Green Ammo — So to Speak

There’s a piece on CNN online today about so-called “green ammo” for hunters.   It would appear that the lead in bullets poses a hazard — not just to those animals who get shot but also to scavenging animals, including California Condors, who eat the leavings of hunters.  The lead also is present in the meat of animals who get killed and eaten.  In one sampling, half of the deer meat donated to a food bank tested positive for lead.

The answer to this problem, at least for some, lies with non-lead bullets, with copper the metal of choice.  Sidestepping for the moment the ethical issues embedded in hunting, I have to hop on my rhetorical hobby horse again and decry the term “green ammo.”  It perpetuates the idea that hunting in its present form is either environmentally friendly or environmentally neutral.  In my view, it is neither, regardless of one’s choice of bullet.  Others, including the Hog Blog (whose author is a vocal proponent of non-lead bullets), disagree.  More on the issue here.

Perhaps most remarkable, though, is the opposition to non-lead bullets led by — you guessed it — the NRA (as well as the National Shooting Sports Foundation).  Apparently, advocating that hunters use bullets not made of lead is a thinly veiled attempt to take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.  Who knew?


4 Responses

  1. Well I hve few problems with your points. First off on the issue of hunting, I would suggest you read my page on the issue at second, I live in Washington State, the dems up here tried to ban lead bullets becauise of the California Condor. Problem is there has never been a California condor here in Washington State. Third unless you use a machine gun and put thousands of rounds into your kill no lead gets into it. Otherwise I wouldn’t eat my kills. 🙂

  2. The NRA response is boringly predictable.

    For many, hunting IS an ethical issue. But there are many ethical issues that divide people based on their philosophy, ideology and, often, religion. Hunting hasn’t diplaced abortion as a front and center issue.

    Hunting is accepted by a large part of the population. It is unlikely that a major shift in opinion will take place. While the use of the word “Green” in connection with an activity reviled by some and viewed as co-optation by many with regard to ammunition, reducing lead in the atmosphere isn’t a bad idea. Much more ammo is expended at shooting ranges than in the forests and if “Green” ammo becomes a hit (no pun intended), there might be a significant localized reduction is lead exposure.

  3. The lead pellet issue isn’t mainly about humans (or scavengers) swallowing pellets in the meat, but about birds picking up scattered shot in mistake for grit (which they need to grind their food). This is a really serious welfare issue as well as a conservation one because of the slow and painful death which lead poisoning causes.

  4. Hi!. Thanks a bunch for the info. I’ve been digging around looking some info up for shool, but i think i’m getting lost!. Google lead me here – good for you i guess! Keep up the good work. I will be coming back in a couple of days to see if there is updated posts.

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