I’ve noticed a rather hypocritical bias against hunting, and though I would take a moment to address it, from the perspective of someone who has never gone hunting but respects the hunting rights of others:
First, my lack of bias on this issue
I would like to start out by saying that I am not a hunter. I have never been hunting, and don’t really have the desire to go hunting. The guns I own are ones primarily suitable for self defense rather than suitable for hunting, although I do enjoy trapshooting and target practice.
They hypocrisy I’ve noticed
I was recently eating lunch with an anti gun relative, and discussing politics. This relative of mine was calling Sarah Palin a cruel animal abuser for hunting moose, as she ate her brazed beef. I replied that while I don’t hunt, I fail to see who anyone who eats meat or dairy products can take issue with hunting. After she finished chewing a bite of beef, she said that it is more humane to raise animals for food than to hunt wild animals. I disagreed, and pointed to the abuses of livestock that occur, and the deplorable conditions under which many dairy cows are kept. I then asked which seems better: (1) a cow that is taken from its mother shortly after being born, made to live in poor conditions, and then slaughtered by an illegal immigrant that is tired after working a 17 hour shift, and therefore takes a few tries to kill the cow, or (2) a moose that born in the wild, grew up with its mother, lived a normal life, and was then dropped dead in its tracks by a hunter’s bullet that it never saw coming. I also pointed out that at least those who hunt are willing to do the “dirty work” themselves, rather than going to the supermarket to pick up a neatly packaged piece of beef. My relative agreed that the moose had a better life, but also maintained her dislike of hunters and hunting, and the conversation moved on to other matters.
My conclusions about hunting
Hunting seems to me to be a good thing, although I personally don’t have the desire to go hunting. Hunting prevents overpopulation that leads to starvation, and allows animals to lead natural and happier lives than those that are raised on factory farms. Unlike slaughter houses, in which the animal can see/hear their fellows being killed, game that is killed by hunters don’t see the bullet coming. Unlike slaughter houses, in which workers are tired and often sloppy, hunters take pride in humanely killing their prey with as few shots as possible (usually 1 shot), which prevents or greatly reduces suffering. Finally, hunters are willing to do the “dirty work” of killing and cleaning their prey, instead of delegating that to others. It is also worth noting that eating meat was essential for human evolution.