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Hunting

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Tweefo
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« on: September 28, 2009, 08:29:09 AM »

Is hunting for sport a good thing? I don't hunt, don't like it and can't see the fun in it. However, it was pointed out to me that maybe this is the only way to save the wildlife. Zoo's only keep a few animals and are expensive to run. Reserves keep more but are also expensive. As the human population increase, it is more difficult to keep those reserves.

Enter the practise of hunting. For the farmer it is good money. So he will breed the wild animals rather than cows. If there was no money in it, the wildlife is little more than a pest and will be wiped out. There are now far more game kept on farms than 50 years ago. This is good for the species, if not the individual animal.
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AcinonyxScepticus
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2009, 09:27:28 AM »

There are a some points here with which I agree, yes turning it into an economic concern would mean that more individual animals would be bread for hunting.  The only counter position I could take to that argument is that zoos and wildlife preserves are interested in preserving or increasing genetic diversity (which is better for the species).  Zoos, and some rare-species preserves, will enter a breeding programme with other zoos on the other side of the world at enormous cost to continue this goal.  If you compare that to a game farm for hunting purposes, there is no interest in genetic diversity.  They could start with a pair of each species that they want to stock and continue to breed from that stock again and again to fulfill the demand for targets.  Farms would not cross breed, and new startup farms would just buy breeding stock from another existing farm.  Yes, you would have more individuals living in farms around the world, but they would have lost a huge amount of genetic variation from the species overall.

James
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2009, 10:48:07 AM »

And I also suspect that trophy/ sport hunting represents a sort of reverse natural selection, what with the biggest and fittest animals being targeted instead of the weakest and tiniest, as would be the case in the wild.

We are mostly only harvesting the genes that make for "superior" or good looking animals.

Mintaka
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2009, 18:01:08 PM »

There was a thing a while back, about fish getting smaller due to fishing.

We tend to fish for the big critters, and mostly it's legally mandatory to throw the small ones back. Thus our artificial selection is making fish smaller.
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2009, 18:34:56 PM »

That sounds like the type of thing, yes.

Myself, I'm not too keen on the idea of hunting either, and I've never fired a shot at another mammal. At hunting parties - and you can't live in the Eastern Cape very long without being invited - I usually rebel quietly by sitting in a corner of the lapa and gobbling as much kudu biltong as possible.

Mintaka
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Tweefo
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2009, 07:31:03 AM »

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And I also suspect that trophy/ sport hunting represents a sort of reverse natural selection, what with the biggest and fittest animals being targeted instead of the weakest and tiniest, as would be the case in the wild.

We are mostly only harvesting the genes that make for "superior" or good looking animals.

I don't think this will have a big effect. By the time an animal reach "trophy" status the genes will have passed on. On the more well run farms certain animals are kept separately (in the hunting season) for breeding purposes.
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2009, 08:40:39 AM »

Some of its genes, for sure. But since we are considering a large and fit animal, it is reasonable to assume that it could have continued dishing out its superiour genes for a significant period of time still to come, had its lungs not been prematurely ripped out by a 30-06 slug.

So the stately beast has not passed on as many of its genes as his equally fit (great)ngrandparent might have done prior to the intervention of brainy apes.

Won't that cause a nett genetic drift towards puny animals?

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On the more well run farms certain animals are kept separately (in the hunting season) for breeding purposes

This may be a step in the right direction.

Mintaka
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2009, 09:52:18 AM »

Well, we have lots of domesticated animals to show us what happens when we intervene in natural selection...

Humans have been purpose breeding animals to suit our needs for thousands of years. Is this morally different?
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Irreverend
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2009, 21:09:05 PM »

A hunter is just a hunting farm's way of making more targets. (This response is more serious than it may at first appear to be.)
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