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The Contender
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That this house would ban all blood sports as a means of entertainment

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/12/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,466 times Debate No: 5950
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (2)
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I oppose that this house would ban all blood sports as a means of entertainment. It's clear to me that this topic raises the issue of morales and much deeper than just being about hunting or dog fighting, it causes us to ask questions about human nature, and indeed, the nature of other animals with whom we share the world. Being Irish, the first things to come into my mind when i think about blood sports are fox hunting, hare coursing, dog fighting, and deer poaching. Each of these blood sports do happen in Ireland, and are a source of enjoyment for the upper, middle, and working classes. The most prevalent of these is fox hunting - which has a lot of support here among the general public. I'm positive that each of you is in some way connected to a person - be it a relative, friend, or acquaintance - who supports fox hunting. But there is also a huge amount of opposition on the topic, in fact, it became clear to me while researching the debate, that there is a majority opposition, something that i find very confusing. It is so difficult to find the arguments supporting fox hunting, and indeed all blood sports - but not because there aren't upsides - it is simply because of ignorance. The sheer volume of incorrect, prejudiced, self-patriotic anti-blood sports material out there is absolutely swamping the truthful material. People say it's cruelty - abuse to animals. I can't understand this misconception that the world is a pink fluffy soft safe place where there is no such thing as sacrifice or death. I'd imagine the majority of you reading this are meat eaters - after all, the majority population are. A lot of meat eaters prefer to eat free range, as battery farming is undoubtedly cruel and unnecesary. The free range farmers of Ireland - and many other countries - depend on the yearly fox hunt to protect their chickens and provide their livelihood. A fox finding a free range chicken farm (or even one family's personal brood of chickens), is not necesarily good for the fox himself, as that fox will learn to depend on that brood of chickens to provide him with food whenever he feels like it. He or she becomes dependant on that brood, and teaches their young to feed from it. Now the farmer, whose income has been damaged, feels the need to take action, usually in the form of laying a snare or putting out poison. This brings me nicely onto my next point: fox hunting is the most humane way of culling the rural fox population. if trapped in a snare, a fox will lie, a limb broken, in pain for days, until either a farmer comes and promptly shoots him, or until he or she starves to death. if poison is scattered carelessly about the countryside, there is a small chance that it will be ingested by a fox, and not a hedgehog, badger, rabbit, or small child. If fox hunting were banned, free range farmers - the most humane farmers around - will find it very hard to make a living, and may instead resort to battery farming, which as you know, is so so humane ;) fox hunting, more than just a sport - is a necesity in rural ireland, and what, i ask you, is wrong with getting enjoyment from something that is a necesity? there is an element of voyeurism in every single one of us. It is, as one might say, human nature. And what better place to allow voyeurism than at a controlled event, such as at the hunt. Also, to cut down another misconception, fox hunting would not have any sort of long term effect on the over-all fox population, as it generally involves culling an average of 2% of the fox population each year, allowing for it to return to normal in the spring time. Also, it affects only the fox's living near farmland and in rural areas.
Moving on now to the topic of hare coursing. Whereas fox hunting is more commonly enjoyed by those of the upper-middle-class, hare coursing is known as being a sport, widely enjoyed by the working class in our society. Often used in the training of grey-hounds, it involves letting a dog loose over rural land in the pursuit of hares. Formerly a very unfair sport, modern laws have made it compulsory for dogs to wear muzzles during these pursuits, rendering them unable to kill any of the hares. In nature, these hares would normally be chased by fox's anyway, and these chases are already a part of their lives. The dogs do no harm; need i say more?
I'll now move onto the topic of deer poaching. During certain times of the year, various different establishments in Ireland open their land to deer stalking. It involves people following a herd of deer (aka stalking), and eventually shooting one. Taxidermy is very uncommon nowadays; the meat, known as venison, is usually eaten. I ask you what is the difference between this and buying meat in the shops? In fact, I would even see this as a sign of a lack of ignorance. Nowadays, many meat-eaters would cringe at the thought of an animal dying but are unashamed to dig into a burger or steak; a sign of complete ignorance as to how that meat got there. The shot resulting in the death of the deer is quick and results in death almost instantly. The shooting areas have rules and restrictions on how to go about deer stalking in the most humane way possible. To deny humans of such a hunt is to deny humans to practise their basic human instinct and nature. People who are so concerned about animal rights should pause for a moment, and realise that we are animals too.
Our greatest injustice to other animals, if anything, was domestication, our training them to cast off their basic nature. So why cast off our own? We cannot ignore our instincts. I will finish with a quote from Charles Darwin:
"Man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system- with all these exalted powers - Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin."
Better to have man satisfy his voyeuristic ways that he carries from this 'lowly origin' in controlled situations, than on battlefields, or through wasteful murder. Try as we might, we cannot cast off our instincts. If we are to consider other animals fairly as our equals, then we must take into account, animals kill animals to survive. What is not wasteful is not cruel. It is nature.


