How not to kill an animal

There are many contentious issues here, but let’s leave aside for now the question of how on God’s green earth a wild animal’s life could possibly be worth less than a fashion statement. Let’s leave aside the question of whether there are better ways for farmers and ranchers to share their ecosystem with the animals who were there first, and better ways for trappers to make a living. Let’s leave aside all fundamental questions of whether human beings have the right to take another animal’s life, and if so for what reasons. These are good questions, and other writers have addressed the issues at length, and from all sides of the argument.

The question I want to ask is simpler than that. I want to know why it is still legal to kill animals in ways that cause inexpressible pain and fear and destruction, to both the targeted animals and an immense range of others. Why, when there are humane ways to end an animal’s life, is it still legal to end an animal’s life in any other way? Even people who have no moral qualms about killing animals, at least in some contexts, would surely draw the line at lethal methods that cause another creature to suffer terribly, and for no reasonable purpose.