There was an article today in the Toronto Sun that really bothered me.
The article is entitled "Polar Extremes: Majestic King of the North faces fight for survival on two fronts: Big game hunters -- and greenhouse gases melting the polar ice cap"
It talks about sport hunting, specifically the hunt for polar bears. And the price tag for hunters to kill one of these majestic and beautiful creatures in our great white north?: a mere $25,000 - $50,000. And yes, it is legal. And yes, the Inuit people do profit from these sport hunts.
And that leaves me quite torn...
I am upset by the hunter who wants to kill a polar bear for sport.
But yet I have learned of how this helps our Inuit people earn income.
I am upset at the thought of any animal being killed for sport. The idea is so foreign and ridiculous to me, I simply can't wrap my mind around hunting for "sport", hunting for a prize, a trophy to mount on your wall, to gloat, for bragging rights, for the thrill of shooting something for the glory of the kill. This kind of hunting bears no respect for these animals.
I grew up in a hunting family, in a province where hunting is the "norm". Families depend on the hunt - of moose, caribou, rabbit, ducks, etc. for food. And I can certainly appreciate the need. I have no problem with hunting in this way. I can appreciate the fact that the people in the north hunt polar bears for furs, for the meat, for the bones and teeth, for anything and everything that can be used. The Inuit have hunted polar bears for centuries and I believe they have a right to do so.
But where to draw the line? It's such a fine one. The hunt for sport, though I believe to be wrong, greatly benefits the Native people of Nunavut. While I am upset by the sport hunter I just can't find it in me to be angry at the Inuit man who assists and guides in this hunt for the welfare of his family. Does that make me a hypocrite and completely undermine my argument? Probably...
Hunt for food, to fill your freezers, to feed your families, to earn a living...yes, I understand.
But to the sport hunters who want to kill just to have a 1600 lb bear in their living room...I just don't get it!