Aiming at a Bigger Target

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The rhinoceros is an unmistakable member of the animal kingdom, its swollen gray body hiding an agile, muscular frame and its massive horn trumpeting a patent mean streak. It is also a striking image in the business world, evoking a sense of stubborn strength for such brands as streetwear icon Ecko Unlimited whose logo is a rhinoceros, the stalwart off-road Yamaha Rhino, and truck-bed protector Rhino Linings. The rhino’s most lasting legacy, however, may not be its penchant for intimidation, but instead its own mortality. The white rhinoceros population has grown from an anemic and strongly endangered 1,800 in 1968 (Adcock & Emslie, 1994) to a thriving 20,140 today (“Southern white rhinoceros”, n.d.). This may seem a confusing statistic in a research paper that will support hunting of game animals, but the research presents a strong case for allowing hunting to take place. Humans require nutrients from animals to survive, yet our civilization has encroached on animal habitats; hunting should therefore be allowed to take place because it helps to protect game species and their habitats, and because the killing of animals is morally just. Humans must kill animals to consume nutrients we require to survive. Michael Pollan (2006) in his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma explains that the human diet is in a rare, truly omnivorous class in the animal kingdom. We require nutrients such as vitamin C (which is only available from plants), and vitamin B-12 (which is only available from animals), and our teeth and jaws are uniquely evolved for “tearing animal flesh as well as grinding plants”. The modern solution for providing the animal-based necessities for human metabolism is an industrial farming system in which billions of animals a... ... middle of paper ... ... that scientists with hands-on experience agree that hunting is a vital tool to do so. World Wildlife Fund. (n.d.). Southern White Rhinoceros. Retrieved from http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/rhinoceros/african_rhinos/ white_rhinoceros/southern_white_rhinoceros/ This is a factsheet on the southern white rhinoceros. It describes the habitat and location of the species, as well as current and historical populations. Native to Africa, the species were once thought to be extinct; a population of 100 was found in 1895, and through conservation, the population has grown to 20,140 today. The factsheet is a perfect example of the benefits that managed game hunting can bring about. This species is 200 times as populous as it was 116 years ago, and 11 times as populous as it was 43 years ago. Hunting and conservation has served this species well.

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