another one for someone to see and enjoy, so no one has been deprived of an opportunity. Although the zebra does not want to die (as is true for any animal) you can be sure that the zebra does not have the same feelings and emotions as a person. They are a wild animal, struggling at times for food and water, fighting with other zebras, and constantly trying to avoid being eaten by predators. In the overall scheme of things, I am certain the zebra spends very little time worrying about being hunted by humans.

    I do think it is interesting that your objection is not related to the suffering of animals, which is an everyday occurrence in nature, but that a sport hunter might be the cause of it at times, regardless of how insignificant such sport hunter caused suffering is in the overall scheme of nature. For example, there were 32,000 elephants killed by poachers last year and 140 killed by sport hunters. If someone is genuinely concerned about elephant welfare, their sole focus should be on stopping poaching. In fact, they should actively work with sport hunters to help eliminate poaching.

    The 3% revenue figure for Africa you mentioned may be accurate. Hopefully, those economies are based on a variety of revenue streams, all of which are important. However, the suggestion that only 2% of that goes back into the local community is preposterous. When our group went to Namibia last year, we hunted on an operating farm. The land owner received a sizeable sum of money from us, some of which went to the government for tags, but the majority went to the land owner and farm hands who keep the farm operating. The land owners were clearly not rich, but they and the many families of workers depend on the farm being prosperous. In our case, as in many other safaris, the majority of our money went to the local community. But even in an absurd example of rampant corruption, let us assume 2% of a $50,000 hunt goes to the local community and the rest to a corrupt government official. What do you think the official does with the $49,000 he really did not deserve? He does not bury it in a hole. He spends it, buying manufactured goods, services, etc from local people. So that money absolutely benefits the people in Africa. The only objectionable part is that an undeserving person also benefited. You can be sure the $350,000 Corey Knowlton spent on his black rhino tag stayed in Africa.

    Any suggestion that Mother Nature is particularly effective in population control is naive. I have 67 acres leased to a farmer. Last year he planted soybeans and the deer annihilated 18 acres of beans before they had a chance to grow. He paid for the lease, seed, fertilizer, lime, weed control, diesel, equipment time, crop insurance, and lost 27% of the crop to deer. This problem is repeated over and over again across the United States. Wild hogs are even more destructive. Hunting helps keep the deer and hog populations in some semblance of control. However, at times the problem is so bad farmers have to get depredation permits to kill deer in mass at night. I can assure you there are similar issues in Africa. Unfortunately, these days Mother Nature needs a lot of help and hunting plays an important role in providing that help.

  6. Happy Tuesday Bob,
    Ok here we go! The USGS estimates that it takes 4,000 to 18,000 gallons of water to produce a hamburger. The water is used to feed, hydrate, and service cows. This is a very inefficient practice to say the least. This is similar to the pig and chicken industry where millions of gallons of water are used which can’t be reclaimed. Not to mention all the chemicals, poisons, pesticides, hormones etc etc and etc are used in this business. pretty disgusting and can be avoided by not consuming meat. To your point directly, if we were talking about which types of apples or potatoes, etc. that you should eat or not eat, then you would have a valid argument but when it comes down to the inhumane and cruel industry that farm animals are treated then I feel it is not only my obligation but my duty to stand up for sentient life that feels the same feelings and emotions you and I feel, from happiness and compassion to misery and pain. (See previous emails for links to info on studies by scientists and animal behaviorists who have supported this. Why would you support an industry like this, that condones and promotes torture and death for no reason whatsoever except to give you a few minutes of gastro-satisfaction? That is unsettling. It comes down to morality and ethics, or a lack thereof.

    Sport killing is for the very few who have the money to go and exploit and kill something that doesn’t need to be killed. I honestly find it to be a coward’s past time. Your belief that sport hunters contribute to the communities of Africa has been and continues to be debunked and my last email is full of data and evidence to overwhelmingly support this, but seems like you have chosen to overlook. You cite one example of your excursion and say it did X things but where is the proof of this? On the other hand I provided many different data and reports that thoroughly investigated this issue and have conclusively shown that hunting does NOT give back to the community, while wrecking havoc on the biodiversity.

