The lion, and the hypocrisy.

Oh, the sheer terror of it all! The black headlines flood onto the pages and the screens, all stating one thing only; ‘How cruel, how terrible, how unfeeling; and on, and on, ad infinitum’. A  cross-section of those headlines read: ‘Global anger reaches Minnesota’, ‘Justice for Cecil’, and  ‘The hunter is hunted’; as well as Dentist who killed Cecil regrets his actions!’ The target of all this wrath? Some monstrously-inhuman serial killer who is targeting people named Cecil? No folks, all this ink and false indignation revolves around an American who fired a cross-bow bolt and wounded this particular lion in Zimbabwe, before tracking the animal and finally despatching it with a bullet. The terrible story evolves when it was revealed that the lion had allegedly been lured away from the protection of a game park, and then ambushed by this bloodthirsty dentist, who had paid $50,000 for the privilege of shooting this  lion. Further news shook the world’s population  when it was revealed that the lion actually wore a tracker collar, which had been fitted as part of some spurious scientific survey or other. Real live ‘celebrities’ were quoted as expressing their horror at the mindless slaughter of a proud animal, just to feed the trophy wall of a rich tourist. Worse was to follow, as can be seen from perusing this particular section of what is loosely termedSocial Media’. As Joseph Conrad might have put it “he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath: The horror! The horror!”.

The Zimbabwean game hunter and his tracker have been arrested on charges of poaching, and Vegetarians Worldwide are seeking to have the dentist arraigned on charges of assisting King Herod and the slaughter of the Innocents. (well, yes; I exaggerate, but only by a small amount).

Has anyone stepped back, metaphorically speaking, and gazed at this ludicrous non-story, and checked out the enormous hypocrisy behind this explosion of fake anger and total lunacy. What has actually happened? We, as Homo Sapiens, are literally at the head of the global food chain, and we kill literally millions of animals, birds and fish every single day so that we might eat, and prosper, and survive. We are a predator species, and whilst accepting that an American dentist was not hunting for food, we must accept that he was following in the footsteps of our ancestors going back to the dim mists of time. We hunt, we kill; even at second-, third- or even fourth-hand, because when we visit a supermarket, or a corner store to buy readily available protein in the shape of chicken, or beef, or pork; we automatically must accept that some animal or other species has been killed to provide that protein, so that we might survive. Vegetarians may state that they live perfectly well without the sacrifice of a living thing, and they have as much right to that belief as anyone else; but it is not a majority viewpoint. Hunters kill and claim their trophies every day, all over Africa, excepting of course where the locals are too busy killing each other;  South Africa operates legal trophy hunting as do many other countries, so what is the problem? Why the fury, the snot and the anger? We accept, in silence, the bloody ritual slaughter within British slaughterhouses which is dictated by the Muslim Halal and the Jewish Kosher rituals, so why the vicious headlines about the death of one old lion?

The real hypocrisy, in my own viewpoint, is in the silence on where this non-story emanates from, namely Zimbabwe. Where are the headlines about everyday life in this poverty-stricken nation, which once owned the proud title of the bread-basket of Southern Africa? Where are the headlines about the farms stolen from the owners who are just as much African as the thieves who have legally, and illegally, stolen 90% of the farms in this once-productive country? Where are the stories in the major newspapers the world over about the total theft and hijacking of the richest diamond deposits discovered in the last ten years? Where are the postings on ‘Social Media’ about the everyday misery of those unfortunates not to be either in Government jobs, on the payroll of unscrupulous and murderous politicians, or on the trucks and cars which ferry the bully-boy gangs from Zanu-Patriotic Front who masquerade as the new ‘War Veterans’ when they arrive and terrorise any meeting of which their masters do not approve! I link, without further comment; to a blogsite which I read regularly, which gives an insight into the everyday struggles to survive, in a country which I visited twice; and in doing so drove through that same Hwange Game Park which was the lion’s hunting ground: that country which once was so prosperous it exported millions of tonnes of food.

12 comments for “The lion, and the hypocrisy.

  1. Ripper
    July 30, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    So all the hypocrisy and ritual killing you talk about is the fault of the old lion is it? Personally I’ve nothing against the principle of killing to survive, after all mankind is just another animal on this planet and we are omnivores. Its killing for sport that I detest and if that guy had actually paid all that money so as to kill an animal for no particular reason (bet the tracker made it nice and easy for him), then he deserves all he gets.

    Sometimes I’m ashamed to be human.

    • July 30, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      Do you have any hobbies or pastimes that the mob should oversee first, before deciding whether you can continue with them?

      Don’t like hunting? Don’t hunt.

      Why seek to stop others?

      • Ripper
        July 31, 2015 at 6:27 pm

        I don’t hunt and my hobbies and pastimes don’t involve harm to other people/creatures/species so I don’t need to be overseen by the mob and they don’t interest me, so please don’t tar me with that brush.

