Sri Yogananda and the 16h Karmapa have both stated most strongly, one of the worst actions a human can do is hunt wild animals. There is no gain in killing an innocent animal for the sake of blood sport, yet often the richest people and the most powerful among us, in all countries, indulge in blood sports. Those who do not need to kill for food or for any other reason than for taking life are attracting to themselves very bad karma in future.
Although it was a crucial part of humans’ survival 100,000 years ago, hunting is now nothing more than a violent form of recreation that the vast majority of hunters do not need for subsistence.(1) Hunting has contributed to the extinction of animal species all over the world, including the Tasmanian tiger and the great auk.(2,3)
Less than 5 percent of the U.S. population (13.7 million people) hunts, yet hunting is permitted in many wildlife refuges, national forests, and state parks and on other public lands.(40 Almost 40 percent of hunters slaughter and maim millions of animals on public land every year, and by some estimates, poachers kill just as many animals illegally.
The Tale Of The Wise Deer – Buddhist
It is written in the great books of the East, the Buddha once took on
an incarnation of a beautiful deer, possessing the qualities of
strength, swiftness, intellect and above all a deep love for all
Like all deer he lived simply and according to his dharma. He ate
grasses and berries and drunk only pure water from the mountain
stream. In silence he wandered through the forest showing respect for
all the other creatures who dwelled there, in returned they too,
One day the king was out hunting in the forest but he took a wrong
path and found himself in a dense and dark part of the forest where he
hadn’t been before. Suddenly between the thick trees, he spotted the
great deer grazing in a nearby glen. Over come with excitement at the
size and beauty of the animal, the king quickly laid an arrow onto his
bow. But the deer was too quick for him and ran towards a hidden chasm
where he quickly jumped over to the other side and to safety.
The king unwilling to lose the deer, followed him but when his horse
arrived at the chasm it came to an abrupt halt, hurling his royal
master into the darkness below.
The deer became aware of the silence behind him. Looking back, he saw
the riderless horse peering into the depths of the ravine and realised
that the king must be lying on the rocks below.
With wondrous compassion the noble deer slowly retraced his steps
towards the one who sought to take his life for mere sport.
At the edge of the chasm the deer looked down and saw the king laying
in a heap below. His sharp ears picked up a faint sound of moaning as
the king, obviously in pain, cried out for help.
Tears welled up in the deer’s large soft eyes,
“Oh Your Majesty,” he said,
“You command the respect and loyalty of countless subjects. Through
God’s grace you have brought goodness to the land and prosperity to
your people. I pray that you have not suffered any serious injuries
from your fall and that you will continue to rule your kingdom with
love and respect in your heart. Although I am only a creature of the
forest, I ask you to trust me because it is within my power to help
you out of your unfortunate situation – but only if you grant me
The king replied, “my armour saved me from serious wounds, but now I
suffer a greater pain and that is one of great shame for wanting to
take your life, a creature of such righteousness and compassion. I
accept your offer of kindness. But first, tell me why you would risk
your life to help the one who sought to kill you for sport?”
The deer answered, “does not the Lord of Life who illumines my heart
also illumine yours? Beyond the superficial awareness that I am a deer
and you are a man lies the supreme Truth that within us burns the same
light of God. So in saving your life, O King, I acknowledge and honour
the divine Self within us both.”
Then the deer began his perilous journey to the bottom of the ravine.
The King embraced the sacred animal, who knelt to allow the king to
climb onto his back. Carefully the deer climbed up the rocky path to
the horse waiting patiently at the top.
Once the king was safely on his horse again, he asked the deer to
return with him to the palace where he would live his life protected
from hunters in the palace gardens.
“Your offer is very kind,” answered the deer,
“But my home is in the forest with my family and other creatures. If
you really want to help me, then protect the forest by banishing
hunting altogether. Let the animals live in peace and according to the
laws of nature. If you agree to this your life will be ennobled and
you will be a monarch of supreme virtue and wisdom.”
Then the Deer bestowed his grace upon the king and turned and walked
back to his sylvan domain, leaving the king to return home with a
profound realisation of the sanctity of life.