    What it also does is handover, in many cases in a corrupt manner, to a very elite few a lot of money and a rich white person a chance to cruelly pick off an animal. There is no skill in this barbaric activity and there is NO need for it. Trophy killers claim it is conservation but it really isn’t. That’s just not true in the least bit. True conservation is protecting this wildlife by saving it, not murdering it. Corey Knowlton could have taken that money and transported that endangered rhino to a sanctuary who offered to take it. That would have been TRUE conservation. Killing is killing. And actually contrary to your claim, that $350,000 has yet to find its way to conservation programs as it was claimed it would be and in fact an investigation is being held to try to track down that money as it went “missing!” The whole sport killing world is overflowing with corruption, deceit and bad energy overall. People sit on the dead bodies of these majestic animals. What is there to be proud of in this sick and depraved activity. It is horrible behavior, Bob.

    Again, in our prior correspondence, I overwhelmingly evident where hunting actually thins the gene pool of species among other things. Trophy killers go after the big and the strong not like real, natural predators that go after the weak.

    It’s a fact that more money from photographic safaris goes into the communities than does hunting by far. And again, hunters killing animals is in fact theft. You have taken something from others to enjoy and experience. Yes, it is theft. I challenge you to watch Blood Lions. I actually spend much time in Africa on the ground working with communities to sustainably protect and conserve their natural resources. the majority of them despise trophy hunting and see it as another form of colonization. Only the few that reap the benefits from the cruel and corrupt trade support it and again, thats a teeny tiny fraction of the populace.

    It is a crazy myth that us humans need to control these species. You make it sound like nature had been struggling until us mighty humans came around to save it. It’s pretty anthropocentric to believe this and very ignorant and dangerous.

    In regards to the statistics from the Harris interactive study, while only 3% do not eat meat at all what you are overlooking is how many people eat little meat and this number has increased… meaning more and more people are refusing to consume meat and support an industry based on senseless slaughter and misery. vegetarianism and veganism is also healthier and more sustainable.

    I find it irresponsible and reckless to willfully ignore and refute the now near 99% of scientists who have conclusively proven that global climate change is predominantly anthropogenic. What agenda do these scientists have to state this claim? Thats egregious. Who does have an agenda to hide the adverse affects of climate change? The oil and gas industry and people like the Koch brothers. A follow-up study by the Skeptical Science team of over 12,000 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subjects of ‘global warming’ and ‘global climate change’ published between 1991 and 2011 found that of the papers taking a position on the cause of global warming, over 97% agreed that humans are causing it (Cook 2013). The scientific authors of the papers were also contacted and asked to rate their own papers, and again over 97% whose papers took a position on the cause said humans are causing global warming.

    Several studies have confirmed that “…the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes”. (Doran 2009). In other words, more than 97% of scientists working in the disciplines contributing to studies of our climate, accept that climate change is almost certainly being caused by human activities.

    We should also consider official scientific bodies and what they think about climate change. There are no national or major scientific institutions anywhere in the world that dispute the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Not one. In the field of climate science, the consensus is unequivocal: human activities are causing climate change.

    Respectfully,
    Scott

    1. Scott,
      I made some edits to your post not because there was anything abusive, but because that particular subject still has a lot of unanswered questions surrounding it. You two are having a good, spirited debate and as the moderator I believe it is more constructive to leave out areas where there is conjecture, speculation and possibly misinformation. I hope you understand.

  7. Hi Scott,

    I plan to continue our discussion but am going on a trip tomorrow and will be gone for 12 days which does not give me time for a thoughtful reply. Hopefully I can get back to you the week of the 24th. Take care.

    Bob

  8. Scott,

    I have been guilty of expanding the scope of our discussion to issues on which we would disagree ad nauseam. So, although it is tempting to do otherwise, I will limit the scope of my reply.

    It appears that you believe animals are much like humans with characteristics such as feelings and emotions including happiness, compassion, etc. If they were like humans, I would not hunt them. But they aren’t. They hurt or kill each other when fighting, get diseases, die from starvation due to overpopulation, die at the hands of predators, in most cases they could care less if one of their own dies, the vast majority of the animal kingdom has no loyalty regarding a lifetime mate, many will kill any offspring sired by others of their own species (some will even kill their own offspring so the mother will go into heat again). Their life situation and thought process in no way resembles that of man (however I would admit that many humans sometimes act like animals). Although I see the animals I hunt as noble creatures, they are creatures and not humans. Man has hunted them for thousands of years and I see absolutely no problem continuing to do so in a responsible fashion.

