The Benefits of Ethical Hunting for Human and Environmental Health.
Is Wild Game Better for You?
- Hunting has always been at the core of cultures, from the Native American Plains tribes that relied on migrating herds of American Bison for sustenance to the modern day. As our reliance on corporate agriculture increases our relationship and understanding of the food we consume diminishes alongside it. The increased food Resourcism that has led to the removal of humanities connection with our diet and nature is detrimental to society. Wild Game if managed properly through effective regulated hunting seasons and bag limits are sustainable and renewable resources that can be passed down through generations. The American Bison is a great example of how proper Conservation of wild game can create a healthy food resource that is not only good for the consumer but the environment as well.
“The current American diet which consists of highly refined or processed foods and red meats from animals that have spent a greater portion of their life on a feed lot eating corn rather than being range fed and eating grass” (McDaniel et al., 2)
- Bison ranchers typically raise free range and grass fed bison which provides numerous health benefits to heart health such as a lower fat, more omega-3, and also contain conjugated linoleic acid which play an “important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer” (McDaniel et al., 2). Not only is bison a healthier alternative to the meats such as beef and pork it is also healthier for the environment. Grasslands when managed effectively can sequester and store immense amounts of carbon in soils “which is primarily controlled by herbivore and precipitation” (Chimner, 3). The increased density of cattle grazing range lands after the near extinction of bison has affected a, “suite of ecological and biogeochemical process, such as plant community composition” (Chimner, 3).
- An increase of free ranging grass fed bison will restore some normalcy to the ecological processes of American grasslands. By contributing to increased soil density through manure, bison can help increase the sequestration of carbon on our grasslands which are some of the worlds largest natural carbon storages. As we are all Stakeholders in our planters future and our own health we should all use Engaged Pluralism to work towards influencing policy and management decisions that increase the size of the bison heard, increase bison hunting opportunities and push ranchers towards raising American Bison instead of domesticated cattle.
McDaniel J, Askew W, Bennett D, et al. Bison meat has a lower atherogenic risk than beef in healthy men. Nutr Res. 2013;33(4):293–302. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2013.01.007
Chimner, Rodney A, and Jeffery M Welker. “Influence of Grazing and Precipitation on Ecosystem Carbon Cycling in a Mixed-Grass Prairie.” Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 1, no. 1, 2011, p. 20., doi:10.1186/2041-7136-1-20.