Every weekend the Irish country set get all tarted-up in blazers and bow-ties to go hunting foxes on horses. After their killing spree, they celebrate their murderous escapades with brandies and port down the local.
The majority of us don’t bat an eyelid to this weekly slaughter of innocent mammals – ripped to shreds by packs of hungry hounds. Why? Because dead foxes aren’t celebrities. And they don’t have names.
Especially fancy names like Cecil…
Cecil the Lion is still making headlines, weeks after a dentist from Pennsylvania did a Tony Soprano on him in the wilds of Zimbabwe. Presumably, the dentist in question wasn’t decked out like a meringue in a saddle at the time. The heat would’ve killed him, and possibly warned off the lion.
As Tony Soprano’s therapist would tell you, one of the defining marks of a sociopath is an affinity towards small children and animals – but scant regard for the rest of human life.
I find this all a bit troubling. Allow me to explain…
The global outpouring of grief over the death of one celebrity lion has been massive. Yet we don’t devote anything resembling the same level of sadness over the thousands of humans being murdered, raped, tortured and trafficked every single day.
So does this suggest we are a world full of sociopaths, crying into our cornflakes over one dead animal, while our fellow humans unfortunate enough to be born in the wrong time-zone suffer unfathomable fates?
Here in the ‘Free World’, American drone strikes massacre women and children on a daily basis, in the hope they might take out a suspected militant or two in the blood-soaked carnage.
Limbs ripped to shreds, children’s heads melted to mush – all watched on a computer screen by some military operator on the other side of the globe. Pushing a button in the Pentagon – as if playing the latest computer game.
Do we give that a second thought? Do we cry for those mutilated women and children like we cry for Cecil the Lion? Do we fuck!
And while you’re up there on your pulpit, try to explain the plight of one celebrity lion to the families of the 210,000 dead Syrians wiped out in the most brutal civil war in recent history. Or the families of the 30,000 Libyans slaughtered since Gaddafi’s dead head was kicked about like a football on live TV – while we all cheered and drank our brandies and ports.
We don’t even have to look to the Middle East for our daily dose of blood and guts.
Three people are shot dead every hour in the States. Even closer to home, innocent people are caught in the cross-fire in the murky world of gangland slayings. The most those victims ever get is a day or two in the papers. Then we move onto something more relevant to our cosy ‘First World’ Irish lives – like water charges and gay marriages.
So how do the Zimbabwean’s themselves feel about this global outpouring of self-righteous moral panic?
Baffled! Eunice Vhunise, from the Zimbabwean capital Harare, has been quoted as saying there are much more pressing issues in the country than a single dead lion. Life-threatening issues, such as drastic water shortages, no electricity, no jobs – and to top it all, a geriatric despot as president. One dead lion is the very least of their worries…
Yet the hackneyed old argument exists that lions are an endangered species, and therefore worth our tears.
Tell that to the migrants in Calais, risking life and limb to try and make it across the Channel Tunnel. And while you’re up there on your PETA pulpit giving your sermon, explain your feline-grief to the Syrians, the Libyans, the Iraqis and the Afghans.
I doubt you’ll get much sympathy for Cecil…
However, here in the ‘First World’ where we take all our basic needs for granted, over 100,000 Americans have signed a public petition to have the lion-killing dentist extradited to Zimbabwe to face charges.
The hypocrisy is laughable. In the space of five years, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum has recorded over 1,200 cases of human rights violations by the law enforcement agencies, including 363 cases of torture, 516 cases of assault, 58 cases of death threats, 399 cases of unlawful arrest, and 451 cases of unlawful detention. And that’s against their own people.
One can only imagine the fate of a lion-killing dentist from the States…
Yet 100,000 people from a country that routinely renditions (a fancy word for kidnapping) suspected militants, holds them for years without trial, and subjects them to well documented torture, want to send one of their own to a country with one of the worst human rights records in the world.
One thing is for sure – he wouldn’t be seeing much brandy and port over there.
So maybe those fancy eejits ripping foxes limbs to shreds are the sensible ones, while the rest of us sociopaths ignore human rape and murder, while we cry into our cornflakes over Cecil the fucking Lion…
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