    Regarding diminishment of the gene pool by trophy hunting, Mother Nature eliminates the weak as you indicated. When a hunter kills the strong, it is only because the strong out lived the weak, grew to maturity, and produced more offspring than the weak. So there really is not a problem here.

    You claim that Mother Nature works fine when left alone. However, I take note that you did not suggest an economical solution to crop damage by an uncontrolled deer population in the southeastern US (which I am personally familiar with) as well as the exploding wild pig population. Please give me an economically viable solution (something your organization would be willing to fund) to address the deer and wild hog problem that plague farmers in my area, keeping in mind that hunting is a revenue generator for the farmer.

    You also seem to want to cling to the “2% to the local African community” fantasy, but don’t want to acknowledge the positive impact the 98% (based on your example) has in the host country due to the multiplier effect (regardless if a crooked politician receives it first). Sometimes I feel like you are quoting from a script that is geared to prevent you from being “confused by the facts”.

    I will close with the suggestion that we do have a common enemy, the poacher, whose hunting yields no meat for anyone, generates virtually no revenue for the local community or country (as the big money is spent out of the African continent), and poses a direct threat to the survival of several species. SCI and hunters are actively involved in combating poaching and we would welcome all the help we can get, including yours.

    *** Although I was going to limit my scope, I cannot resist pointing out that 4,000 gallons of water for a hamburger is absolute nonsense. A typical cow drinks a gallon of water per 100 lbs in the winter and two gallons of water per 100 lbs in the summer. A two year old steer might weight 1,200 pounds when taken to market. If you take an average weight of 600 pounds over 730 days with water consumption per day of 9 gallons, you get 6,570 gallons of water consumed by the cow, but one hell of a lot more meat than one hamburger (plus shoes, belts, etc)!

    Bob

    1. Bob,

      In regards to your stance that animals lack sentience I suggest you look at the 1000’s of studies conducted by biologists and animal behaviorists that would discount your claims. You are in fact inaccurate and scientific data will evident this. More so, it is proven that “hunters” do in fact thin the herd’s gene pools. My question is, despite the overwhelming evidence and data, how you can continue to deny this. So, I therefore feel it important to provide you with abundant info on facts pertaining to the matter.

      First, regarding my “fantasy” that hunting revenue accounts for very little is actually based on fact- Analysis of literature on the economics of trophy hunting reveals that communities in the areas where hunting occurs derive very little benefit from this revenue. How much revenue reaches communities? A report taken interviewed a community member who states, “We‘re more closely allied with the photographic operators than the hunters. They are finishing off the wildlife before we‘ve had a chance to realize a profit from it. Hunters don‘t recognize us; they only recognize the government…25 percent of Hunting fees goes into the ‘hole’ at the district. We‘re supposed to get 5 percent: we don‘t even see that.” (Sachedina report 2008, p152) Across the investigated countries, trophy hunting revenue was only 1.8% of tourism revenues.

      Trophy killing is the modern day colonizing business – foreign tourists (aided by Foreign hunting companies) killing wild animals, including endangered species, in low-income countries with limited governance. Often times, in collaboration with corrupt government officials where both parties have set up financial arrangements where government agents are paid to look the other way while hunting outfitters operate dubiously without impunity.

      There are many stakeholders in the African trophy hunting industry. The hunters themselves are almost entirely foreigners, with an estimated 46% of lion trophies being imported into the USA (Telecky Report 2013).

      The Booth report of 2010 estimates on data collected that a mere 3% of revenues being shared with local communities is supported by other authors such as Sachedina report (2008) and IUCN (2009). Sachedina (2008) conducted extensive fieldwork in northern Tanzania investigating the role of foreign NGOs, tourism and hunting in conservation and development. He found that little hunting revenue was shared with local communities.

