The sport of killing

Life first began on earth as single cells, which later developed into colonies of cells. Over millions of years, these developed into complex organisms. There is one fundamental rule of life: survival of the fittest. And thus began the hunt; hunt for food, water and shelter.

As humans evolved with time, so did their relationship with nature. Humans unfortunately did not master the art of harmonic co-existence. As men started living in societies, the need for money and land was empowering.  Thus began hunting for trade. As the population of human race increased, so did the need for terra firma. Thus began hunting for land. With the formation of kingdoms, hunting, for the first time, became a sport for the novelty. When governments came into existence and the need for conservation dawned in the minds of people, poaching was made illegal. But the trend of having hunting as a sport continues till date. And yes, the murder in cold blood, in the name of sports, is legalised.

The chase begins!

Fox hunting is an activity involving the tracking, chase, and sometimes killing of a fox, traditionally a red fox with the help of trained foxhounds or other scent hounds. This sport originated in the United Kingdom, but is practised all over the world now. The hounds are put into coverts, where foxes lay up during day time. They pick up the scent from there and track the fox as long as they are able to. It may also involve hunting foxes with fire arms. Hounds are taken hunting in the season of autumn to cull young, weaker foxes. Drag hunting involves dragging an object over the ground to lay a scent for the hounds to follow. Coyote, grey fox and other species may be the quarry in a hunt. The hunting season is during early November in the Northern hemisphere and May in the southern.

We tend to panic even if we enter a street where there are a pack of dogs. How then is this barbaric act justified?

Whales are hunted for food, oil or both. Whale hunting has now been turned into an industry in America and Europe. The kill is barbaric. The whale is killed by a 90kg, 2 metre-long iron harpoon, shot from a 90mm cannon. The harpoon head contains a time-fuse grenade which blows the whale’s insides apart seconds after impact! The animal suffers for hours before finally dying. Commercial whaling was prohibited altogether in 1986, but several nations refused to comply. Iceland, which already hunts whales for scientific research, has announced that it is going to start hunting whales for their meat for the first time in 20 years.

Hunting beautiful, graceful, innocent and harmless creatures such as deer is too cruel to envisage. But it does happen, more often than we would like to accept. There are five common methods of hunting deer. The first is stalking, i.e. following signs and trails of deer. The second is stand hunting, waiting where deer are likely to travel. The third is still hunting, walking quietly and waiting hidden for the prey. In the fourth method, the deer is flushed towards a line of hunters. Spot and stalk hunting is generally a method of hunting used in places where there are large visible areas. Even dogs are being trained to find deer sheds. Hunting for Deer Antlers has become one of the booming outdoor activities.

All in the name of sports!!

This is an era where people across the globe are brought together by one common religion, ‘Sports’. Should such a cruel act be encouraged by tagging it as a ‘sport’? How would it be if tormenting and torturing us was made legal? It is no justification that only animals that are not endangered can be legally hunted.  We have already taken away more from these animals than we can ever repay. The question is, to what purpose is blood being shed and life being wasted? Why is this brutal act still considered a sport?

Deepashri Varadarajan

References: Britanica

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