arma virumque cano (et alia)
It remains to be seen whether or not the elk in question was actually sick and limping; though I know this news article implies that it isn't they only have one supposed witness account. A more thorough investigation will be needed. It's quite possible the officers involved were dealing with either a wounded or aggressive animal; let the investigators find out.As for police practices of shooting animals overall... well it happens. One of my neighbors is a police officer; he regularly euthanizes deer or other animals approximately once a week with a shotgun; either due to their proximity to humans or involvement in car accidents. And on the subject of hunting, well, it has to happen. Overpopulation of certain animals, like deer and wild boar, is destructive to ecosystems and potentially hazardous to humans (automotive threats and animal attacks). Hunting is the only real practical solution; other ideas (like sterilization) are a mixture of too expensive and too difficult to practically implement since the manpower needed to effectively sterilize tens of thousands of wild animals in each state just isn't there. Hunting will either be done by private hunters whose licenses provide funding to many states' conservation programs (which defend other wildlife), or at will be done at state expense through large culling programs. We can either choose to preserve a traditional recreational activity which provides funding for conservation efforts and prevents wildlife damage, or we can just defer to state authority and have paid sharpshooters do it on taxpayer dime (which deflects money from conservation). Your pick.
Yeah, the old hunters do it for the humanitarian aspects of animal control. That's the number one bullshit justification for hunting. There may sometimes be a beneficial side effect, but that's not why they do it.
Mike,It may not be a reason that motivates the hunter to go out in the cold, but it is a reason to allow hunting.The motive for the hunters is typically a mixture of enjoying the hunting itself (not the killing aspect, the tracking, going out in the cold, trying to sneak up on animals, etc. even if they don't get one), and to get meat. The latter is often the larger of the two motivations.If one doesn't have a problem with eating meat, this is a fine motivation. For those, like you, who do object to eating meat, would you not agree that since hunting needs to be done to control populations, it's best that the meat be eaten rather than wasted?
+1 to what Jack said.Especially what he notes on overpopulation. Lack of hunting and natural predators is why there are so many vehicle accidents which can often lead to deaths in PA and NJ (part of that lack of hunting is that the states are so population dense that it's hard to find a place to hunt). And as for the Pigs, they're causing Huge problems all over the south--both crop destruction and occasional attacks on people. You have to cull 8 of 10 hogs just to keep the population stable due to their fantastic breeding. Hunters are, so far, not keeping up.Also, unless you are a vegetarian/vegan for conscience reasons, there is no reason to oppose hunting. Meat is meat. All deaths are violent, whether in the woods or a slaughterhouse. We try to make the deaths as quick and painless as possible, whether it's by using impact guns followed by bleeding in a slaughterhouse or by doing our best to get the right shot for a quick, clean kill when hunting (or when shooting animals for pest control).As for picture taking, I'd rather take a picture than waste the meat, etc. and mount the animal. (Many taxidermists will let you keep the meat or keep it themselves, but some just let it go to waste, which is a tragedy.)
I am a "a vegetarian/vegan for conscience reasons."
Then I disagree with you on the morality of eating animals, but I understand your objection to hunting.What I dislike are the people who will will eat a Big Mac while they lecture me on how cruel hunting is when I mention having a nice meal of squirrel or deer.
Mikeb, human beings are omnivores. We have a tradition of hunting going back perhaps even before language. But it comes as no surprise that you try to deny who we are. You do that a lot.
MikeB wrote, "Hunting animals is sick behavior."So lions, tigers, bears, weasels, eagles, hawks, etc. etc. etc. are sick?And letting animal populations exceed the carrying capacity of the land and die slow, agonizing deaths of starvation and disease is not sick?You must be an evolution advocate. People hunting animals is simply survival of the fittest, and many people are more fit than animals.
"Hunting animals is sick behavior"Right, because the ones near me dying because they're overpopulated and they can't find food is soooooo much better