Vegans—Not Hunters—Are the Best Environmentalists

You’ve probably heard the cliché, “Every day is Earth Day to an environmentalist.” Well, it’s true actually, at least to a true environmentalist—the kind of person who makes daily choices based solely on their concern for our planet and the life it supports. The gal, for example, who chooses not to eat farmed animals because of the enormous amount of abuse (not to mention gargantuan carbon footprint) inherent in those Styrofoam and shrink-wrapped packages that clog the sprawling meat isles across the country; or the guy who does not hunt because wild animals are a part of the living Earth he loves and respects.

Eager to look like the sensible ones, conventional environmentalists often assume the wobbly, half-hearted stance of dismissing, rather than embracing, the animal rights movement. On the other hand, dedicated animal rights advocates don’t shy away from calling themselves environmentalists. They know that only by adopting a vegan lifestyle can one truly be an environmentalist. Vegans understand that the Earth cannot sustain billions upon billions of hungry bipedal carnivores and they recognize that the surest way to ease suffering for all is to eat lower on the food chain—in keeping with our proven primate heritage.

Absurd as it sounds to folks who really do care for the planet, certain atypically adroit sportsmen have been caught spreading the dogma that gun-toting Bambi-slayers actually have a “love for the land” and a concern for the animals they kill—that murdering animals is a wholesome Earth Day activity. Proselytizing hunter-holy-men try to downplay the obvious lethal impacts hunting has on individual animals and entire populations, wielding one of the weariest—and wackiest—of all clichés, “Hunters are the best environmentalists,” despite well-documented proof that hunting has been—and continues to be—a direct cause of extinction for untold species throughout the world.

Over-zealous hunters completely eradicated the once unimaginably abundant passenger pigeon and the Eskimo curlew (both killed en masse and sold by the cartload for pennies apiece), the Carolina parakeet (the only species of parrot native to the US) and the great auk (a flightless, North Atlantic answer to the penguin).

Hunting is the antithesis of environmentalism. The very notion of the gas-guzzling, beer-can-tossing hunter as an environmentalist is laughable even to them. Show me a hunter who is not antagonistic toward the rights of animals and I’ll show you a rare bird indeed.


Portions of this blog were based on excerpts from the book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport:



7 thoughts on “Vegans—Not Hunters—Are the Best Environmentalists

  1. While I am a plant-based eater, I must say that I have met many “vegans” who are only concerned about factory farming, (domesticated animals) and have little concern about wildlife and nature. I do not use the term vegan anymore for these reasons: Veganism has become a trendy religion for many. It has a purist bent to it, which turns many people off. Many former vegans are now turning to “locavorism” and hunting animals–because too many of them jump from one trendy thing to another. Many vegans are clueless to the human overpopulation explosion.
    It is apparent that vegans who adopt “Veganism” for their health, or other selfish reasons, instead of their first priority being to the animals, often do not “stay with it,” & turn to other popular trends. At an AR conference a few years ago, we saw scores of “Stay Vegan” t-shirts worn by starry-eyed vegans, who lamented how many vegans were leaving the fold. That’s what happens in any religion.

    • It’s too bad you’ve met so many vegans with other agendas. The vegans I know are all in it for the sake of the animals. They’re glad to know that it’s a healthier way to eat, but I have the feeling that if it were ever proven not to be, they would still choose not to contribute to animal suffering by going back to meat and dairy consumption. It may seem like some of them only care about factory farmed animals, but that’s because of the enormity of the issue. It’s not that they don’t care about wildlife, just that they are overwhelmed by the amount of suffering the average city-dweller is responsible for with their standard American diet.

      Years ago, I was hired as writer for PETA’s vegan department. I didn’t choose that department, I would have rather worked in their wildlife department, but you could say I was recruited by the head of that department because of how many letters to the editor I was getting printed. When that supervisor asked me if there were anything about PETA I didn’t agree with, I told him that I didn’t like the “Eat the Whale” campaign. Though it was meant to be facetious, I felt it was in bad taste (especially in light of the fact that a Washington state tribe was planning to “harvest” a whale). He said, that one was his idea. He didn’t want to hear about the potential harm in it–the idea was apparently that the death of one whale could spare thousands of chickens. Whatever the reason, I was left with the feeling that people shouldn’t try to play one animal against another, even in jest. They’re all important in their own way.

      • I REALLY hope that vegans interested in the protection of wildlife and ecosystems will work with the science (AND the ethics!) of disputing what is called the “North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.”
        It contains some inaccurate assertions as to the roots of conservation of the lives of wild, self-willed species, ignores their validity and the validity of personal lives, and is promoted by hunting groups (one of the tenets sounds good, “wildlife should only be killed for a legitimate purpose” which because of its vagueness, has been so abused by nearly every hunter (over 80% of hunters surveyed back in the Northern Great Lakes states, when polled, admitted they would shoot a wolf if they saw one. Of course, coyotes would get nearer to 100%. Management of Yellowstone Griz has been shown to be pretty lethal as publicized recently.)

        I would like here , while on this subject, to present to you all a MUST_SEE VIDEO showing that the Grizzly in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is NOT recovered.
        They are just dispersing away from reduced food supplies. The methods used to claim that their numbers have grown are inaccurate.

        Here’s the video:
        The Changing World of Greater Yellowstone’s Grizzly Bears: A Presentation by Dr. David Mattson

        Please dispute the coming attempt to delist the Griz!

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