Environmental Ethics

Volume 19, Issue 4, Winter 1997

Paul Veatch Moriarty, Mark Woods
Pages 391-404

Hunting ≠ Predation

Holmes Rolston has defended certain forms of hunting and meat eating when these activities are seen as natural participation in the food chains in which we evolved. Ned Hettinger has suggested that some of Rolston’s principles that govern our interactions with plants and animals might appear to be inconsistent with Rolston’s defense of these activities. Hettinger attempts to show that they are not. We argue that Rolston’s principles are not consistent with hunting, given Hettinger’s modifications. In his defense of Rolston, Hettinger has challenged animal welfare ethicists to show that they can value animal predation while consistently condemning human hunting. We answer that hunting and meat eating by humans are “cultural” rather than “natural” activities.