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Book Chapter

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Between the late nineteenth and early twenty-first centuries, both the rationale for and perception of hunting shifted in the United States, coinciding with demographic changes in the U.S. population (Duda 1993). Similar changes in attitude, though largely undocumented, probably occurred in the United Kingdom. (For example, foxhunting did not emerge as a substantial sport until the second half of the eighteenth century; before that, foxes were widely perceived as pests and killed whenever the opportunity arose [Marvin 2000]). Our purpose in this chapter is to compare these two countries in order to reveal some of the science and the sociology relevant to hunting (the latter just one of many interacting environmental issues about which human society faces complicated judgments within rapidly shifting political and cultural areas).