      Overall, hunting may have played an important role, next to plant gathering and scavenging, for human survival in prehistoric times, but the modern “sportsman” stalks and kills animals for “recreation.” Hunting is a violent and cowardly form of outdoor “entertainment” that kills hundreds of millions of animals every year, many of whom are wounded and die a slow and painful death.
      Hunters cause injuries, pain and suffering to defenseless animals, destroy their families and habitat, and leave terrified and dependent baby animals behind to starve to death. Because state wildlife agencies are primarily funded by hunting, trapping and fishing licenses, today’s wildlife management actively promotes the killing of wild animals, and joined by a powerful hunting lobby even sells wildlife trophy hunts to those who enjoy killing them. For instance, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) just received $45,000 from the sale of a killing tag for California Desert Bighorn Sheep, which was sold at the 41st Safari Club International Convention in Reno, Nevada. Getting the trophy is an unwritten guarantee.

      Pain and Suffering-
      A mere six percent of the human U.S. population hunts–compared to the nearly 71.8 million people who enjoyed watching wildlife in 2011. Hunting is permitted on 60 percent of U.S. public lands, including in over 50% of wildlife refuges, many national forests and state parks; on federal land alone (more than half a billion acres), more than 200 million animals are killed every year (McCarthy).
      Quick kills are rare, and many animals suffer prolonged, painful deaths when hunters severely injure but fail to kill them. Bow hunting exacerbates the problem, evidenced by dozens of scientific studies that have shown that bow hunting yields more than a 50 percent wounding and crippling rate. Some hunting groups promote shooting animals in the face or in the gut, which is a horrifically painful way to die.
      Several states (AZ, ID, MT, OR, UT, WY) allow a spring bear hunt during the months when bears emerge from hibernation. These bears are not only still lethargic, which makes them easy targets for hunters, but many of the females are either pregnant or lactating. Mother bears are often shot while out and about foraging, while hiding their cubs in trees or leaving them in their dens. When mother bears are killed, their nursing cubs have little to no chance of survival as they will either starve or be killed by predators.
      The stress that hunting inflicts on animals —the noise, the fear, and the constant chase—severely restricts their ability to eat adequately and store the fat and energy they need to survive the winter. Hunting also disrupts migration and hibernation, and the campfires, recreational vehicles and trash adversely affect both wildlife and the environment. For animals like wolves, who mate for life and have close-knit family units, hunting can destroy entire communities.
      Hunting is not Sport
      Hunting is often called a “sport,” to disguise a cruel, needless killing spree as a socially acceptable activity. However, the concept of sport involves competition between two consenting parties, adherence to rules and fairness ensured by an intervening referee, and achieving highest scores but not death as the goal of the sporting events. In hunting, the animal is forced to “participate” in a live-or-die situation that always leads to the death of the animal, whereas the hunter leaves, his/her life never remotely at stake.)
      Hunting is not “Fair chase”
      Despite hunters’ common claim of adhering to a “fair chase” code, there is no such thing. With an arsenal of rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, handguns, bows and arrows, hunters kill more than 200 million animals yearly – likely crippling, orphaning, and harassing millions more. The annual death toll in the U.S. includes 42 million mourning doves, 30 million squirrels, 28 million quail, 25 million rabbits, 20 million pheasants, 14 million ducks, 6 million deer, and thousands of geese, bears, moose, elk, antelope, swans, cougars, turkeys, wolves, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, boars, and other woodland creatures. Hunters also frequently use food and electronic callers to lure unsuspecting animals in front of their weapons. The truth is, the animal, no matter how well-adapted to escaping natural predators she or he may be, has virtually no way to escape death once he or she is in the cross hairs of a scope mounted on a rifle or a cross bow.
      Hunting and Conservation
      Wildlife management, population control and wildlife conservation are euphemisms for killing–hunting, trapping and fishing for fun. A percentage of the wild animal population is specifically mandated to be killed. Hunters want us to believe that killing animals equals population control equals conservation, when in fact hunting causes overpopulation of deer, the hunters’ preferred victim species, destroys animal families, and leads to ecological disruption as well as skewed population dynamics.
      Because state wildlife agencies are primarily funded by hunters and other wildlife killers, programs are in place to manipulate habitat and artificially bolster “game” populations while ignoring “non-game” species. These programs lead to overpopulation and unbalanced ecosystems by favoring “buck only” hunts, pen-raising pheasants and other birds as living targets for hunters, transporting wild turkeys, raccoons and other species across state’s lines to boost populations for hunters and trappers to kill, and by exterminating predators such as wolves and mountain lions, in order to increase “prey” animals like elk and deer to then justify hunting as needed for “population control.”
      Hunting contributes to species extinction
      Hunting has contributed to the historical extinction of animal species all over the world, including the Southern Appalachian birds, the passenger pigeon and the Carolina parakeet (the only member of the parrot family native to the eastern United States), the eastern elk, the eastern cougar, the Tasmanian tiger and the great auk.
      Wildlife as “crop” Wildlife managers and hunters treat wild animals like a crop, of which a percentage can be “harvested” annually – to them, wild animals are no different than a field of wheat. This “selective” science, with its exclusive focus on numbers to be killed, ignores the science that shows that nonhumans, just like humans, have the same capabilities to experience emotions, and that they have families and other social associations built on multi-leveled relationships.
      Natural carnivores are the real ecosystem managers
      While hunters and so-called wildlife professionals pretend to have control over ecosystems and the animals they kill, natural predators such as wolves, mountain lions and bears are the real ecosystem managers, if allowed to survive naturally. For instance, the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park (YNP) caused “ripple effects” throughout the ecosystem, with an increase in ‘biodiversity,’ including a higher occurrence of beavers, several bird and plant species, and natural habitat and stream recovery.

