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Sandra Florence
November 5, 2015
PHIL-2300-F15-Drexler
Hunting and Fontanelle Forest Association

Should the Fontanelle Forest Association amend rules 1 and 2? In the Fontanelle Forest, the Omaha
citizens formed an association dedicated to preserving the forest in its natural state. In a noble effort to
do this, they created rule number 1, All plant and animal life is strictly prohibited and rule number 2, No
hunting, fishing, or weapons. The idea behind these rules is that if we leave nature alone and dont
interfere, it will thrive. The problem is, the association attempted to isolate a small section of the
ecosystem, without all the corresponding pieces, and expected that it would thrive without intervention. If
we relate this to Aldo Leopolds Biotic Community, the Fontanelle Forest Association was attempting to
preserve a section of the biotic pyramid without all the energy channels. Each layer in the biotic pyramid
is dependent on the next. Certain species that were important to the ecosystem function were missing
from the preserved environment. Without top carnivores and big herbivores, the Fontanelle Forest is
incapable of sustaining itself.
Without intervention, the Fontanelle Forest will likely perish. Aldo Leopold understood that we (humans)
must work together with nature. Lets face it, humans are abundant. We have taken over vast stretches of
land and created communities for ourselves. Then we select token areas like the Fontanelle Forest to
protect. Because we have already invaded the natural ecosystem, areas like the Fontanelle Forest will
require more human intervention to give it a chance to survive. Without natural predators, the deer have
become so abundant that they are systematically destroying their own environment. Without some type of
management, they will likely succumb to their own prosperity. They will not survive, because the forest
cannot regenerate itself. Aldo Leopold understood the importance of perceptive hunting in that it
contributes to conservation. If the Fontanelle Forest Association allowed conservation hunting, it would
likely allow the Forest to survive. Animal rights activists like Singer and Regan find hunting animals
immoral, but holistic environmentalists believe this perpetuates suffering. There is a conflict of theory
here. Singers sentience theory promotes the treatment of animals that avoids suffering. So because
they can feel pleasure and pain, it would be immoral to kill them. But without hunting, the deer in the
Fontanelle Forest will fall prey to the ultimate suffering, a slow death due to lack of resources.
Overpopulation is a far worse way to die than expiring at the hands of a hunter.
Gary Varner philosophizes that even Regan, the ultimate animal rights activist, makes a case for holistic
environmentalism. He does so with his miniride and worse-off principles. In the Fontanelle Forest,
allowing hunters to thin the herd, would save the deer population and assist in preserving at least a
portion of the ecosystem. The miniride principle requires us to harm the few rather than the many. A ban

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on hunting will ultimately harm many, but allowing the hunters to harm a few, would ultimately save the
population. If we are going to take out part of the natural ecosystem, like the keystone species, humans
in effect must take their place to help control the population.
I personally support therapeutic hunting to control the wildlife population and I agree with Gary Varner that
therapeutic hunting is not only permissible but a morally mandatory expression of respect for animals
rights. (Varner) I dont want to see an entire population of deer die like they did on the Kaibab Plateau. I
believe that the Fontanelle Forest Association should amend their rules to allow a controlled hunt that
works in harmony with preserving the ecosystem.