According to the experts at World Bank, the planet needs to produce 50% more food than we do today in order to feed the 9 billion people who’ll live here by 2050.
How can that possibly happen? Increases in efficiency are part of the answer. Lower food quality and artificial dietary supplements are, too. But the only real answer is our planet needs to build more farms, ranches and orchards.
Where will that happen? Drive out in the country sometime, or imagine for a minute your last trip. Do you see places where there could be farms, but instead native grasses or trees are growing? Now envision a similar dynamic in every country on every continent. Picture a growing quantity of agriculture and a declining quantity of truly wild places. In order to build a new farm, is there any option but to plow up a wild place?
See, hunting and fishing are about so much more than an angry tweet over the life of a lion. Hunting and fishing play a very serious role in the real-world conservation that sustains nearly all species of plant and animal on Earth. All people are in a lifelong dogfight to preserve all of creation – the left and right, the greenies and oil barons, the anti and pro-hunters – we’re all bound to this watery rock and can only take from it so much before we endanger the plants and animals in our way.
If you don’t hunt or fish because you love animals or don’t want to see them killed, you are holding on to an ideal that is some parts fantasy and all parts unsustainable. Something will die today so that you can live. Whether you kill it or someone else does it for you, it must die for you to live.
When we plow up native grass to plant corn, when we cut down trees to build strip malls, we are removing the only home a wild animal has. And, once it’s gone, we’ll almost never get it back. When a person buys a fishing license, a hunting license, or pays a premium for the life of a living thing via some exotic hunt, they are actively preserving the wild places that sustain the animals we all love. Humans have developed no other model that works at scale. If you love animals you must support direct participation in the food chain via hunting or fishing, or you must take responsibility for your role as the surrogate killer, the politically correct accomplice in the true crime against wild animals and places.
About the author:
Eric Dinger is the co-founder and CEO of Powderhook.com, a website built to help people find access to hunting and fishing spots, trips, groups and events. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.