      In regards to how much resources/water cattle uses, I suggest you watch Food Inc. Furthermore, researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment determined that 36 percent of the calories in crops are being fed to farmed animals. When cattle are killed and turned into food, only 12 percent of those calories make their way into the human diet as meat. That’s a whopping two-thirds drop in the number of calories that would have been available to humans if the grains had been consumed directly by humans in the first place.
      The researchers also reported that growing crops for direct human consumption increases available food calories by up to 70 percent and that the newly freed-up crops would be enough to feed an additional 4 billion people. That’s more than enough food to cover the estimated increase in world population of 2 to 3 billion people by 2050.
      It takes about 13 pounds of grain to produce a single pound of meat. All that grain would go a long way toward feeding the hundreds of millions of people—many of them children—who don’t have enough to eat. In fact, malnutrition currently affects about 870 million people worldwide and accounts for the deaths of more than 2.5 million children under the age of 5 alone every year.

      But if you truly investigate, it really does take 1,000s of gallons to produce a pound of beef. And while you have yet to show any sources to back up any of your claims on hunting and meat consumption, all I do is back mine with data and the like such as-
      Water Required to produce one pound of U.S.beef:
      (per Dr. Georg Borgstrom, Chairman of Food Science and Human Nutrition Dept of College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University) 2,500 gallons Water required to produce 1 pound of California beef: per the Water Education Foundation- 2,464 gallons

      Water required to produce 1 pound of beef:
      per David Pimentel, Ph.D., Professor of Ecology and Agricultural Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York- 12,009 gallons
      Putting water use info into perspective. If you shower each day for 7 minutes, using a shower with a flow rate of 2 gallons per minute, you are using 14 gallons of water per day (7 minutes x 2 gallons), or 98 gallons per week. Rounding that up to 100 gallons per week, in 52 weeks you would be using 5,200 gallons of water per year to take a daily shower.

      Comparing 5,200 gallons of water used by taking a 7 minute shower every day for a year, to the 5,214 gallons of water it takes to produce a pound of beef (using the estimate noted by water specialists at the University of California, noted above), you realize that in California today, you can save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you will save by not showering for a year.

      Take your choice — 4 hamburgers or a year’s worth of showers?

      According to the calculations of the celebrated Dr. Pimentel of Cornell, you could go two years without a shower and still not save as much water as you would by not eating one pound of beef.

      “In a world where an estimated one in every six people goes hungry every day, the politics of meat consumption are increasingly heated, since meat production is an inefficient use of grain — the grain is used more efficiently when consumed directly by humans. Continued growth in meat output is dependent on feeding grains to animals, creating competition for grain between affluent meat eaters and the world’s poor.” -Worldwatch Institute

      Simply put: it’s wasteful and irresponsible to squander our precious resources on a luxury item like meat.

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