Killing for Fun and Other Human Interests

Those of us who hike with our dogs know only too well that young coyotes love to play with family dogs and will engage in the same play posturing and antics as domesticated dogs–making it all the more heartbreaking to see the traps and hear the gun shots of hunters. (See coyote tales here.)


A tale of three dogs

Coyotes, dingoes and wolves are all dogs, as intelligent and loyal as our familiars. Our treatment of them is unconscionable

In many states, coyotes can be killed year-round, day or night, in just about any way: poisoned, lured into range with electronic calls that mimic their voices, chased from planes, shot with semi-automatic assault weapons or sniper rifles. They live in killing fields.

Coyote-killing is different from hunting deer, elk or so-called game birds, traditions that are steeped in an ethos of stewardship, provision and even fairness. It’s killing for fun…

That animals have inner lives, a fact made abundantly clear by cognitive science and animal behavior research, is not considered in these calculations. Nor are the ethical considerations that naturally follow from those insights.