Food Chain Radio News
Food Chain Radio Show #1043
Michael Olson, Author & Urban Farming Agriculturalist
Hunting Them to Save Them
Guests: Fleur Dawes, Communications Director for In Defense of Animals & Jared Wiklund, Public Relations Specialist for Pheasants and Quail Forever
It is a very expensive world in which to live, so things living in this world must have value.
The domesticated animals we keep as pets have value. In fact, we spend about $52 billion a year keeping animals, birds and fish around simply for our pleasure. But what if our pets lost their value?
What would happen to horses if people no longer rode them, or raced them or admired them grazing in the pasture. Some very few, one supposes, might find their way to the Pryor Mountains of Montana and Wyoming, or to the sage covered hills of Nevada, and join up with the last of America’s wild horses, where they would no doubt drive ranchers and government bureaucrats bonkers.
Or what would happen to dogs if they were no longer man’s best friend and guardian. Who would take them for a walk every day, and pick up after them and carry that around in a little plastic bag?
But we do find value in our domesticated animals, and so we spend $52 billion a year just to keep them around.
Which brings us to the deer and elk that roam the land, the pheasants and quail that fly in the sky, and the fish that swim in the lakes, rivers and oceans. What value does wildlife have?
In fact, wildlife does have value. Americans spend $60 billion a year, give or take, hunting and fishing for the nation’s wildlife. Given how valuable our wild animals, birds and fish have become, we quite naturally invest a lot of effort to preserve them. But would happen to our wildlife if we no longer wanted to hunt or fish for them? This thought leads us to ask…