To my horror, I once found myself seated at a dinner with a group of Americans who were all big-game-hunting enthusiasts. They were recounting a recent trip they’d had to Zimbabwe to celebrate a birthday, and their kill had included an elephant and a leopard. I was appalled. Didn’t they understand how endangered these species were? How could they take pleasure in killing magnificent beasts for sport?

In response to my outrage, a range of defences was trotted out: it’s a natural instinct for humans to want to hunt; top predators are themselves hunters and sometimes threaten humans; meat-eating ...


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