Via Drudge Report, Costa Rica appears to be ready to ban all recreational hunting in this biodiversity rich country. The nation’s legislature approved the hunting ban in a preliminary 42 – 5 vote, and President Laura Chinchilla is prepared to sign the measure into law, according to reports. If the ban goes into effect, Costa Rica would be the first country in the America’s to prohibit the sport.
I’m not aware that there is a long recreational hunting tradition in Costa Rica, as there is in America, Canada, and some other Latin American nations. The move though is surprising to me. My opinion of recreational hunting is shaped by our hunting heritage here at home, where being a successful hunter meant survival during our country’s early years. Today I see hunting as an incredibly important means of maintaining our relationship with the natural world. Specifically, I see hunting as one of the few direct activities that allows an individual to experience, understand, and appreciate, in unmistakeable terms, our role in the environment, and the environment’s role as sustainer of human life. We are quickly becoming a people wholly disconnected from nature, and not just in superficial terms, but in terms of humanity’s reliance upon nature as the source of our sustenance: air, water, and food. I think hunting for your dinner, even once in your lifetime, leaves a lasting impression upon the hunter of the significance of the natural world to your own humanity, and to our existence as a species. Maybe this is not an issue in a place like Costa Rica, where I’ll make an assumption that the people may be more closely connected to their environment than we are at home. Still, the move is surprising.