A lion slain in despicable trophy hunting
News editor, Nina Grossman weighs in on the controversy surrounding the death of Cecil the lion
Have you ever been lucky enough to run into wild life on a trip through the Rockies or the west coast? Stopped to marvel at the beauty of a regal buck or caught a glimpse of a black bear with her cubs? If the answers yes, then can you imagine pulling out a weapon and shooting such an animal? Most of us would say no.
This deep inherent appreciation for the natural world is a piece of our humanity, the piece that is causing an uproar about the death of Cecil the lion, a beautiful, majestic creature with a dark mane and a powerful stare, once protected by a National Park in Zimbabwe, now a piece of evidence in a case against trophy hunting.
Normally, I have little interest in writing about the perpetrators of horrible crimes. They deserve no mention, and it is their victims that I would rather draw attention to. In this case however, I find it necessary to call attention to Walter Palmer, a now infamous dentist from Minnesota. Palmer lured Cecil out of the National Park, shot him with an arrow, allowed him to slowly suffer for nearly 40 hours before finally killing the animal and beheading him. The public has used the Internet, amongst other mediums to voice their outrage and hatred of this man.
Let him be shamed. Walter Palmer puts a face on the horrifying, shameful traditions of capitalist ignorance. Trophy hunting allows rich hunters to exploit local governments, paying them large sums of money to hunt the animals of their choosing, regardless of the endangered status of the animal. It is a graphic demonstration of western entitlement and has turned the public eye towards a “sport” that leaves big, proud animals like Cecil the lion decapitated.
Rebecca Tucker in an article for the National Post has said that “as humans, we feel entitled to all from nature’s bounty, not because we are heralds or protectors of the Earth, but because we are it’s owners. We feel we are owed whatever we can afford.” If Cecil’s death does anything, it should force us to face the truth, work towards respect and valuing all types of life. Let’s embrace the onslaught of compassion and concern from the public and channel it towards making the world a place of empathy and respect.