So let’s be honest – nobody would care about this story at all if the lion had not been a very popular and famous lion. It wouldn’t have been news. Rich guys from all over the world hunt African lions all the time. The animals aren’t endangered (any more) so limited hunting is legal. As long as you obtain the proper permits.
Which this guy didn’t.
I don’t have a problem with hunting for food. We don’t need to kill deer to survive because the meat section of our local supermarket is very well stocked. But I guess I understand that killing your own deer is something that people like to do and since they are eating the deer, I’m not bothered by the practice.
When you kill a lion, though, you aren’t killing it for food. Lions are not particularly tasty.
We humans have a particularly idiotic notion that we are more evolutionarily advanced than other creatures because we happen to have a higher intelligence. I imagine it doesn’t help that a lot of us subscribe to a holy book that tells us we are the most important creatures on the planet.
Looking at evolution, however, one must reach the inevitable conclusion that lions have been working towards their present form exactly as long as we humans have been working on ours. So when we take a life – any life – for something other than food, we are being privileged assholes.
Want that rhinoceros tusk for an aphrodisiac? Fuck you. That rhino is using it and it has every bit of a right to life as you.
Another thing that bugs me about this whole thing is the dude claiming he “thought” the hunt was legal. He seems genuinely surprised that he didn’t have the proper permits.
In the same way Tom Brady seems genuinely surprised destroying his cell phone would look bad.
This guy goes big game hunting all the time. He’s been cited for poaching before. Do I think he knew the hunt was a little shady?
Of course he did. And even if he didn’t know, he didn’t give a fuck. He wanted to kill a lion.
He didn’t want to shoot it with a paint pellet for the lulz. He wanted to kill a lion, cut off it’s head and skin and put that dead lion in his house to prove to other people that he killed a fucking lion. He figured that nobody would know if he’d done it legally because unless the lion was a well known animal that people would miss, nobody would care.
So his claims of ignorance are empty bullshit being spewed by someone who didn’t actually think he was going to have to explain his behavior to anyone.
Sorry, pal. You got caught.
Now this Minnesotan dentist isn’t the only person who killed a notable animal recently. In Hawaii, a group of fisherman brought in a 1,368 pound marlin. The fish is believed to have been 18-26, which is very old for the species. That fish managed to survive far longer than other Marlins but eventually, we humans caught him and put him on the back of a pickup truck. Nobody is going after those fisherman because we will, collectively, eat that marlin.
It is literally going to take a village to eat that marlin.
As a meat eater, I understand that what I’m eating was killed by other humans. I accept that bargain because I like meat. Carnivores eat meat. That’s part of the circle of life. You think Cecil the lion was a vegetarian?
We are the only species that seems particularly enamored with showing off the things we kill. I don’t think Cecil ever called all the other lions over to check out a particularly big gazelle he managed to polish off. He just ate the gazelle.
And yes, I know that the female lions do all of the killing but I’m trying to make a point here so please don’t derail me with facts.
Thing is, shooting a lion for a pelt you are going to put on the wall is not part of the circle of life. It is, in fact, telling the circle of life to go fuck itself because we humans can do whatever the hell we want thankyouverymuch.
Most of us think we are better than all the other animals on the planet because we are, so far as we can tell, smarter. Because that is the only way in which we are superior to most animals on the planet, we subscribe more importance to that trait.
So having savaged the asshole lion killing dentist for a while, let me move on to everyone else.
As much as I think this guy deserves the firestorm that has descended upon him for what he’s done, I’m bothered he is getting death threats and that he has been doxxed to the point that people are protesting at his home.
The guy has kids.
He has employees and co-workers.
And those people had nothing to do with his personal life choices. Do you think his kids are going to be convinced that their dad is a bad person because a bunch of protestors are saying he deserves to die?
Or do you think those kids are going to stand beside their dad because he’s their dad and it seems like the entire world hates him right now?
I don’t know how old those kids are but if they are school age, they are super lucky they are on summer break. I’d hate to think what they’d be going through in the classroom.
And while I don’t know what is happening to the co-workers of this guy, I’m guessing they are going to get harassed when they go to work. People do it at abortion clinics. I’m not so naive as to believe people I agree with are incapable of the same asshole behavior.
The people protesting this action don’t care if the dental hygienist didn’t even know her boss was killing a lion in Africa. She is collateral damage in the war on one man’s dental practice.
Does doxxing, and making death threats against this guy and his family undo what he did? Will Cecil the lion suddenly come back to life as a zombie head and pelt to enact his bloody revenge on the man who killed him?
I don’t think it does.
Although that would make one hell of a movie. Or maybe a Fringe show.
I hope we all understand that in the last week, some other asshole killed a lion so he could mount it’s head on his wall. While we all go crazy denouncing this dentist from Bloomington, people are still doing this shit. They still don’t give a fuck about making sure the permits are in order. They will probably spend a little more time making sure the animal doesn’t have a radio collar because they don’t want to get caught.
To me, the story of Cecil the lion isn’t about one guy from Bloomington. It is about all of us. We are so pissed at this one dentist, we don’t realize that the issue is a lot bigger than him.
Next week, someone will kill an elephant for it’s tusks. Next month, someone will kill a tiger (which is endangered) because they can sell the body parts to make medicines that don’t work. Next year, thousands of sharks will be killed to make shark fin soup. Over the next twelve years, Japan will kill 12,000 Minke whales in the name of “research.”
And two weeks from now, nobody will be thinking about Cecil the lion any more. Just like none of us think about all those other animals now.
EDIT: Of course it is now coming out that asshole dentist gives tons of money to conservationist causes. I don’t find that information any kind of surprise. He wants to conserve animals so he doesn’t feel guilty when he kills them. Whatever bargain he needs to make, right?