The moral conflict between environmentalism and animal welfare

This is a quote from an OPINION PIECE for your reading and consideration:
 
From an ecological perspective, the utilitarian’s concern for the welfare of individual animals seems precious, a sanitised ethic that’s disconnected from the harsh but sublime reality of the natural world. Mother Nature is not an individualist. The health of the ecosystem as a whole demands an unforgiving turnover in the individuals that compose it. Suffering and death are facts of life that we must learn to accept, on the ecological view, not ills we must struggle to prevent.
 
This hard tutelage was the human reality until agriculture and domestication started to supplant hunting and gathering about 10,000 years ago. Some people still hunt as a form of subsistence. Others do so as a way of reconnecting with the natural world. Others still, admittedly, hunt simply for sport. But thoughtful advocates of hunting attest that taking an active part in the cycle of nature can be a profound experience. Many environmentalists, Aldo Leopold notable among them, have claimed that hunting is an important component of wilderness management.
 
 
[Note: The quote is not an endorsement, one way or another, by IAL of the article's viewpoint. It is posted here to prompt consideration of topics relevant to where the law might strike an appropriate balance and prioritisation, between apparently conflicting interests associated with human and animal activities, philosophies, and the natural vs constructed life experience of animals].