Killing the King

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.

So that said, when did you last have a big slice of big cat steak with a side of potatoes? NEVER? And therein lies my problem with this idiot:Image

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.

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2 thoughts on “Killing the King

  1. I actually had this exact discussion at work this week. Game hunting and prize hunting are entirely different things and it drives me nuts when people conflate them. Great post!

  2. There is something so majestic about lions – they are the almost regal looking – like, the royalty of the plains – the kings and queens of Africa. Seeing him dead like that – for a photo op – killed in vain is disgusting, and – the only other word I can think of is degrading. It is degrading to see this top predator killed for the fun of it. It’s like seeing a 12,000 killer whale – the kings and queens of the ocean – jumping through hoops and waving to the crowd at SeaWorld. These animals are better than this. They are the most feared predators in their respective domains by the rest of the animal kingdom, and humans degrade their lives to nothing as if they meant just that….nothing. It is truly shameful of us as a species to treat animals they way we treat them. Great blog post – really made me think,..

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