I grew up in the Orobie Prealps, in a town that barely reaches 400 inhabitants but which, I bet, has more than a thousand rifles and shotguns. Do you remember the “300 thousand martyrs of the Bergamo valleys” which according to Umberto Bossi were they ready to overthrow the government in the mid-1980s? Here, beyond the shot – er, bluster – of the then leader of the League, more easily it could have been 300 thousand rifles. Having said that, although surrounded by friends and acquaintances hunters, I never went to hunting. The very idea of pulling the trigger – or having the trigger pulled – to kill a deer causes a deep stirring of my guts. It is about my pathosensitivity: I suffer if I am faced with a living being who suffers (I am also a sucker in killing mosquitoes, I usually sprinkle myself with smelly lotions in the hope that they stay away from me).
Yet I have not signed – and will not sign – the referendum on the abolition of hunting. And I will not do it for a number of reasons that I believe are solid and that I will try to explain to the best of my ability.
I start from an assumption based on logic and consistency. In my opinion, only a vegetarian can fight for the abolition of hunting. I add: only a vegetarian person who has a pet that does not eat meat (I exclude, here, those who commit violence against their cat, which they may claim to love, forcing them to a veg diet). For all other people (I don’t know how many there are, but I suppose they approach – or exceed – 95% of the Italian population) it wouldn’t make sense to sign. As you can guess, for a fact of logic and coherence, since it is:
1) or people onnivorous who eat meat from intensive farming (if it came from the neighboring farmer, the reasoning would not change);
2) or vegetarian people who feed their pet with meat that comes from intensive farming. In a world that does not exist, it would be more correct – for environmental, ethical, animal law and, why not, public health reasons – to promote a referendum to close intensive farms.
Often, then, hunting is confused with poaching, with practices that should be prohibited (whaling, for example) or, again, with the behavior of individual hunters that should be punished. Here too, as above, there is a logical leap: wanting to abolish hunting, short, because there are cases of crimes or practices that should be regulated. It would be like saying, by analogy, that since there are crazy people driving – and there are many – the circulation of cars should be abolished; or that since there are false invalids or false citizenship income earners, the two measures should be eliminated.
A certain type of hunting – which I would call “healthy”, or “sustainable” – is useful for the ecosystem. Selection hunting, for example, allows to keep under control the proliferation of some species, which in certain territories, spreading, would constitute a danger for the existence of other species (this is the case of volpe). But not only: they would cause damage to agriculture and, more generally, would be dangerous due to the proximity to humans (I am thinking of wild boars, the number of which has doubled in the last ten years).
Of course, hunting has aspects negative. If selection hunting is necessary, just to stay on the subject, it is also the fault of the hunters, who have helped to eliminate natural predators. And if the wild boars are out of control – we also see it in our cities, from North to South – it is also because of the specimens imported from abroad. What is the point, then, to kill goldfinches and finches and other tiny species of birds, for leisure? Or kill a pheasant and then leave it where it is, so as not to have to pluck and cook it? Nobody.
If there are bad practices, it is right for them to come regulated. Just as it is right that poachers and hunters who break the rules should be punished. But this does not mean, in my opinion, that it is correct to abolish hunting *.
* The post refers to the question filed by the “Committee yes Aboliamo la hunting” which aims to completely abolish this practice