Civilized wildlife

Monday’s lecture on wildlife and hunting included a lively discussion about hunting’s ethics and merits. What constitutes cruelty in hunting? What is the purpose of hunting? Are hunters perceived in an unfair way? What about tradition? Is it right to engage in certain practices like baiting? Who owns wildlife? How do we deal with wildlife-human conflicts, like damage to agriculture? Should hunting groups be responsible for wildlife management/conservation, or should the government step in? What is the role of science in wildlife management? What are the differences between Texas and Poland in this regard? Is it reasonable to say hunting policy in one place will work in the other?

We have students on both sides of the issues and it was good to see some opinions being exchanged. Our group started this trip unacquainted with each other, and we have learned a lot about one another. Part of life is dealing with differences, and our group handled this challenge in a mature way, expressing themselves without taking things too personally. I didn’t expect anyone to change their minds, and I don’t think anyone did, but it was a great exercise.

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