This is my first blog post of 2015…I’m clearly slacking! My mantra moving forward is Must – blog – more. Must – blog – more. So here goes!
By now I’m sure you’ve heard of Cecil the lion’s death. I think much of the whole world has. Much of the whole world has also had a very distinct reaction to it – Anger.
But now I’m seeing and reading a lot of articles. Articles pointing out that most Zimbabweans are surprised by the attention this lion is getting. Surprised that so many people care that some random lion was hunted and killed. Articles arguing that those angry about Cecil’s death should shut up and focus on bigger priorities like world hunger or ending the reign of Zimbabwe’s current president.
I totally understand. I mean it’s just a lion. Right? Besides lions are known to terrorize plenty of other animals. Indeed where are the millions of people in uproar over the fact that Zimbabwe’s president is by all accounts a dictator? Where are the millions of people angry that some in Zimbabwe barely have enough food to eat? Where are the millions of people angry that some die from curable diseases? I raised this question with one of my co-workers and his explanation made sense. Simply put, he explained that it’s much easier for the world to be up in arms about an issue with an easy fix. Think about it, it’s easier to complain and sign petitions asking for Dr. Walter Palmer’s extradition and maybe even get it than it is to solve world hunger.
Here’s the thing, the fact that Zimbabwe has bigger issues than a dead lion doesn’t mean the problem of illegal hunting shouldn’t be discussed. It doesn’t mean it should be swept under the rug. It doesn’t mean the actions of Dr. Palmer should be ignored. By crying or saying that people should be more focused on hunger in Zimbabwe or the world devalues the issue at hand. No one ever say the nation’s president was a saint. No one ever said the country or our world isn’t dealing with major humanitarian issues. It’s just that, that’s not the point here. That’s not the argument. That’s not the issue at hand.
According to the National Geographic, “populations of lions in the wild have plummeted in Africa, from an estimated 200,000 a century ago to some 30,000 that live in isolated pockets.” The point is that if everyone with a knack for hunting is allowed to go to Africa or whatever country and hunt/kill every freaking lion, rhino, elephant, or other vulnerable and endangered species for that matter, we’ll eventually be living in a world where the only place we see such animals will be the zoo. That’s an issue!!
Yes, there are hungry children and adults in Zimbabwe AND all over the world. Yes, the president is a dictator AS are many leaders in other nations. Yes the human condition is deplorable in some areas of the country AND in other parts of the world, but that shouldn’t stop people from addressing illegal hunting/poaching.
Point is, silencing people who are angry about illegal hunting by pointing out the many problems in Zimbabwe or the world won’t stop or solve those problems…it just silences an issue that needs discussion.