Cecil the Lion Hoopla. Long May it Last!

I eat meat.  I wear leather.  I even sell handbags made from African game skins  (these are skins which come from animals that are also used for their meat, by the way).  I know and love plenty of vegetarians, but I also know and love people who hunt.  They enjoy it and I’m ok with it.  I could never do it myself, but I’m ok with it.  As long as they use the meat of the animals they are hunting. 

I, like many hundreds of thousands of other people apparently, am not ok with the whole trophy hunting scenerio.

I will never understand the desire to kill an animal for the sole purpose of decorating a home with it’s head.  Or taking a smiling photo next to its carcass.  It’s creepy, for one thing, to have animal heads in your home.  And doubly creepy to have a photo taken next to an animal’s carcass.  I wonder why people do it.  And much as I’ve tried to come to terms with it, I will never understand a person who can kill an animal for the sake of killing. I find the idea of trophy hunting abominable.

Though this is not Cecil, he was a spectacular lion I saw in a National Park in Namibia

Though this is not Cecil, he was a spectacular lion I saw in a National Park in Namibia

My initial reaction to Cecil’s death was one of anger and sadness.  I wanted the comfortable rich dentist to pay with the shut down of his business and was happy he was being shamed by the world.

But the truth is trophy hunting has been going on for centuries.  It continues to go on in Africa, Canada, the US.

During my years living in Africa I met people who were professional hunters or who ran hunting concessions.  They were nice people.  I liked them.  I couldn’t understand their chosen profession, but these were people from a different culture than me.

They weren’t bad people, they just had different values than I did.

The closest I ever got to a Rhino. Beautiful & strange. One of many animals that is trophy hunted in Africa & poached in Africa and in South East Asia to near extinction.

The closest I ever got to a Rhino. Beautiful & strange. One of many animals that is trophy hunted in Africa & poached in Africa and in Southeast Asia to near extinction.

In my travels around the world, I have been through many castles, estates and museums, many of which have trophy kills adorning their walls.  Chances are your ancestors did it, whether in Africa, Europe or North America.  I’m pretty sure mine did.  That doesn’t make it right, but back then it was accepted practice.

It is obviously still accepted practice among some circles.  Some people are brought up to believe that it is ok to waste the life of an animal.

But times are changing.  And the thing is now to change the times ourselves.

We were so close to this herd of elephants we could almost touch them. These gorgeous creatures mourn the loss of a member of their herd. Poaching & trophy hunting is devastating for those remaining in the herd.

We were so close to this herd of elephants we could almost touch them. These gorgeous creatures mourn the loss of a member of their herd. Poaching & trophy hunting is devastating for those remaining in the herd.

The negativitity and death threats, anger and hatred towards this one human being aren’t  doing anyone any good.  We need to redirect this energy and find a positive outcome to this horrible situation.

I hope with all of my heart that Cecil’s legacy will be that of change when it comes to these hunting concessions.  There is now a worldwide outcry about it, which is great, but please let’s not let Cecil’s death be a flash in the media pan.  We can transform these laws if we consistently make our feelings known to the governments who allow these customs to go on.

Here are a number of petitions you can sign to voice your opinion to varying governments that these practices should be banned.  Many of these are growing by the day.  Please add the power of your signature to strengthen our fight.

If we continue to speak up laws will be amended. Trophy hunting bans will be put in place and we can reshape the world of those without a voice.

Let this be Cecil’s legacy.

Petition to the Government of Zimbabwe to stop issuing hunting permits

Petition to South African Airways to ban the transport of trophy kills on their airline

Petition to the Government of Zimbabwe to stop Lion hunting

Petition to the US and EU authorities to ban the importation of trophy hunt kills

Petition to the Prime Minister of Canada to ban trophy hunting on Canadian soil