Sunday, February 19, 2006

My controversial community problem

I am a member of the "hunting" community, as I am an avid duck hunter who also hunts other species of animals. I am also a member of Ducks Unlimited, an organization that works for conservation and restoration of migratory bird habitat. I would like to explore the issues that hunters and non-hunters disagree on. These issues range from whether hunters should be allowed to hunt to the number of animals that should compose a bag limit.
As of right now, I only know the pro-hunting side of the argument. However, I feel that I can openly look at this issue. I feel that I am a fair person because I can always see both sides of an argument, and I also disagree with the practices that many hunters use. For example, while I do hunt deer, I disagree with allowing dogs to run deer to the hunters. I walk/wait in the woods, and if I am fortunate enough to get a shot, fine. If not, I'll try again. I feel that running deer with dogs is unfair and shows little sportsmanship. About ten years ago there was a requirement for waterfowl hunters to start using steel shot versus traditional lead shot. The lead shot was causing ducks and geese who ate it to die of lead poisoning. I was a young boy, but I wholeheartedly agreed with the change, even though steel shot made it much harder to bag ducks. The whole lead versus steel was and still is a huge controversy between waterfowlers and the government biologists.
I plan on focusing on basic rights -- both those of animals and of hunters. I will read some of the philosophy principles by people like Aldo Leopald and Kant (?), and I will read some pieces by pro-hunters.
I still have to do some research to figure out which topics I want to cover exactly, because I would like to take two or three issues that are relevent and research them.
Here is an interesting take on a possible issue-sorry, it's pro-hunting, but it's an example of the way I would set up my paper.
There are more deer in American now than when Columbus came. Natural predators have been basically wiped out. With the loss of forests and the growth of agriculture, there are more fields and pasture land, which also boosts the deer population. Hunting is, in some people's eyes, necessary to keep the deer population at a level that the environment can support. That is why there are now many either-sex hunting days during deer season, instead of the traditional buck only season.
Here I would reply with a counterargument from an anti-hunting source.


Blogger P. Malesh said...

The problem with this topic is that you are a member of one community---hunters, duck hunters specifically--but the "controversy" in not within this community. It is between insiders (duck hunters) and outsiders (animal rights/environmentalists/etc.) This is not a very lucrative investigation. I am, however, quite familiar with the Ducks Unlimited debate...since I've had this conversation with my father regularly. He, too, is a ducksman and a member of ducks unlimited. Instead of working with a topic that pits insiders vs. outsiders, this assignment asks you to think of a topic which is controversial among insiders. See if you can nuance this topic to that end, but I've got my concerns. You may need to pick a topic that does so (insiders vs. insiders instead of insiders vs. outsiders) more clearly.

2:23 PM  

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