Hunting has always been the main source of food for most cultures. Man has always been a hunter. But many hunters nowadays don’t just kill for food – they kill for profit. That’s why so many rare and protected animals are being wiped out.
Hunters like these are called poachers. In 1981 there were 15,000 black rhinos in Africa. Today, because of illegal hunting for ivory that number is 4,500.
Nowadays however there are strict laws on the hunting of animals especially for sport. That hasn’t stopped it happening though. Many animal rights campaigners have approached the government on banning all animal hunting.
Just last year a ban was made on fox hunting. Many believe though that hunting and killing animals is something that has been done since the dawn of man and is vital for human survival. This may be true in some cultures in other parts of the world but now in our modern day world animals are specifically bred to be killed. I believe there is a fine line between killing animals for meat which have been bred for that specific purpose and for hunting animals in the wild, especially if it is for their fur. Many different religions have different views on the subject, which can bring about many ethical debates.In the Islamic religion, the people are only allowed to hunt for food and under no circumstance for sport. Muslims believe that all living creatures were made by Allah and that he loves all animals as they exist for the benefit of human beings and they must be treated with kindness and compassion.
According to Islam, permission to hunt is only granted under the strict condition that God be remembered while taking such life, the slaughterer must say the name of Allah before making the cut to the animal’s throat. But yet again this only refers to hunting for food, not for sport which is completely disallowed.Many people say that when God created animals, he made them to be less significant than humans and that they were there solely for human usage.
Christian thinkers believed that human beings were greatly superior to animals. They taught that human beings could treat animals as badly as they wanted. This however is not the sole feeling. Modern Christians generally take a much more pro-animal line. Nowadays it is generally suggested that it is allowed to make some use of animals, but always bearing in mind that they have value to God.Christians started to show some compassion for animals after a few Christian saints preached to animals such as, St Antony of Padua who preached to fish and St Bridid who protected Cows. St Francis of Assisi was one of the main saints who preached to the birds and became the most popular pro-animal Christian figure. So it stands, we have two very different strands of Christian thought.
One permits hunting and complete domination of all of God’s creatures. The other considers the fact that hunting is unfair to the animals.Of coarse many of the Christians that are for the most part against animal rights when it comes to eating meat are against hunting animals for sport as they feel it is cruel and unfair. Today that is the general feeling among Christians who believe mainly the God created everything including animals and that they should be shown compassion just like humans.
Although there is nothing in the bible that say there is anything wrong with animal hunting, it is a moral decision that most Christians decide against.Buddhism ought to be an animal rights religion par excellence’, says Norm Phelps who is a founding member of the Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians. Buddhism teaches that one of the most important qualities we should have as human beings is respect for all life. For a Buddhist, this means not only respect for human beings, but respect for animals and insects as well. The general approach to all Buddhists is to avoid killing any living creatures.
Buddha said that “whoever seeking his own happiness, harms with rod pleasure-loving beings get no happiness hereafter”.Hunting animals, even for food, is something the Buddha urged his followers not to do. Buddhists believe in the process of reincarnation. So they feel that every animal has a soul inside of them that has died and is living there next life.
Therefore he completely discouraged hunting as an occupation. However this doesn’t mean that Buddhists are vegetarian. They just don’t feel right in eating meat unless the animal had not been specifically killed for them. According to Hinduism, food is a gift from their God and it should be treated with great respect.Even micro organisms are seen as having a life and soul of their own. In Hinduism, the followers must be very careful what they eat because it decides their physical and mental makeup. They believe that eating animal meat may lead to the strengthening of animal qualities and animal instincts in them which is why they try to avoid it.
Another reason why Hindu’s they believe that killing innocent and helpless animals just for fun causes bad karma with harmful consequences. They believe that hunting animals promotes aggressiveness and a bad mental state.They can only make use of the animal’s fur or meat if the animal has died of natural causes. This rule only applies to some Hindus. However in post Vedic India hunting fro for sport was a regular occurrence in which wild animals such as tigers would be hunted and there was absolutely nothing against any form of hunting. Generally today though most Hindus are totally against any kind of hunting especially elephant poaching as one of the Hindu Gods is the Elephant God, Ganesh who is the God of wisdom and success.So in conclusion you can see that most religions are against all forms of animal hunting.
More traditional believers of their religion are more likely to be for it. But as times have moved on and many new laws have been put into place, the views on hunting have become a lot more compassionate. So people who were previously for hunting have had to change their opinions as it is less expectable in society today. All the Gods encourage respect for all life, but animals are still seen as been the under dominant being.