A - or domesticated, trapped, Restrained cattle killing. The cow is just not tied up before receiving a captive bolt through the brain, it spends it's entire life in captivity, either in a field, in a feeding pen or tied up waiting for the inevitable.
It is rather... complicated. I will get into hunting ethics in a later post.
I'd also remind the board that while a dog might be smarter then a cow, cattle ain't as dumb as people are suggesting. They have personalities, character dynamics ect. I've seen one open a gate with her tongue. I've seen another die wallowing in shit with it's eyes rolling up and tongue hanging out. They can suffer, and in badly designed farms and slaughter houses they live under constant stress for years.
And I happen to think that those conditions are absolutely repugnant.
(Also, the intelligence argument strongly suggests that you should stop eating pork)
You assume I eat pork. I do, but only once or twice a year when it is socially... obligated. 90% of my meat consumption is sustainably fished salmon (alaskan salmon fisheries are the only well managed commercial fisheries in the world), farm raised fresh water fish, and free range organic poultry.
Normally when I try and argue biology with you, I get curbstomped.
It is that time, again
But they aren't constant are they? It's the classic population harmonic, with the predators following the prey numbers. So if we start taking a consistent numbers of seals here, all we do is shift both harmonics downwards - ie reducing the
population of both, without collapsing either population.
Seal populations are already stressed by predation, collapsed fisheries, and lack of breeding sites due to the melting of pack-ice. So the adults are hungry and either forgo reproduction in a given year, or the chance of a seal pup starving to death go up. There is less pack ice, which means there is less space to breed, so some adults wont find a suitable site and will... either abort or give birth in an unsuitable location. Then predators are concentrated in what space remains. Lets assume that after all that, the seal population is still OK, and has established a dynamic equilibrium like they would otherwise, albeit at lower numbers.
Then you start taking large numbers of seal pups, like what has happened in the last few years (when catch numbers went from tens of thousands per annum to hundreds of thousands). You create a perturbation, shifting the equilibrium population down. To compensate, the population will enter a period of high amplitude oscillations. If the lower peaks reach zero...
That assumes no age structure. If there is age structure, you need to separate out the mortality rates by age. Adult seals tend to have low mortality rates (this is changing due to climate change and such... and that is a really big problem). Under normal circumstances, life time reproduction is enough to keep populations stable. New mature adults replace the ones that die. If you start killing babies, no new ones replace the adults. Now, with no increase in adult mortality, they might still reach a new stable equilibrium depending on the numbers. The oscillations might reach zero still, but there is a chance they wont. If you increase adult mortality though, the adults no longer live long enough to replace themselves, and the population enters a guaranteed death spiral.
Global warming+overfishing, and the hunt do both of these things. Upsetting the age structure completely, causing an age-structure collapse from both directions. And because of multi-generational lag times, you wont know it is happening until it is too late.
That for me would count as sustainable. (ignoring overfishing and global warming, neither of which is affected by the seal hunt, although eating less beef might give a net reduction in global warming...)
Except you cannot ignore them, because they are stresses on seal populations that ALREADY CAUSE population problems.
I can see what you are arguing about the age distribution, but that can't be a cast-iron argument because it suggests that any infant predation would collapse any population, when typically it's the highest cause of death.
It depends on the species. I will use turtles as an example. Turtles live a long god damn time, because infant mortality is so high that they have to reproduce dozens of times in their lives in order to have a reasonable chance of self-replacement. If I increase infant mortality too much, even living 150 years, laying 8-12 eggs a year like north american box turtles do, wont be enough to keep the population viable. I can do the same thing by increasing adult mortality from 2% per year to 4% per year. Populations are really fucked if I do both.
I'd argue that the amount we take does not necessarily increase the total infant mortality but shifts it. So less are killed due to starvation, polar bears ect because we got there first.
If the annual catch was small, on the order of a few thousand, that might be true. However, not when you are considering catches on the order of 200 thousand. We are, in that case, killing far more than predators and starvation normally do... and they still have to deal with predators and starvation.
The brown tree snake, for example, nearly destroyed the native bird populations on Guam. The adults of many bird species, such as the island swiftlet, aren't particularly threatened by a snake, whereas the young are eaten with gusto. The island swiftlet is now relegated to a single cave that the BTS cannot get to. So, yes, putting pressure on the young of species can lead to extreme problems, even if infant mortality is normally high, because humans might be killing the seal pups that would have excelled because they could avoid polar bears and starvation.
We have a winner.