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Aiming At A Bigger Target Essay

3639 words - 15 pages

The rhinoceros is an unmistakable member of the animal kingdom, its swollen gray body hiding an agile, muscular frame and its massive horn trumpeting a patent mean streak. It is also a striking image in the business world, evoking a sense of stubborn strength for such brands as streetwear icon Ecko Unlimited whose logo is a rhinoceros, the stalwart off-road Yamaha Rhino, and truck-bed protector Rhino Linings. The rhino’s most lasting legacy, however, may not be its penchant for intimidation, but instead its own mortality. The white rhinoceros population has grown from an anemic and strongly endangered 1,800 in 1968 (Adcock & Emslie, 1994) to a thriving 20,140 today (“Southern white rhinoceros”, n.d.). This may seem a confusing statistic in a research paper that will support hunting of game animals, but the research presents a strong case for allowing hunting to take place. Humans require nutrients from animals to survive, yet our civilization has encroached on animal habitats; hunting should therefore be allowed to take place because it helps to protect game species and their habitats, and because the killing of animals is morally just.
Humans must kill animals to consume nutrients we require to survive. Michael Pollan (2006) in his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma explains that the human diet is in a rare, truly omnivorous class in the animal kingdom. We require nutrients such as vitamin C (which is only available from plants), and vitamin B-12 (which is only available from animals), and our teeth and jaws are uniquely evolved for “tearing animal flesh as well as grinding plants”. The modern solution for providing the animal-based necessities for human metabolism is an industrial farming system in which billions of animals are packed into overcrowded warehouses or pens, fed an unnatural diet designed to increase their weight rapidly, and killed and processed indiscriminately on an efficient assembly line.
A widespread debate on the ethics of such agriculture methods is currently raging, with states such as California, Michigan, Florida, and Arizona passing laws regulating the treatment of animals being raised for slaughter (Eckholm, 2010). Regardless of the ethics, there is little argument about the effects of factory farming on human health and wellness. Ariele Lessing of Boston College (2010) examined those effects, concluding that the widespread inoculative use of antibiotics in farm-raised animals has led to the growth of “superbugs”, bacteria that have become resistant to the drugs employed in preventing animal illness. These bacteria are then spread to humans through direct contact with the animals, through the meat that is processed and sold, and through environmental pollution caused by the farms. Humans infected by these bacteria experience more violent illness than they would by a similar non-resistant bacteria, and the drug resistance makes using medication to recover useless. The drugs are seen as necessary by farmers...

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