When there's no clear majority, it's hard to see what side of a controversy is the "right" one. And when you're talking about hunters and PETA, the public is usually split. Both groups have plenty of press, positive and negative.
PETA is an acronym for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. As the name suggests, this non-profit group works to protect animals from cruel or unnecessary treatment. They have strong opinions when it comes to hunting. Hunting was once a necessary means for gathering food. But, today it isn't necessary -- PETA believes hunting is purely a sport with no positive value. In fact, they say it's had negative effects, such as contributing to the extinction of some animal species. Members of PETA believe ecosystems will balance themselves and don't need regulation, especially if that regulation comes with the painful death of animals. In the end, they say hunting puts a strain on ecosystems that would otherwise balance themselves through natural selection.
Hunters obviously have very different views. They see the evolution of hunting as long and rich. To the sportsmen themselves, hunting is an experience that brings them into nature, testing their skills and instincts in way that nothing else could. They see their sport as a way of regulating populations in an easier manner for animals. Instead of starving to death, or dying of disease, as an animal would through natural selection, they're killed unexpectedly. Hunters aim for a quick, clean kill so animals don't suffer.
Both groups have their points and counterpoints and the debate is nowhere near ending.
Is that image of the hunter in your mind still an unpleasant one? Whether it is or not, there are plenty of ways for you to voice your opinion. Visit the links on the next page to get an even more detailed view of the modern hunter.