Cecil the Lion Deserved Our Protection, Like All Animals

The trophy hunting slaughter of Cecil the African lion in Zimbabwe has sparked international condemnation and outrage. While not technically endangered, the African lion population is the focus of conservation efforts, with advocates fighting to have the species added to the list.†African lions†currently face†extinction by 2050.

Particularly egregious was the hunterís callous disregard for the animalís suffering. He shot Cecil with a bow and arrow, leaving the lion to suffer for 40 hours before finally shooting him and cutting off his head for a trophy.

Makes your blood boil, right? Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, while clearly not an animal rights advocate, was driven to tears trying to talk about this story, because itís so terrible.

A Care2 petition has been launched to prevent recurrences of this tragedy toward the dwindling African lion population. We should do everything in our power to protect them.

But Iím not going to name the hunter in my text or use his face for the image of this post. Itís too easy. That would make him the focus of our efforts instead of the millions of animals who need our help. The issue isnít one evil hunter, although his crime was especially egregious from an environmental perspective. Itís so much bigger.

Violence is visited upon animals every single day, and most of it happens behind a veil of secrecy. From leather shoes and fur coats to Americansí bacon and eggs breakfast, animals are bred, exploited, tortured and often killed for things we donít need, the same as that heartless hunterís trophy head.

Weíre conditioned by big business to accept the routine abuse of sentient animals whose only crime is being weaker than us. Capitalism has always tried to make excuses for suffering and force us not to view the lives of others as worthwhile.

Pigs, cows and chickens are intelligent creatures with the capacity to feel, just like Cecil, or perhaps your familyís dog. These animals have families. Their lives matter to them, like yours does to you.

While the death of Cecil is egregious, we should universally oppose the exploitation of animals. So, after you sign this petition to stop the trophy hunting, take a look at your plate and closet to make sure animals werenít a part of the process.

Donít believe the misleading ad spin that your eggs come from ďhappy chickensĒ or your dairy from cows roaming beautiful green pastures. They don’t. Besides, these animals arenít ours to use, and we should be leaving them to enjoy their lives.

One of my favorite songs has the following line in the chorus: ďIf you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.Ē

Instead of hating the cold-blooded killer who murdered Cecil and is likely going to face justice in court, take a moment to ask if you can do anything to make the world a little kinder for animals.

Photo Credit: ABC via embedded YouTube clip

161 comments

Eric Lees
Eric Lees2 years ago

Update:
"Zimbabwe park warns it may shoot 200 ‘surplus’ lions now that big game hunters are staying home"

"Bubye Valley Conservancy has more than 500 lions, the largest number in Zimbabwe’s diminishing wildlife areas.

It has warned that its lion population has become unsustainable and that it may even have to cull around 200 as a result of what is being called “the Cecil effect.”

Now Bubye is appealing for other institutions or wildlife sanctuaries to take some of its lions."
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/zimbabwe-park-warns-it-may-shoot-200-surplus-lions-now-that-big-game-hunters-are-staying-home

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you!

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Sailor Holo
Sailor Holo3 years ago

thank you.

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mari s.
Mari S3 years ago

Beautifully written article ... how so very true.

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Zach B.
Zach B.3 years ago

What these animals mean and why Cecil became iconic and why he is so important:

Cecil was a miracle from birth........ He had a 80% chance of survival when he was born and a 1 in 8 chance of making it to adulthood. And with Lion populations dropping by 30- 50% and his range to 22% in the last 20yrs. .....the odds were stacked against him. But he made it........ For 13yrs!! Most don't live much longer than that -- 14 or 15 maybe. He was healthy though. And he was still healthy when they took his life. -- Still producing offspring to carry his line. Still defending. Still looking after his young. Still the man. The ladies loved that dark mane!! :-)

I mean, why do we are we making such a big deal about Lion? Why do we care so much? .....why does it touch us? Why?? Because it means something!! People want to believe in something. Lions symbolize something bigger. He was beautiful!! He stood for more than just an animal. He represented ~ STRENGTH -- POWER -- COURAGE -- NOBILITY. A complex species just trying to live on this earth. Our own mortality is brought into question when things disappear so easily. People don't like seeing something beautiful destroyed.

See, what all these people, these Trophy Hunters, these Planned Parenthood discussions and human rights people, .....what they don't get, what they seem to fail to realize, what they don't understand, .....is that something like this Lion stood for more than just an animal. He represents

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Dorothy M.
Dorothy M3 years ago

Anne M., While it is truly shocking that so many of the trophy hunters are American, please do not suggest the problem is with the American psyche. The problem is with the ultra right wing conservative Republicans who are in bed with the gun lobby and consider everything and everyone a commodity in a survival of the fittest (i.e. wealthiest) free market capitalist scenario. That is NOT the American psyche. Thomas Jefferson was fond of saying that eating tomatoes was a far better choice than eating meat. These trophy hunters do represent the vast majority of Americans any more than the fox hunting upper class represents the vast majority of Brits. I did give you a star because I love your passion for the well being of animals and I love your squirrel picture. Please consider me your American friend.

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Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey3 years ago

How about instigating a reality show cross with the "Hunger Games", and put a crowd of these allegedly "professional hunters" into an arena or such. Last one standing wins.
And of course no animals will be harmed.

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Anteater Ants
Anteater Ants3 years ago

Like all animals, including anteaters!

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nancy deyarmie
nancy deyarmie3 years ago

I don't think I've heard it put any better than this. Thanks!

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S J.
S J3 years ago

RIP Cecil and all the innocent who died senselessly at the hands of the worst cruel animal name 'human'. trial the murderers, esp palmer, in a special jungle cell somewhere in zimbabwe.

always stand up for voiceless friends.

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