        And whilst we are twisting the things people say, lets turn it around for a moment and consider your attitude, should you be the one who is hunted – bet you’d be screaming for the mob to oversee that.

        And who are you, to decide that a human life has any more value than that of any other creature on this planet? You really think that the murder of the homecoming queen is worse than the murder of any other creature? That must be the ego that you speak of. Hunting, unpleasant though it is, is neccessary if we want to eat. But not for sport.

        • Monty
          July 31, 2015 at 11:54 pm

          “I don’t hunt and my hobbies and pastimes don’t involve harm to other people/creatures/species so I don’t need to be overseen by the mob …”
          That’s not for you to say. It is for the mob to determine who needs to be “overseen” and persecuted.

        • August 1, 2015 at 5:23 am

          Of course I think that the murder of a human is worse than the killing of an animal (since you can’t murder an animal).

          And who gave you the power to determine what was ‘necessary’?

  2. July 30, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    “Where are the headlines about the farms stolen from the owners who are just as much African as the thieves who have legally, and illegally, stolen 90% of the farms in this once-productive country? “

    Interestingly, the PH in this case is getting some much needed vilification on a hunting forum I occasionally browse for hunting on appropriated (i.e, stolen) land…

  3. July 31, 2015 at 7:16 am

    I posted this just now on Anna Raccoon’s site, but it’s just as viable here.

    Open any newspaper or online site carrying this story, and you’ll see the word ‘ego’ repeated again and again and again. It’s Walter’s ‘ego’ that drives him to do this terrible thing.

    Well, I read this, and I wonder at the seeming lack of awareness that anyone else has an ego. What about the ego of the people who aren’t content to simply say ‘Trophy hunting? Eeeew! Not for me, thanks!’ and leave Walter to his (legal) pleasures?

    Oh, you may dress it up as other things (conservation, etc), but that’s the heart of it – it’s your own ego that gives you the desire to stop someone else doing something they enjoy with their own hard-earned money.

    And I’m reminded of another story about hunting. Years ago, a foundation in the US that existed to give terminally ill kids their last wish (how altruistic! how heartwarming!) received a wish from a young lad to hunt – a bear, I think. Now I can’t remember if they went ahead and granted it, or turned it down immediately, but once the ‘animal lovers’ got hold of the story, it was Katy bar the door! You’d think the unfortunate young man had expressed a wish to rape & strangle the Homecoming Queen on the town green!

    There were petitions, and demands that other wishes be substituted – one man offered to take him on a photography ‘hunt’ instead, which struck me as like offering a condemned man a picture of the delicious final meal you weren’t going to let him eat!

    In the end, a local hunting group paid for his trip, I think he bagged his bear, and (hopefully) died happy.

    But think about this for a moment. Who, in their right mind, would put their own ego to the forefront here, and demand that this boy should not have the perfectly legal wish granted because it didn’t sit right with them?

    So don’t excoriate Walter for his supposedly rampant ego, all you who’d ban trophy hunting. From where I sit, yours doesn’t look so good either…

  4. July 31, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Mike, I’m with you. This is a non-story of the first magnitude. The western reaction to which is overblown and disgustingly mawkish.

    The African attitude? Kill a Lion? Hey no biggie – at least 200 Africans a year are killed by these wild animals. Worldwide that’s more than Sharks, and a whole lot more than ionizing radiation or ‘man made global warming’, although many more are likely to die from western policies instituted for its mitigation.

  5. Stonyground
    July 31, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    It’s not often that I disagree with you Julia but I do on this particular subject. As Ripper says, how liberal would you be if it was perfectly legal to hunt people called Julia? I am a vegetarian so I suppose that I am in the clear when it comes to the charge of hypocrisy stated in the OP. I am opposed to banning things but I certainly think that those who kill just for the fun of it deserve contempt and shouldn’t complain when contempt is what they get.

    • August 1, 2015 at 5:28 am

      Contempt is fine. I regard with contempt ballroom dancers, windsurfers and those peculiar chaps that stand at the end of railway platforms noting down train numbers in the pouring rain.

      But simple contempt isn’t what we are dealing with here – it’s a mob who have wrecked a man’s business and are seeking to use the furor to get a legal hobby banned, despite the fact that that would kill off their sainted wild lions quicker than anything!

    • August 1, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      Stonyground; having a different opinion is fine, we’re all grown ups. Harming or threatening someone because of your opinion is not. Simple enough for you?

    • BobH
      August 1, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      If in this land we had not eliminated all the predators, there would be nowhere to live safely without ourselves being eaten, as lions bears and wolves roamed here at one time.
      If you believe that animals have rights, that obviously includes their right to kill other animals, then why fuss when man kills other animals.

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