On behalf of my fellow debaters, I should like to welcome my opponent to this site and wish her the best of luck in this and in her future debates.

First of all, as this is an international site and foxhunting is not common outside the British Isles, please allow me to enlighten those voters who may be unfamiliar with it.

To start off with, my opponent, and other advocates of foxhunting, describe foxhunting as a sport, but we have to ask ourselves if this is really an appropriate term. Consider, if you will, the following sporting contest:

Commentator: "Hello rugby fans and welcome to what promises to be a thrilling afternoon of sport. Playing left to right, with an average weight of 266lbs and an average height of 6'3" are fifteen of the most formidable rugby players in the world. They are, of course, the World Cup winning New Zealand All Blacks.

And their opposition today, representing South Chelmsford Under-12's reserve team, is young Cedric Taylor who is 4'1" tall and weighs in at 77lbs and who is all on his own. Ah, bless him.

So, we are only minutes away from kick-off now and the crowd are going wild with excitement…but wait, what's this? The All Blacks manager is complaining to the referee. He thinks the match is too one-sided. He's asking for permission for his Maori warriors to take to the field on horseback. And he wants to be allowed to set a pack of braying hounds on the young Chelmsford lad as well.

Well, the referee has agreed to the All Blacks' requests and he's blown whistle to start the game. The New Zealander's are now charging down the field, their horses' hooves churning the mud as they gallop at full pelt over the soft turf. Meanwhile, the hounds have been released and are closing in on young Cedric who, with ball in hand, is literally running for his life. And now the dogs are upon him. They are tearing him limb from limb as the All Blacks dismount and celebrate their opponent's agonising death with a victory war dance. Well, viewers, even the most loyal South Chelmsford Under-12's reserve team fans would have to admit the mighty All Blacks thoroughly deserved that emphatic win.

More sport follows this programme when we cross to Ireland where some over-privileged toffs hope to set their dogs on a defenceless wild animal and watch them rip it into a thousand pieces. But who knows? Perhaps their quarry will manage to overpower the hounds and kill them all before somehow forcing the upper-class horse riders to dismount so that he can maul them all to death? Who can say, but we shall all find out after these messages…"

Really, ladies and gentleman, for a pastime to be called a "sport", both sides have to have a chance of winning. Who has ever heard of a fox wining a foxhunt? No, foxhunting isn't a sport – it's just the cruel and wanton destruction of wildlife for the pleasure of barbaric aristocrats and their snobby chums and we shouldn't dignify this despicable activity by calling it a sport.

Now, this is what foxhunting is really about:

These are the foxhunters…

…and these are the henchmen they employ to keep hunt monitors away:

…and if you want to see how the fox suffers when he is caught, click on the link below and follow the directions to the foxhunting gallery. However, please be aware that you may find some of the images disturbing.

Foxhunting is now banned now in England, Scotland and Wales, but remains legal in Ireland; my opponent's home country. Prior to the ban, the foxhunters argued, as my opponent has, that foxhunting is necessary to protect farmers' chickens. Guess what? Since the UK ban came into force in 2004, the foxes have not been slaughtering chickens en masse. Why not? Because some bright spark came across a revolutionary, high-tech solution to keep the foxes from the poultry. And the name of this incredible new discovery? Well, prepare to be amazed - announcing the all-singing, all-dancing: chicken wire fencing…

This amazing device has completely alleviated the need to hunt, trap or poison foxes and hopefully it will also be available in Ireland soon!

Hare coursing was my opponent's next topic, which she admitted was "cruel" before the dogs had to wear muzzles. I agree. If the purpose is to train greyhounds and no harm comes to the hare, then I don't think many people would object to it.

My opponent then turned her attention to "deer poaching". This is illegal in Ireland and is also not a sport. I think she may be confusing it with "deer stalking" which takes place under licence and only at certain times of the year. This is not actually a sport either, rather wildlife management. Furthermore, the carcases are often sold to butchers that specialise in venison and I have no objection to this, and neither would most blood sports opponents.

To conclude, my opponent quoted Darwin and implied that we should not ignore our basic human instincts. Apparently, hunting is in our blood. I mean how many of us can honestly put our hands up and say that we've never been tempted to fashion a spear out of a branch and chase a flock of sheep over open countryside?

I know shouldn't be sarcastic, but there are lots of activities that are part of human instinct, such as fighting, raping and pillaging, that people living in civilised countries cannot legally pursue and the same principle should apply to cruel "sports" such as foxhunting.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by lolli 7 years ago
first debate here D:
Posted by I-am-a-panda 7 years ago
In can't vote but I would say pro won here.
Con needs to
-make his argument clearer by separating it into paragraphs. too much of a bother too read.
- C'mon, only 1 round? the epitome of boringness.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by JBlake 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:07