Hunters are terrific allies. A new estimate (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-98282-4) finds that hunting also reduces CO2 emissions.
And it could earn people over $180,000. Getting paid to hunt while saving the planet? It sounds wonderful.
Yet my approval of hunting is tempered with the same reality for why the organic backyard gardens of Dave Goulson or Michael Pollan are not sustainable for the public.
Here are 3 reasons to be skeptical
1. Animals need a lot of natural space to survive using foraging, just like humans did before domesticated livestock. Pennsylvania, for example, has 30 deer per square mile - which works out to over 20 acres for each deer. One deer is using space where over 95,000 pounds of corn could be grown (85 bushels per acre weighing 56 lbs.) Is one deer going to feed more people than 95,000 lbs. of corn? Of course not.
2. This is "carbon credit value of emissions from tropical forest communities who consume wild meat instead of domesticated livestock." It sounds great but some caution is warranted any time you are dealing with "virtual" money, like carbon credits you earn if you stop eating livestock. Carbon credits, where everyone gets some and big polluters "buy" them from non-polluters are a Ponzi scheme. Samsung does not continue to sell its smartphones because iPhone customers must pay a fee to everyone else and that kind of dependency dynamic is why carbon credits don't work. Like with solar panels, where rich people get to get to feel good while poor people pay for the mandates and subsidies that keep it afloat, carbon credits rely on creating a market no one wants or needs except the companies getting rich in a market created by government fiat.
Worse, the model also included parts of the rainforest that have not been torn down, claiming they will be torn down to raise cattle, and that becomes 'emissions saved or gained' even though we have no idea if it would occur or not.
3. It ignores that poor people want better lives, not to have city folk paying them to hunt. Academics often don't realize is how labor-intensive hunting is. All people would like to have more time to relax. The reason livestock became domesticated is energy expense. When food and energy become less labor intensive, culture flourishes. While some may want people in the Amazon to remain trapped in the past, it is incredibly patronizing to force it as policy.
What would be better than keeping poor people trapped in the ancient ways would still be hunting - but the tourism kind. If I go back east to hunt, I buy a plane ticket, one or two of us rent a car. We all buy licenses, we replace gear as needed. It all benefits the local economy.
Nearly all of the Pennsylvania Game Commission budget is funded from licenses purchased by people who hunt and fish. Countries in Africa that banned trophy hunting because white people in Europe and America made big promises either lost a lot of money or have elephants killing people or any number of other issues.
- If We Want The Next Generation To Care About Nature Let Kids Enjoy It Unsupervised
- We Need More Hunters, Says Deer Census
- Trophy Hunting Delivers Environmental And Social Benefits, Finds Study
- If You Want To Save The Forests, Hunt Deer
- Genome Study Shows Cats Also Originated In The 'Cradle Of Civilization'