A half a million dollars has been raised for conservation efforts in Zimbabwe because the uproar over Cecil’s death, as reported on CNN.http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/31/world/zimbabwe-cecil-lion-dentist/ So the ramifications continue to pile up in the aftermath of this iconic internet disturbance.
Lots of people rightly are offended by hunting in general, which is the real impetus for the animosity being heaped upon a dentist from Minnesota who paid for a hunting trip in Africa. Whether or not he acted responsibly, hunting is a legal activity for those individuals that enjoy it. But the act itself is controversial even when done legally. Many people just find the whole concept offensive. Many people enjoy the activity and think there’s nothing wrong with it.
Certainly all of nature includes unpleasantness of one species attacking and killing another, and mankind with our smarts, is able to do that much more efficiently and effectively than the rest. When we want food, clothing, etc, we seek it from the animal kingdom no less than the rest of nature. Of course many object to this as well, but it is part of the cycle of nature. Mankind is a part of nature. We are part animal.
And as moral beings that make choices based on right and wrong, we are more culpable when we mess up nature, and should think through the choices we make about when and how we kill animals. It does deserve discussion whether or not hunting is a valid reason to take an animal’s life.
“Cecil was well past the average lion age of the wild,” one professional game hunting organizer mentioned on NPR, as if to say that hunting is moral when the animal lives past a certain age. But that logic could dangerously be used for human beings as well. There are numerous moral issues that should be part of the discussion surrounding the Cecil the Lion Killer travesty. Not the least of which is ruining the dentists livelihood and life with the barrage of social media hating before the man has had any sort of trial. A pillar of American justice, is innocent until proven guilty, which the media in general is guilty of violating, and social media that exists with hardly any rules at all, is capable of an awful lot of punishment that may or may not fit the crime committed.
The one moral principle that seems, thankfully, to be held by most all decent people is that cruelty to animals is wrong. Hopefully, even those who are upset over the loss of an iconic lion, can extend that favor to human beings as well.