Does 30 days in the wilderness, living in the bush change you as a person? Does it bring on a bigger understanding of things? Will the experience make you comprehend the complexity of nature, environment and life better? I walked into the bush and after spending 30 days there, I walked out with a different insight pertaining to hunting, nature and the balance of the human race on the environment.
Seeing Nature that close, as the complex, magnificent and epical living form it is, you can’t deny the fact that She controls us all and is what flow through us. We must learn to listen to it, to learn from it and to follow the way Pachamama show us.
I’ve been a meat eater my whole life and not once have I ever considered to become a vegetarian. My whole adult life I’ve had a strong opinion about hunting and killing animals.
It has emotionally moved me and angered me to see killing and slaughter of defenseless animals, and it still does, at least to a degree. I’ve realized, at least on this matter, that my emotions control how I feel about things and I look away from any fact available, not willing to look at things with a different view.
Hunting tourism = Responsible tourism?
I wouldn’t want to label hunting tourism as responsible tourism, due to the fact that killing and responsible don’t mix well together, but the question I ask myself right now is whether or not hunting tourism can be labeled as sustainable tourism?
People I’ve met all working in close symbiosis with Nature and with the utmost respect and love for it, have made me realize that there are different angles to approach this matter. Hunting and killing animals for food is part of life and nature to keep the balance.
Let me clarify and point out that there are many types of hunting and that needs to be taken into consideration, when taking a stand. There are many bad examples and I don’t support any of the horrible examples that relate to poaching nor hunting of endangered animals. But by being able to separate the better from the bad, we can find sustainable and ethical hunting methods that can be used as an effective tool for conservation.
Conservation is a necessity for any kind of sustainability and a keyword that can be used is balance. In order to be able to sustain, everything needs to be in balance.
Why do we need a balance?
If we remove the croc from the trophic pyramid, due to an attack on a human, it will affect the rest of the pyramid, and all of a sudden we’ve got a shortage of natural enemies for the mozzies. Mozzie-bites can in areas cause malaria, and for the sake of one attack on humans, we’re risking the life of many through a potential outbreak of malaria.
Keeping the balance is crucial and we as humans are part of it and we are in many ways top predators and must participate in order to achieve balance. This can be obtained by either culling or cropping. Culling means large-scale removal of numbers of a population to achieve balance, while cropping means a constant removal over an extended period of time. Either method chosen, we need to obtain balance to conserve.
Should this be done my mass-killing and slaughter when the problem has become unbearable or should it be done by using hunting tourism, which generate income, provide food while also providing a tool to control and conserve?
Auction a lion?
A privately owned big-5 reserve in Africa advertise an auction, where the winner can come to hunt and kill a lion, the leader of the pride. Is this ethical? Is it responsible? Is it sustainable? Is this a sustainable and responsibly run reserve? What sort of tourism is this? If you rely on your emotions, I’m sure that a majority should call this bad and say no.
But if you care to look deeper into it and gather more information, to find out that the lion in the auction is the 12 year old male that has long surpassed his prime and is closing in on his final day. He’s lived and roamed free his entire life and is now being challenged by younger males to take over.
This auction can secure the funding of the entire reserve for a long time ahead, which means that poachers can be kept out, the animals be monitored and controlled and the survival of the reserve will be secured for a few years ahead.
With these facts in mind and by looking away from our emotions we should ask ourselves if this can be considered sustainable and even responsible.
Killing in the name of a sustainable future…
Is it right? Is it wrong? An opinion is like an ass, everyone has one and we need a difference of opinion now and then, but sometimes we need to approach things from a different angle to see the full picture. Having said that, I still look upon hunting with skepticism and a lot of emotions involved, but I’ve learned what to look for, to be able to separate the better from the bad, and by doing so I’ve gained a different insight not based on assumptions.
Who to believe in?
Question is what and who to believe in? Who’s controlling it? Who’s controlling the controllers?
You are my friend! Trust your own judgment based on gathered facts and information and not just on emotions. Base your opinions and choice accordingly.
We need to challenge and question to move forward towards a sustainable development in tourism. By separating the bad from the good, we can secure the future of tourism, no matter what area covered.
Asase ye duru!