I have been waiting to weigh in on this so that I could get my thoughts together, so here we go.
Lion hunts are not right. I have looked at different articles arguing about the role of hunting in conservation, private hunts for sustainable economics, etc, but nothing has convinced me that this is okay. Some of what I have read says that such hunts (not necessarily for threatened species) are important, not for conservation, but for paying game wardens to protect critically endangered species. But in the same breath, they mentioned hunting for animals like gazelle or antelope, ie, animals a human would be more inclined to cook and eat. And worse, in one article, they discussed the hunting of these species (gazelle and antelope) on American soil, which is clearly not their natural home (I’ll bitch about introducing non-native species in a different post).
So, the meat of this (excuse the phrasing) is that an American female hunter killed a male lion in South Africa. I also read some feminist articles saying that if the genders were reversed between the human and lion, it wouldn’t have been an issue. But it would have. A hunter killed a threatened species; gender doesn’t even enter into that equation, so shut up.
I grew up in the farthest north of Michigan’s lower peninsula. We had the first day of deer season off every November, it was a veritable bank holiday, and we were always excited for our friends who brought down a buck. To me, this IS hunting and I will explain. Michigan has more deer than could ever be killed in a season. In fact, in northern Michigan, we have so many deer, people regularly blast them with their cars. The deer have even passed on Bovine Tuberculosis to cow herds in Michigan, which has led to the mass euthanasia of thousands of cattle because of the communicable nature of the disease. We have so many deer EVERYWHERE, we actually need hunters. We invite hunters because by reducing the deer population, we can begin to return our ecosystem to its natural state. Deer have become a problem because we have historically killed off their natural predators, bears and wolves. Though it would be nice to reintroduce wolves and encourage the existing bear population, it cannot be done because of the stigma surrounding these animals and the sad fact that many parts of Michigan are being developed into housing. In short, Michigan deer are everywhere, but man is their only natural predator and they can only hunt them a few months out of the year.
Deer season means venison to me. I love the stuff; sausages, tenderloins, stews, roasts, it’s organic, I know who killed it, skinned it, and butchered it.
Yeah, I know who killed it, she put her dumb face right in the photo. Skinned it? Probably not. Butchered it? No one eats lions unless they’re starving, and given this was taken after a fancy private hunt, no one ate any bit of him. They threw his body out, much to the delight of scavengers. This magnificent cat was struck down by some stupid person with a gun because he’s “beautiful”. He was “beautiful” because he was alive.
Hunt for food and never hunt something you wouldn’t eat. If you can’t use every part of an animal you KILLED, as in, ended its life on Earth, then don’t pull the trigger. And above all, never EVER hunt a threatened animal like the African lion, because one day, they’ll be gone, and all we’ll have are stuffed heads to show for it.