Indiana Daily Student

EDITORIAL: The deer cull is goodwill hunting

Hunting has been a part of humanity for the better part of two million years. In many cultures hunting was a revered practice essential for sustainable living. However, in the recent decades, hunting has turned into disreputable activity due to stereotypes. It is the opinion of the editorial board that instead of being an outdated practice, hunting is still a vitally important practice, especially in the case of Griffy Lake.

Consider that humans have indirectly and directly caused one of the biggest mass extinction events in this planets history. We have deforested significant portions of land to build our cities, roads and villages. There is nearly no part of this earth that humanity has not negatively affected in some way.

With all that in mind, it is obvious that we cannot leave any local ecosystem to its own devices. We have changed the planet too much for it to survive naturally on its own. We are collectively a disturbance in every ecosystem we touch.

A perfect example is the Griffy Lake Nature Preserve, a nature preserve with an overpopulation of deer. Normally deer population is curtailed by natural predators such as wolves or coyotes. However, there are few natural predators left, as humans decided to kill them for the sake of safety.  

This leads to a problem, a man-made problem, of deer overpopulation. Without any predators around to routinely curtail the population, the deer population explodes. This is the start of a trophic cascade, which is when a key species is removed from an ecosystem, resulting in the subsequent explosion and decline of every population in a food web.

Essentially, the deer will eat themselves to death by eliminating their food source via overconsumption. This will continue with every subsequent species until only the grass is left. This is a problem that can only be solved by humans, as it was created by humans.

The solution is grizzly for some and sport for others. Hunting is the only thing that can save the deer from themselves. Acting as a surrogate for the natural predators of the past, hunters must go out and cull the population. If they don't, in 20 years there will be no deer left. It is the morally correct thing to do.

Arguing against regulated hunting is arguing for the eventual extinction of the deer. It is more important to maintain a balanced ecosystem than making sure people aren’t upset about the ordered killing of cute animals.

This is especially true since most of those same people have no complaints reaping the benefits of factory farming. Much of the distaste for hunting comes from misinformation, stereotypes and Bambi. In truth, hunting is a necessity if we are to be good stewards for the environment and solve the damage that has been done.

If you can stomach a steak that came directly from a factory farm or drive a car that is polluting the environment, you can certainly stomach the necessary killing of animals. Do not hate hunters in the case of the deer cull, for they are doing more to protect the environment than most. 

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