Teddy Roosevelt's African Game Trails
Just finished re-reading African Game Trails again after first reading it about thirty years ago. An older more mature reading of the book revealed some interesting concepts on conservation and hunting that would do well to be periodically reinforced in active hunters and non hunters as well.
Some quotes from TR that are just as valid today as when penned in 1909.
Game butchery is as objectionable as any other form of wanton cruelty or barbarity; but to protest against all hunting of game is a sign of softness of head, not soundness of heart.
Death by violence, death by cold, death by starvation, - these are the normal endings of the stately and beautiful creatures of the wilderness. The sentimentalists who prattle about the peaceful life of nature do not realize its utter mercilessness...life is hard and cruel...in what sentimentalists call a state of nature.
It would not merely be silly, but worse than silly to try to stop all the killing of elephants...in place after place in Africa where protection has been extended to hippopotamus, buffalo, or elephant it has been found necessary to withdraw it because the protected animals did such damage to property or became such a menace to human life.
But to let the desire for record heads, to the exclusion of all else, become a craze, is absurd...it is only when the student or collector allows himself utterly to misestimate the importance of his pursuit that it becomes ridiculous.