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No justification for hunting

It’s been more than 35 years since I lived in Colorado, but the memory of my hikes on the Continental Divide are as vivid as if they were taken yesterday. The red, yellow, and gold palette of the aspen trees was rivaled only by the spectacular vistas of the Rockies. It was a spiritual experience — one I would never have ruined by slaughtering another being.

David Petersen (“A true hunter tells all,” Commentary, Feb. 25, 2017, The Aspen Times) is wrong: There’s nothing spiritual about hunting. It doesn’t make us human, it makes us inhumane. The elk, moose, bighorn sheep, black bears, mule deer, mountain lions, and coyotes who live in the mountains have as much right to be left in peace as Mr. Petersen does. Like him, they have families and homes.

And he need not worry about hunting becoming a “mere sport.” A sport implies a fair contest between evenly matched opponents: There’s no sport in sneaking up on an elk and slaughtering him with a longbow or rifle. Most hunters don’t kill because they have to—they kill to have one more head to hang on the wall, and they quench their bloodlust by disrupting hibernation and migration patterns, terrorizing animals and destroying families.

Craig Shapiro

PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Va.


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