Study On Persuasive Hunting Arguments


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Oct 18, 2017
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I posted this in the Trophy thread, but I didn't see the info anywhere else and thought it might be good to post on its own:

Regarding game management models and "antis" attitudes, there was a study done in the US that looked at what changed anti-hunters attitudes towards hunting. I believe the only successful arguments were:

A. That all the meat is utilized and the animal isn't wasted.
B. That hunting is a necessary activity licensed and regulated by states to manage wild animal populations appropriately.

Nothing else worked. Not "we've done it for years, I grew up doing it," etc. (Source: Episode 53 of the MeatEater Podcast; I believe the study was done by PhD candidate Greg Blascovich - definitely worth a listen if you have time:

I think we are at a bit of a turning point on the issue of hunting in public opinion (at least in the US). A big percentage of the younger "millenial" generation is interested in food quality/sourcing/organics/free-range stock, etc. and has realised two facts: 1. Game meat is healthier and more "organic" and "sustainable" than farmed beef/chicken; and 2. The hypocritical nature of eating meat and being anti-hunting. (I.e., if you eat a hamburger or chicken nugget, you have just as much blood on your hands as a big game hunter, hunters just don't completely rely on other people do their "dirty work" for them)

Regarding African hunting, I think the "if it pays it stays" argument should be added as well (when the animal has value to the local impoverished community, it is protected and managed, when it is a drain on the resources of the local impoverished community, it will be poached). I think Trophy did a decent job illustrating this fact, mostly with the Maasai segment, I wish they would have gone into more exposition when the locals were discussing Philip's elephant, and how they wished more would be hunted.

We're probably never going to change the minds of a lot of vegans or "bleeding-heart" animal rights folks, but that's ok, we just need the rational middle-ground folks to see that what we do is much more authentic, responsible, and necessary than it is often portrayed to be. It also helps to note that hunting revenue pays for all of the state Game and Fish agencies in the US, and provides millions to the wildlife agencies in Africa as well as anti-poaching.

Hunting, especially African hunting is such a complicated topic, but having those talking points in mind may be a good way to educate and change the attitudes of the middle-ground folks.


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Sep 3, 2009
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I like Rinella a lot... I don't agree with 100% of his views, but overall, I think he is an excellent representative of the blue-collar hunting community. The exchange in this video in particular is, in my opinion, one of the strongest arguments made on behalf the hunters' perspective. Rinella not only presents facts to support his views, he does it in a very credible, even charming demeanor. He slam dunks this guy, and has the guy thanking him for it at the end of the video.

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