Monday, 3 August 2015

On #CecilTheLion, It Is Time To Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is

Gosh. The articles, blogs and tweets on the agonising death of Cecil the lion have been voluminous (and varied). From hate pieces against the barbarian(s) that caused his death (you might be starting to get a feel for how I feel about this), through the "Twitter mobs are evil" articles and the "You eat meat so don't be a hypocrite!" and out to pieces on the evil of white people and how the trophy hunting industry is a boon to needy Africans.

I'm not here to deal with any of that though. There are more than enough foul-mouthed folks out there after the blood of Walter Palmer (and other trophy hunters). There are more than enough people spot on about the evils of social media hate mobs and how helpful any financial input into some African economies can be.

No I'm here to talk directly to the people who stand on the principle that killing endangered (or at least at risk) animals for fun is morally different to killing for food or population control but don't like being too mean to others and want to do something positive instead.

We'll never stop trophy hunting (and poaching for other purposes such as supply the Chinese "medicinal" industry) if we don't think about how we can stop the reliance on this trade of the local people in the areas concerned and deal with their concerns and issues (like predation of livestock and damage and danger to life and property from the local megafauna). And that is why, if you really care about African megafauna, you need to put your money where your heart is... If you aren't already start donating to one of the many good conservation organisations working in Africa.

I've joined the Born Free Foundation today. Partly because I find their approach to be right and partly because I remember buying a few Born Free books as a kid as a jumble sale and falling in love with Elsa.

Yes we can all sit around waving our virtual pitchforks and call for the death of a total stranger. But if we can start funding organisations on the ground who can help change things for the better for the people and animals of Africa then we'll really make a difference (and honour the story of Cecil the lion).

Let's make Cecil the Elsa of this generation and push forward with making our world a little nicer for everyone and everything.


Bill said...

I've not commented at all on this news item so far and apart from commenting on this article have no intention of adding to the hysteria, except to wonder at the lack of analysis of the role of the [massively corrupt and kleptocratic] Zimbabwean authorities.

Bill said...

Here's a comment I've just read in my Facebook timeline which I think puts recent news reporting about Zimbabwe in context:

"I wanted to take a second to address this Cecil the Lion topic. I was lucky to grow up in a country (Zimbabwe) that had a rich safari wild life and for that I am very grateful. HOWEVER, while still saddened by this topic, It's heartbreaking to think that over night, an uproar of hate and sadness swept social media over the death of this Zimbabwean lion, when, over the past 30 years, thousands of people from the very same country have been, and still are being, brutally murdered. It's a shame to think that it took the death of a lion for the world to notice Zimbabwe - And still have yet to notice the mass murders and brutal inhuman actions that take place against Zimbabweans of all ages, sexes and races. It's still unclear to me how all these deaths of human beings go unnoticed or are disregarded, but the death of an animal makes the number 1 trending topic in the world. It is also a tad bit annoying that Walter Palmer, who thought he was acting legally and under law, is targeted with so much hatred over this ONE act, when hundreds of poachers, who slaughter endangered animals BY THE DOZEN, go unnoticed - for example: the same week Cecil was killed, 5 endangered elephants were killed in Kenya by poachers, yet no trending topic there. Instead of taking your time to hashtag 'Kill Walter Palmer' or 'Fighting for Cecil', how about you use your energy to fight for the people of Zimbabwe who don't have a voice, to fight for the hundreds of farmers and the thousands of citizens that have been murdered at the hand of the dictatorship they call government. My family was lucky enough to move to Canada, a country I am so proud to call my home. One day, I would like to go back to where I was born, but only if the world can help bring attention to the fragile country that is Zimbabwe.

Help the world hear about the true state of Zimbabwe - share if you'd like!

Thanks for reading!