There is really only any hope for humanity when, collectively and individually, it becomes unthinkable that we inflict pain suffering and death upon each other or the other living creatures with whom we share this fragile planet – for pleasure or reasons other than survival or food.

It is, whether we like it or not, a fact that life has evolved in a way that obliges many species to terminate the life of something else in order to survive. Lions and tigers are not vegetarians.

Neither are dogs and cats. It is a sad twist of evolutionary irony that has resulted in elephants, rhinoceroses and giraffes – arguably the biggest of us all – being herbivores and therefore the targets of the more agile fanged and clawed carnivores.

But Despite the apparent savagery of their lifestyle, most predators do not go on killing sprees to while away the idle hour.

Don’t believe the hunt apologists’ canard that foxes are somehow intrinsically evil (anthropomorphism taken to its silliest extreme) simply because when we give our hens nowhere to escape to in compounds and the fox gains access he kills them all. He has survived down the millennia by grabbing food when he can.

Without our corralling the chickens for our benefit, they would be free to escape to safety. Demonising foxes serves only to give false justification to those who derive pleasure from ganging up, dressing up and presenting as sport something that is no more appetising or acceptable than dog fighting, bear baiting or public execution.

Don’t let the apparent ‘olde English’ look of the hunt fool you into thinking it to be anything other than a shabby anachronism and a reminder of when all life was cheap.

The men who dig out cubs from the ground to provide easy training for their hounds in pursuit and slaughter are no different to those who steal our pets to train their fighting dogs and who delight in watching them tear the poor creatures apart.

Massacring dwindling wildlife in order to satisfy the superstitions of humans who seek potency or decoration in their horns or tusks, harrying a single animal to its death for fun, executing people because they believe in another god are all evidence of the journey we have yet to go as a race.

Being top of the evolutionary heap makes it more important that we minimise suffering and respect our fellow travellers.