@Arcus - I was right there with you until, "Or consuming substances which slow your cognitive abilities or alter your perception of reality" --
Admittedly, I find myself in disagreement with that argument myself. ;)
That's a pretty simplistic view of evolution. Evolution changes populations of animals to better fit their environment, it's not just about weak and strong. Evolution has given hummingbirds long beaks to better get at the nectar in flowers. It did not make them lean mean fighting machines. Survival of the fittest does not mean only the strong survive. It means survival of what fits. I'm not against hunting, I just don't go into the woods during hunting season because I'm afraid of drunks with shotguns, but the fact that our ancestors survived because they killed predators is kind of a lame argument for modern hunting.
And another thing, along with intelligence humans have developed compassion, which means we have learned to protect the weaker members of our species. Natural selection doesn't apply to humans as much as other animals because we have learned to shape the environment to our needs rather than let the environment shape us.
Yes, we have learned to protect our own species, and through shaping our environment, we've killed millions of animals, so I fail to see your point. Either way, another reason (and you can say it's a foolish one, but that will be your opinion) I believe we should always try to stay strong, is because we never know what could happen. I believe we have become too comfortable with ourselves being at the top of the food chain. If we become too weak, someone can challenge us and win one day. Of course, this could mean aliens or an evolving creature we know nothing about. The problem with us having protected the weaker members (which I'm fine with) is that our evolution is going to stay stagnant in general. Some may change slightly, but the whole of the population won't. Anyway, just a thought that I keep in the back of my head.
It's quite obvious that I wasn't going into massive detail of evolution, but merely stated a major part of it to make my point. I disagree that it isn't just about weak and strong. It's called survival of the fittest for a reason. It's purely about survival. The hummingbird's beak allows it to survive by obtaining food in bark. Its wings protect it from many earth dwelling carnivores, so it's still pure survival. Obviously some mechanisms are more defensive than offensive. You're right about drunks and shotguns because millions of recorded deaths are from drunks with shotguns...
The argument wasn't necessarily for modern hunting, but to shut people up who think they're more evolves because they don't hunt, which is a major falacy. My point is that because of the might of the human race (largely from hunter gatherers), people like that are allowed to live. It's proven obvious because people with major diseases wouldn't 50,000 years ago, but now they can. In the wild, natural selection would have weeded these people out was my only point. I'm simply sick of the belittling people tend to do to hunters, so I'm defending them (yep, I haven't hunted in years).
James, you are simply wrong about evolution. The phrase survival of the fittest does not mean survival of the strongest. It means survival of what best fits the environment. Yes, it's about survival but strength isn't the only thing that helps creatures or humans survive. Most of the predators that our ancestors faced were a lot stronger than they were. What kept them alive was their smarts.
I don't really want to argue with you because for the most part I agree with you. I'm glad hunters are out there thinning the deer population. The more deer that are out there the more people will die in deer collisions on the highways. When the deer population gets too large many deer will not find food in the winter. I really don't understand how some people would rather see deer starve to death than taken by hunters. I wouldn't bother arguing with the vegetarians. They just naturally feel superior to meat eaters and regard hunters as the lowest of the low. You will not change their minds. Logic doesn't enter into it. They are opposed to the killing of animals and if they had their way and everyone gave up meat we would have to kill off most of the domesticate farm animals in a huge barbaric unnecessary mess. Like I said, logic doesn't enter into it. Save the cows, eat a burger!
Hmm. I live in the Cleveland, OH area after living for more than 30 years in Portland, OR. It may be hard for many to believe, but the Cleveland area has a problem with what might be called urban deer. I've seen nearly a dozen deer in city neighborhoods after living here only about 9 months! In all my time in Portland, I never saw a deer in an urban setting. In fact, never even saw that many deer in ANY setting! The difference, of course, is the almost total absence of large predators in Northern Ohio. And the "Please don't kill Bambi!" attitude of many people makes dealing with the problem very difficult. By contrast, in Portland, while there was no urban deer problem, you would see on the news from time to time that a cougar or black bear had wandered into a neighborhood. Typically, they were either tranquilized or shot. Unfortunately, many people think having a deer in their yard is cute, kind of like seeing a pheasant in your yard, but it's not the same thing. A deer crossing the road in front of a car is dangerous not just to the deer but to the driver and occupants of the car as well as any unfortunate person who may be in the path of a car trying to miss the deer.
@Dale - as mentioned earlier, I too was once a hunter of animals, but since my time in the Army, I, like you, do all of my hunting with a non-lethal camera.
I normally don't criticize those who do hunt, except when, in September, I see half-a-dozen strapping men, in camo-suits, armed with 12-gauge shotguns, going out en mas to hunt doves so small, that they couldn't possibly make a meal for anyone. Even a pheasant I could understand, but a dove? Not so much --
Dove while small like quail are extremely tasty. A very difficult bird to get a 'bead' on in flight; they fly erratic and target lock is a challenge. I had a couple on a nest in the oak tree next to the garage; they grew accustomed to my nearby presence. And no, I did not shoot them.
Hunters have a tendency to see themselves as courageous and manly.
Clearly, you're not talking about varmint hunters (squirrels, ground squirrels, etc.) or duck hunters. I don't think any of them would say that killing a squirrel or duck proves their manhood. I'd even go so far as to say that deer hunters don't think that killing a deer makes them manly. You're talking about big game hunters who hunt dangerous predators, cape buffalo, etc.