The recent uproar (pun intended) over the killing of Cecil the Lion has upset me on so many levels it is outrageous. The first few times I heard the news story I assumed it would quickly fade, to be replaced by something of actual substance.
For those of you who have been living in a cave for the last few weeks, the problem that has disrupted the flow of chi in the universe is that a dentist from Minnesota (who has a vacation home in Florida) went on safari in Zimbabwe and killed a lion. This Lion was in a sanctuary of some sort, but was lured out by the leader of the safari (not by the dentist, mind you) and was subsequently killed.
Why this is shocking I don’t know, since safaris in Africa have been big business for as long as money has been printed. There are certain types of people who will pay- and pay a lot- for the chance to kill big game and do weird things with the bodies as trophies. It’s not my thing, but it brings needed money to local economies and I’m not about to debate animal conservation or the merits of hunting. In any case, loads of animals have been killed over time with nary a peep out of anyone, yet here comes Cecil the wonder-lion and everyone falls apart.
At first the story was just about the horror of the Death Of Cecil. I thought that was crazy in and of itself. Then it escalated to the demands for extradition of the dentist to face criminal charges and I was incredulous. When next I heard that the dentist and his family had to go into hiding due to threats against them, and that his home had been vandalized by the people who are so full of love for their fellow creatures that they couldn’t bear to see an animal hurt I just about lost my mind.
Okay, first of all, there is real news happening in the world. There are legitimate things to get outraged about. Women are being abused and raped and children are being kidnapped and forced into prostitution. How about some moral indignation over that? People are killing each other over trivialities so petty as to be incomprehensible to outsiders, yet Americans are up-in-arms over the death of a lion? The media seems angry about Cecil, but I’m angry about this “news” story. I think Joe Average Citizen needs to adjust his moral compass if he thinks that threatening someone’s family over a hunting trip is an okay thing to do, or he just might find his own family a target of similar violent rage the next time he does something randomly unacceptable, like running his air conditioning or eating fast food. I’m not sure that we have evolved as a society if we care so much about animals that we fail to care about humans.
And again I have to wonder why this is hot news. I wonder if in other countries people are sitting by their radios with rapt attention wondering about the fate of Cecil’s cubs (News update: he has 12 offspring who may be killed if a new male takes his place in the pride. News flash: it’s the animal kingdom; that’s how things work. Males fight for dominance all the time, and sometimes there is bloodshed and death. This is not unique to Cecil and could have happened whether the dentist came on the scene or not. Grow up, people. Nature is harsh.).
It would be great if there was no killing, no death, no genocide, no bad dreams, etc etc etc. But it would also be great if people wouldn’t act like idiots and stupid stories wouldn’t monopolize the news.