Most people who have ever observed a bird of prey in the wild are amazed by its elegance. It is almost an exhilarating sight to see these powerful birds soar through the air, sometimes almost stopping, before pouncing unerringly on their prey. Unfortunately, you see them less and less, because the effects of environmental pollution do not stop at them. It is all the greater the pleasure of being able to observe these aesthetically pleasing and at the same time so powerful planes in the wild. At least that’s what normal people think.
Abnormal humans long ago thought of harnessing the hunting power of these birds for their own ends. This was then called a hawking hunt and is defended as a tradition because it has been around for so long. This view was reinforced by the fact that so-called falconry was declared an Intangible World Heritage Site, making it sacrosanct, so to speak, i.e. untouchable. If you listen to the corresponding defenders of the hunt, there is talk of „natural and ecological hunting“, because the bird of prey does nothing other than what it would do in nature. It is a collaboration between humans and animals. So much for the supporters.
It may well be that these birds do nothing but follow their innate instincts when hawking, but they do so because humans are forcing them to do so. So, they don’t do it for themselves, but for a person who imprisons them for it, preferably imprints them on themselves from an early age, i.e. consciously arranges a mis imprint, which makes the bird dependent on them. Keeping them in aviaries is equivalent to being imprisoned for life in a very small space, considering how long these birds fly in the wild. This leads to degenerative phenomena because they cannot train their muscles appropriately. Their willingness to let humans rush them to other animals is reinforced by withdrawing food before the hunt. Ultimately, the birds are degraded to a hunting weapon that is misused by humans to set them on hares, rabbits, pigeons or even foxes. Animals are also declared as prey that are not normally part of the prey spectrum, such as foxes. If the prey is too large, the hunt is more difficult for the birds and the killing process takes longer.
The falconry, like any other hunt, is completely pointless, since animal populations regulate themselves through food availability, social structure and diseases. What makes this type of hunting even more difficult is that not only are animals unnecessarily murdered, but other animals are also abused for this purpose. If you’ve seen these animals desperately trying to regain their freedom, you can feel the pain they feel when they’re cut off from a normal life, for the sheer amusement of humans. Tortured, abused, locked away, that’s how you could sum it up.
But these birds are not only used for hunting, but they are also exhibited in wildlife parks. In bird of prey shows they are demoted to the clowns in the circus ring in order to satisfy the audience’s thirst for sensation.
The only possible, cruelty-free form of marveling at a bird of prey is to observe it in the wild. That’s why you shouldn’t visit wildlife parks and ban hawking wherever you encounter it. It is totally intolerable that these beautiful, freedom-loving creatures, which are so important to the ecosystem, are being captured and exploited by humans. There is not a single plausible reason for this. And subjugating other living beings is certainly not fun. Perhaps the respective gentlemen should ask themselves whether there isn’t an alternative to boost their underdeveloped self-esteem. In any case, it should not be the abuse of other living beings.