I switched on the porn portal the other day, also known as the Islamic State training manual, and occasionally known as the internet, to find the usual keyboard warriors banging on about a lion called Cecil.
I rolled my eyes and carried on scrolling down my news feed of infinite wisdom but despite my initial indifference, I kept thinking about it.
My questioning mind meant that my first thoughts were to doubt the story, or to question the motives behind those making the story public. Was it another ridiculous conspiracy theory? Was the man in question being targeted for some reason? Was it photo-shopped?
You know what the internet is like – long gone are the days when it was just inhabited by the computer-literate, the well-meaning and the intelligent.
But it soon became abundantly clear that it was a true story. And at this point I must apologise to my fellow mankind, for I have used the word “man” very loosely in a previous sentence.
I am not here to judge or castigate him though, I will leave that to others. I want to question the relevance of the reaction.
If the lion had killed several African villagers, we would have celebrated the lion-tamer as a hero, would we not? So what was the difference?
That is easy to answer. It was hunting for glory.
So what about fishing?
I’m not talking about the trawlers going into the North Sea to bring back a load of cod (which by the way is a crap fish), but those who sit by the side of a lake and some days later, have a big fish on the end of a hook and hold it up to the cameras to say “wow, look at the fish I caught”. Is that any different?
And how about fox hunting?
Foxes do on occasion needlessly kill other animals such as chickens, so I can understand them being shot when necessary. I cannot understand them being ceremoniously hunted with their death being glorified.
Though it has to be said, I was against the fox-hunting ban, partly because I am always dubious about banning things, but more so because I saw it as an attack on the rich/upper classes of society (for which I definitely do not belong!), and I am steadfastly against any form of discrimination, which I believed it was.
Moving on before I am hunted down, why are people not in uproar about the government of Zimbabwe allowing companies to sell licences to hunt wild animals? You or I could go on one of these trips – just take a look at this website as one example.
Shouldn’t the fact that this is allowed as a form of tourism be criticised more than the scumbag himself?
And where were the keyboard warriors when the leader of Zimbabwe was slaughtering his own people?
There is an issue to be resolved here, and I hope the unnecessary killing of Cecil doesn’t go in vain, as the African countries allowing this form of tourism need to be pressured into ensuring it doesn’t happen.
Also there is a far greater problem, in my eyes, of the trading of commodities such as Ivory, and the animals that are killed for this reason.
You could ban it, but I don’t see the point. Cocaine and child pornography are banned in every country in the world (or at least almost all). They haven’t been eradicated.
I have the answer to neither to moral questions I pose, or the problem of the needless killing of animals, other than through greater worldwide public awareness – maybe, just maybe, the keyboard warriors have done the planet a favour on this occasion.
I am certain on one thing – any form of violent retribution towards the scumbag would be as disgusting as the killing of the lion.