On a Serious Note . . .

I don’t usually address controversial or political topics here. I don’t want to deal with confrontation or trolls. I admit I’m a coward despite my strong opinions on some subjects (Yup, more than just about grammar). But this Cecil the lion story has angered me to my soul.

I have no problem with hunting for food–I’ve eaten food that has been hunted or freshly killed–or even to cull a herd for the health of the animals, but to kill something for sport, for a “trophy” is simply wrong. Hanging a dead animal on your wall for a decoration is morbid enough, but to take pleasure in the killing? Isn’t that one of the signs of being a psychopath?

I eat meat, and I see the hypocrisy in my stance. It’s something I’m coming to terms with, albeit slowly. But there is a difference, no matter your stance on food, between killing to eat vs. killing. Killing to eat is natural–animals kill all the time (no one said nature is kind)– and, although there has been evidence of animals killing for sport, it is rare. We humans are at the top of any food chain, not by nature of our strength but by nature of our tools. This alone places a greater moral and ethical responsibility on us. Place us without a weapon against a lion, and I’d wager the lion would win the majority of the time despite our so-called intelligence. But with weapons (and don’t give me the line about bow-hunting; it’s still a weapon meant to kill) humans have all the advantage.

What makes me the angriest is the arrogance. Arrogance that rules don’t apply to me. Arrogance that I’m better than someone or something else. The arrogance that makes someone think that because they can, they will. One of my life tenets is “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” You can speed in your car; you shouldn’t. You can steal from others; you shouldn’t. You can bully someone weaker; you shouldn’t. That’s what this incident is–bullying. Cecil the lion was weaker. He didn’t stand a chance. Not only was he lured out of his safe environment, he suffered for forty hours before being killed. He had a GPS collar on him.

Apparently this dentist has a track record of illegal hunting (He blames his guides because he paid his money and believed everything was legal–ignorantia juris non excusat). But what excuse does he give for hunting a threatened species (technically lions, with the exception of Asian lions, aren’t endangered). We humans have already encroached on, stolen, destroyed, and ruined so many species’ habitats and we haven’t stopped there. We’ve hunted, killed, eaten, or used up many animals to extinction (Just look at the passenger pigeon). I know extinction is a natural process, but not the way we’re doing it. And for those of you thinking that I should feel the same way about human life, I do, but I will also counter by saying we’re not close to being endangered. Except by our own hands after we destroy our world.

I leave you with this:

–Gabi

 

One thought on “On a Serious Note . . .

  1. The newest criticism is that we who are outraged have ignored other instances of poaching, like the five endangered elephants that were killed since Cecil. Or that we’ve given other rich trophy hunters a pass. That is a stupid criticism. I am outraged for the elephants. I am outraged every time I see a picture of some idiot beside a carcass they aren’t going to eat. I am outraged every time I see a boatload of tusks taken for the illegal ivory trade. I am outraged every time I read about rhinos killed for their horns for the Oriental medicine trade. I am outraged when I hear about the illegal exotic pet trade. But Cecil has a name. Sometimes it takes a name to put a face to the outrage. I am heartbroken when I see poor citizens kill endangered species for food.
    Americans didn’t care about terrorism until 9/11. We didn’t have an Amber Alert system until Amber Hagerman was abducted. We didn’t have a Megan’s Law until Megan Kanka. If this one lion can galvanize people to care more and do more for the environment, then I’m all for it.

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