Those who appreciate hunting with respect for life view it as more than a way to hunt; they view it as a way of life, a deep-seated belief and a moral and ethical code. Hunters who believe in respect for life:
- Respect nature and natural order
- Do not take more than they need
- Appreciate nature's bounty and strive to keep populations healthy
- Follow the rules and regulations set up by state and local government
Respect for life hunters place high value on maintaining and properly using their tools. Whether hunting with a bow, knife or gun, hunters understand how to use their tools to implement quick, clean kills that will result in the least amount of suffering possible. They follow through on a kill immediately to ensure that the animal is not lingering in pain.
Arguments in support of respect for life hunting include:
- Respectful hunting maintains animal populations and prevents overpopulation, which leads to sickness and disease and unnecessary suffering.
- Hunting is the most popular form of wildlife management and conservation. Hunting and fishing licenses provide needed revenue for fish and game organizations. Hunters provide $1.7 billion dollars each year for conservation [source: Eaton].
- Children who are properly educated in hunting and shooting learn lessons of self-control, responsibility, compassion and humility. Some believe that getting youth involved in hunting decreases aggression and actually helps boys become more peaceful and less violent as they become men [sources: Eaton, Coughlin].
- Hunting is a more humane way to kill animals than other options.
- Hunting helps protect agriculture and the environment from predators and animal pests.
Believers in respect for life have put a lot of effort into backing up their arguments. But what about the other side of the argument?