This is another great post that gets people thinking.
Are they a threat to our sport...I say NO, because I don't consider hunting a sport. There is no other "sport" in the world that puts food on my table at the end of the day, nor nourishment in my family's mouths, so I don't think that hunting should have ever fallen in to the category of "sports". I don't hunt because it's a game of outsmarting animals and coming out victorious. I hunt because I want good organic meat for my family, and I've chosen wild meat because I think it's more ethical than farmed meat (just my opinion), and it's also more economical than farmed meat. I do not kill for sport...I kill for organic meat.
Are they a threat to our chosen lifestyle...absolutely! Humanity all over the world heavily relies on hunting and always has, so they are also threatening the realization of our human heritage. Their intent is to abolish hunting, and many of them are organized, so how could they not pose a threat.
Although, I do agree with Predator One...these anti-hunting folks are generally good people who are just misinformed by media and propaganda. Disney does a lovely job of this. I know because I used to be an anti-hunter. I wasn't in an organized group, but there was a time when I believed that it was completely unnecessary. I was a believer in live-and-let-live, that all creatures had their own right to life, and I had no right playing God. I believed this until I started looking at my diet of farmed meat, and I also was gaining a strong desire to live more traditionally.
After a lot of research and contemplation, here is what I realized, which is what convereted me in to a hunter, and this is what I tell anti-hunters (I have a lot of anti-hunting friends). It's very true that all creatures have the right to life, however hunters are not playing God. If we believed this, then we could say that any animal, insect, plant, bacteria, or virus that consumes another living thing is "playing God". The natural world is set up in a system where one living thing relies on another to survive. We all know this as the food chain. Do you think a wolf is happy after it has successfully killed a deer?...Is it happy it happy it came out victorious over the deer?....I'm sure the answer is NO to both questions. I'm quite sure that the wolf is only happy that it's belly if full...the rest is just part of life. I'm sure there is not one ounce of guilt after one animal kills another...it's a very normal and necesssary thing to do.
So I raise the question, why should we feel guilty about hunting and killing animals?
There is a human mentallity that says that we should no longer rely on wild animals for food, but eating wild plants is fine. This was never a common mentallity until animals started to become humanized in marketting and media. It is surprizingly powerful stuff, and it totally convinced me that animals are cute furry little versions of humans. Because of this humanizing effect, I quickly felt a bond with animals, and I assumed the role as their protector. I now realize that these warm fuzzy feelings I had about animals were just feelings of misplaced affection. I was having feelings that are suitable to feel about other humans (family and friends), but I realize now that this misplaced affection was skewing my realty of the natural world. The natural order of the world does not care about the killing of animals or plants...it only cares about balance.
Balance is the key to my response when discussing hunting with anti-hunters. As long as hunting is managed in a way that sustains our animal populations, then I am going to continue hunting. I also show them videos and photos about the indignity of high density farming practices. I don't believe that all animal farming is bad, but I do believe in making informed choices about which farms to support.
I find that best anti-hunters to deal with are actually vegetarian-anti-hunters because they are at least informed well enough to avoid being hypocrates. I have also found that many vegetartians will evolve in to hunters if they continue to inform themselves about the natural order of the world. Many of them will evolve in to a hunters who eat a very limited amount of meat in their diet.
If we hunters continue to inform ourselves about proper diet and health, we would all likely reduce the amount of meat we actually eat. We really don't need much meat to stay healthy. Most of us eat way too much meat.
Our grandparents didn't believe that animals were cute little humans (Disney mentalitty), but they also didn't eat as much meat as we do. Just because we can, doesn't mean we should.