With the advent of agricultural and industrial civilization, however, all sense of guilt and gratitude to animals was suppressed, and the oppression of animals and women went hand-in-hand. Animal agriculture (domestication of animals) and the mass hunts of the colonial period cannot easily be justified morally. They were little more than the assertion of human and colonial power and an expression of the “ethic” of “might is right”.
Recreational hunters tend to justify their hunting on the basis of conservation. Conservation is, as it name suggests, a conservative, even right wing, position. Conservation is not identical with ecology, although there is some overlap. Deep ecologists criticize conservation as a form of shallow ecology, which perceives nature as a collection of resources for human exploitation and enjoyment. The Wise Use movement which expresses the “philosophy” of conservation is largely a conservative reaction to the animal rights movement.
Conservation wishes to conserve the wildlife’s status quo without acknowledging or being aware of the dubious history of the wildlife industry, which is a product of colonialism and industrialization, and the subjection of native peoples. There is a structural similarity between apartheid’s native reserves and game farms: both contain a captive population for the purpose of exploitation by mainly wealthy white males. Nonetheless, some deep ecologists perceive hunting as a way of interacting more deeply with nature and in this they would appear to share a value with conservative hunters. However, ecofeminists have criticized hunting as not just anthropocentric but also androcentric, an expression of the patriarchal oppression of nature, part of the spectrum of the patriarchal oppression of women, the poor, children and animals.
Trophy hunting is morally abhorrent and aesthetically obscene, an extreme expression of mainly white male domination.