Hunting Fallout

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The death of Cecil the Lion has many Americans in uproar.

UNITED STATES—Last week most of America was buzzing with the news of Cecil the Lion, a 13-year-old South African lion that was killed by Walter Palmer. Since the news reached the public airwaves, a lot of Americans have been in uproar over the incident. A huge concern is the fact that allegedly Cecil was lured out of the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe which is a no hunting zone.

I’m not one to judge someone’s extracurricular activities, but I don’t grasp the concept of hunting. Is this because I think it’s a bit unfair to hunt and kill animals? Yes, but at the same time, as someone who eats meat, how can I judge someone? I guess seeing those pictures of Palmer posing with the lion is what irks me the most.

To see him brag about his victory in killing a beloved lion is what is frightening. I’ve heard of people hunting deer, but a lion, the king of the jungle, sounds ludicrous. I mean, these animals can take someone out instantly with the swipe of its paw, and don’t even consider the possibility of the animal sinking its teeth into you. You’re a goner.

We’ve had every single talk show in the nation bring up the issue, celebrities outraged and the public putting Palmer at the stake. It’s gotten so bad that he has lost his business, he’s gone into hiding, he has received death threats from angry animal lovers and has sought out police protection. The question that has so many Americans in uproar is the factoid that more time is spent talking about a dead lion, then other issues that we have in America.

First, for someone to dismiss an animal as nothing more than an animal is upsetting to say the least. Animals are just like human beings. They live, they eat, they have families, they may not be able to talk, but they feel just as we do. I think animal cruelty is a horrific thing and any time I hear stories about pets being abused it sickens me to my stomach.

Second, this individual went to great lengths to make his kill a publicity stunt. Every single time I see that photo with Palmer and another friend holding up that helpless lion, it just stuns my heart. I keep trying to wrap my head around what type of person thinks it’s such a courageous thing to showcase such a level of callousness with killing an animal.

Hunting has been around for years, but even in America, there are certain laws that prevent Americans from hunting specific animals, why can’t that rule apply to all animals? What precisely is gained by someone shooting and killing an animal for sport? If someone can provide me with a logical excuse I’m all ears. I always wonder what would transpire if the tables were turned. If animals could talk and they started to hunt human beings; would we be in uproar about such a travesty? Of course we would. Kind of makes one think about that film “Planet of the Apes.” They always say art seems to imitate life.

Just because the law allows us to do something does not mean that we have to do so in such a public display to bring attention to ourselves. It’s one thing to hunt; it’s another thing to break the law while hunting. If Palmer is indeed guilty of committing a crime, he should have to face the music for his crimes. As I was writing this column, more news surfaced of another individual posting a picture on social media showcasing their kill of a giant giraffe. Wow, I can’t believe people find it so vital to post pictures of themselves of animals they have killed. Where is our society going?