A little point of moral differentiation has been running through the back of my mind for a while now.
I am seeing it more and more from anti hunting/animal rights people. That is… The suggestion of using guard animals on farms and other areas to
guard against predatory animals that prey on livestock. They say you don’t need to go out there and kill any wild animals, the guard animals will
take care of everything.
They say, “If X animal even gets close, they will kill it. Just stomp it to death!” or something like that.
Example…. This post
That begs the question… What difference does it make if you kill the predatory animal yourself, or if you have an animal do it on your behalf? It
reminds me of the mentality of a person that hires a hitman to kill their estranged spouse. They don’t have the fortitude to do it themselves, so
they have someone do it for them. they think it’s cleaner and more acceptable (less repulsive) that way.
It is almost like they have kind of mental complex going. They want the wild animal dead that is hurting them or their property, but they feel that is
“wrong” to kill it themselves. But if they set up the situation that leads to the death of that wild animal (putting a guard animal in the field)
that they somehow are not “morally responsible for the wild animal’s death” It allows them to detach themselves from the reality of the world by
just writing it off as the conflict between two animals. The situation is out of their control. Even though they were the one that actively created
the conditions for the conflict to happen.
You can create the conflict between the guard animal and the wild animal, or you can create the conflict between the gun and the wild animal. The
result is the same. Your intent to cause the result is the same. It is just the second option that allows to the mentally place the responsibility for
the act on an animal that is just carrying out his basic instincts of self preservation.
In my opinion, it is more morally reprehensible than directly killing the wild animal could ever be. You are placing an innocent animal(third party)
in a life and death situation to carry out your desires because you are unable to come to grips with responsibility of carrying out your duties
It teaches a person that they can maintain a mental detachment from the results of their actions.
And the unsettling thing is environmental and animal rights agencies promote that psychological split. If your guard animal kills a predatory animal,
then it’s ok. If you kill that predatory animal directly, then you can be charged for killing it. Even though you are directly setting up the
conditions to cause the death of that predatory animal either way.
In another way, it also runs the along the same mentality that goes along with dog fighting. You are knowingly putting two animals in an area, and you
dang well know what the result will be. But if you do it in the farm fields, with the other animal in the fight being a wild animal, then it’s
In my opinion, intentionally putting innocent animals in a life or death fight with wild animals is morally far worse than even the most cruel hunter
could ever be.