South Africa: No Place for Trophy Hunting in the Sixth Extinction

opinion

For a Western hunter to pay to kill an African animal and expatriate its parts is a form of objectification, dehumanising and therefore morally reprehensible. It may entrench a Western narrative of supremacy underpinned by chauvinistic, colonialist and crudely utilitarian anthropocentric attitudes.

This opinion piece was provided by the Conservation Action Trust.

We are living in the sixth extinction. Birds are disappearing from North America, the Amazon is on fire and biodiversity is disappearing at a rapid rate. Droughts are becoming more frequent and extreme weather events are proliferating. Across our continent, formerly intact wild landscapes are being decimated. The ecological systems that support our planet are in free fall.

Attempts to quantify externalities (costs not internalised to reflect on producers' balance sheets) and make polluters pay have failed. We've tried to put a monetary value on "ecosystem services" which cannot be valued. Try, for one minute, to avoid breathing, and you'll discover how invaluable oxygen is. Yet, the disappearance of our carbon sinks and biodiversity is a direct result of our insatiable greed for more.

We consume and produce unsustainably and delude ourselves that technology will at some stage provide a silver bullet for eliminating the negative externalities that...

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