This section reflects on the fundamental ethical beliefs and the implications for the conduct of society, past and future, on the various questions raised by the battle over killing tradition. It explains that beyond the signal example of the Save the Whales campaign, other controversies in heartland settings closer to home have challenged culturally based assumptions about the social and physical relations of animals or human communities to engage in activities that may be deemed objectionable by a large part of society, and governmental responsibilities for environmental—and economic—protection. The section opines that the animal rights movement has had a profound impact in terms of protecting animals from cruelty and making people more sensitive to the exploitation of animals for entertainment purposes and commercial gain. In sum, at stake in hunting and animal rights controversies is the very definition of humanity.
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