Winter 2012: "The Ethics of Hunting" Powerful Voice Winner Lisa Schwartz

Read Lisa's essay about changing her opinions on hunting.
Alyssa Hunting play button

Lisa Schwartz, a student of Johna Fortener at Presentation Academy in Louisville, KY, read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "What's the Harm in Hunting," by Alyssa Johnson. She is our Powerful Voice winner for the Winter 2012 writing competition.

Writing prompt: "Is hunting moral?"


Don’t Jump to Conclusions

Like many people today, I initially thought hunting was awful. I found it disgusting and couldn’t bear the thought of killing an animal. Although I’m no vegetarian, I couldn’t bring myself to kill the meat with my own hands. I think a lot of people view hunting similarly to the way I used to. Now, I realize I didn’t know much about hunting before; I had formed a stereotype in my head about hunters. I never knew the true benefits it could have for the animal. 

The more I read Alyssa Johnson’s YES! Magazine article, “What’s the Harm in Hunting?” the more I realized that for some people, like Alyssa's friends Ken and Rone, hunting is a way of life, and a way to truly connect to nature. Although hunting does kill the animal, it can also preserve the habitat for the other wildlife around it. If an animal is hunted, it still lives in its initial habitat, which helps nature tremendously. People who gather their food from the wild are probably the most well-liked by Mother Nature because they prevent habitats from being destroyed for agriculture or being modernized for malls and development. 

Alyssa’s writing has reversed my opinion not only on hunting, but also on hunters themselves. I had viewed hunters as burly men that wore camo pants and had no concern for the animals they killed, or wildlife in general. Ken and Rone are completely different. They respect the animals they kill and feel a special connection to nature when they hunt. Their hunting experiences have made them more aware of the sacredness of life, and helped them be a part of the cycle of life and death. 

This does not mean I think hunting is okay as a sport. I strongly disapprove of those who hunt simply for the fun of it. I do not understand why killing an animal should seem amusing or entertaining to any human being that has any kind of morals. I also dislike the fact that many hunters go for bigger game, such as deer, simply so they can have the antlers to hang up and brag about. Many people that hunt big game could actually get the amount of food they need by hunting much smaller game, but it wouldn’t give them as much to boast about. I think killing an animal should never be anything to show off; it is highly disrespectful to the animal’s life, which is just as important as any human’s life in the eyes of God. After all, we are all his creatures. Therefore, people who hunt big game and waste much of the animal make the killing of the animal a waste of life.

Now that I have learned more about the benefits of hunting, I think more people should be educated on the topic. Although there will always be some people who may disrespect the lives of animals and hunt to see who can get a deer with the biggest antlers, or how many turkeys they can kill, more people might hunt ethically if they realized they could do it usefully and respectfully. So, next time you hear someone talking about a hunting trip, don’t jump to conclusions. Maybe next time you should tag along.

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