Is Hunting a “Sport”?

International Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (2):291-326 (2003)
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Abstract

This essay discusses the question of whether hunting is a competitive sport. The discussion approaches this issue from several angles. The author asserts that there is an anthropomorphic fallacy that the “superiority” of human beings justifies the “right” to exploit animals. The discussion turns to an historical analysis of how hunting emerged as a “sport.” The author discusses evolving standards of what constitutes acceptable forms of amusement, and the basis of moral criticisms of hunting. The author then claims that the techniques commonly employed in hunting constitute animal cruelty. As a further analysis, the author points out a series of asymmetries between competitive sports and hunting, including the claim that sports are structured around and indeed constituted by a set of rules, in contrast to hunting. The essay then discusses wildlife management and distinguishes that from hunting

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