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 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 termed ‘Social 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.