Saturday, August 1, 2015

Why Cecil the Lion matters

By now, everyone has heard of Cecil the Lion. Once famous only in the deep heart of Africa, Cecil has been the name on everyone's lips.
Cecil was the head of a lion pride at Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. He was a major tourist attraction, and could be regarded as the Zimbabwean version of Flipper or Skippy the Kangaroo. Cecil had previously been collared by scientists from Oxford University as part of a study of African wildlife.
Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer paid a professional hunter $50,000 to shoot a lion and lured Cecil out, wounding him with a bow and arrow. After that, they tracked the big cat for 40 hours before shooting him with a rifle, killing him.
Palmer has previously taken part in rhinocerous hunts. Rhinos are on the endangered list.
Palmer has stressed that he did not know that the lion he shot was valued so much by the locals and tourists alike. Investigation by Zimbabwe National Parks has revealed that the hunters Palmer paid did not have the correct permit for hunting a lion. Meanwhile, Cecil's brother has since taken responsibility for looking after his cubs, keeping rival males from killing them.
British Prime Minister David Cameron was among the big names who condemned Cecil's killing, stating that the U.K. has "a leading role in preventing illegal wildlife trade." 
Walter Palmer has abandoned his dentist office and gone into hiding after a furious backlash. Even the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has not been able to track him down. Is it right that Palmer should be facing such rage?
Absolutely. I've had it with these twats pretending to be adventurous by shooting an animal with an arrow or a bullet and claiming their sick "trophy". Wrestle a bear, a lion or an elk and win—and then I'll be impressed. Sad for the animal, but impressed. When you as a human being track animals down to shoot them for the mere fun of it—don't even dare to call it a sport—or for food that you don't require because you're not trapped in the middle of a wilderness and starving, you're a coward, plain and simple. You very likely have psychotic tendencies as well.
These people aren't Lewis and Clark, braving unknown, unmapped territory. They get transport to the site and expert guidance through it. An animal appears, they shoot it. Where's the risk? Where's the danger? What makes this undertaking so brave?
Conservatives and liberals alike have reacted by saying, "With everything else going on in the world, everyone's getting worked up over a lion?" The politically minded allege that the media concentrating on Cecil takes away from the rage that should be felt toward illegal aliens or Planned Parenthood, according to conservatives, or gay rights, Islamophobia or eight-year-olds not getting free and easy access to condoms, according to liberals.
Yet, sadly, this is not a conservative versus liberal issue. I agree, the media will distract you with fluff whenever they can—it's all part of their "dull the masses with bread and circuses" agenda, all part of their game. But the news of Cecil's killing is not fluff. The media has highlighted Cecil's death because it represents the fight against illegal wildlife hunting and poaching.
There is life on this planet other than human that deserves to live. And if Walter Palmer must be the current cowardly face of a sick, barbaric practice, then so be it. The media, in this case, have gotten it right and are doing their job.
In a world dominated by humans, animals are at our mercy. They need us to leave them alone. If we do get involved in their affairs, it should be to help them not further dwindle their numbers just so some inbred cunt can hang another head on a wall and impress other brainless wonders willing to listen about his "courage".
Zimbabwe has reported a drop in tourist numbers since Cecil's killing. Cecil was worth a lot more when people shot him with cameras. Since getting shot by an idiot with an arrow and then a rifle, suddenly there's not such a big draw for tourists anymore. I hope Cecil's brother, and his cubs, once they've grown up, will provide the incentive for a spike in visitor numbers. Only time will tell.
I have no problem with scientists using tranquilizer guns to stun animals so they can collar them and study their movements and habits.  We need to better understand the creatures we share the planet with.
And it's not that human life is not precious, I am not saying that. But we are in control of this planet. We are largely responsible for our own affairs. I can feel very bad for a guy who gets knocked off his motorcycle by a car and dies. News like that depresses me. But the man made a decision to ride a bike, to compete on the roadway with much bigger vehicles, and accepted the risks. Cecil did not choose to get shot. He simply stepped out to into the clearing to get what he thought would be an easy meal.
I am not going—in fact, I refuse—to feel sorry for all these migrants amassed in Calais. If the conditions they fled from were so bad, why risk their lives to get into the U.K. illegally? Why can't they happily settle in whatever European country they reach first? One letter writer to The Metro recently wrote:
I woke up to a media expressing more concern over the death of Cecil the lion than over the death of a migrant from Sudan killed overnight by a truck as he tried to cross from Calais. He was the 11th refugee to die at Britain's border in the past two months. How can the lives of these desperate people be deemed to be of less worth than a lion?
Really, now? Yeah, that's all we need, a migrant from Sudan. Someone whose way of life is extremely foreign to us and who might just pay us back for our generosity by being a welfare-dependent nuisance or, dare I say, slashing a soldier's throat as he walks down the street in his uniform in broad daylight?
These men—and they're always young men—trying to get into Britain don't have to risk their lives. They fled war-torn areas to only to endanger their lives a second time? Are you kidding me? I don't care if one hundred and eleven migrants die trying to get into Albion. It's their choice to try. I'll still sleep quite comfortably at night.
What threat did Cecil the lion ever pose to me? None. Therefore, he's much more important to me. Sorry, bleeding-heart letter writer, but it's the truth.
And as for you, Walter Palmer? Now you know what it's like to be endangered. I hope that never changes. You will get caught someday, and if it's by the authorities, consider yourself lucky. I hope they slap you with a punishment so back-breaking it'll make you weep in despair on the spot. Maybe you'll get extradited to Zimbabwe. Perhaps you'll face Robert Mugabe himself. An imperialist, insensitive white man like you? Mugabe will have a field day on your worthless ass. Let us see how brave you'll be then, mighty hunter.

No comments: