Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Lion, the Witch and the photo!

There will not be many people who have not yet seen the photo below. This is Melissa Bacham, a USA TV presenter and proud hunter of what appears to be of anything that breathes. A massive uproar has begun since she posted this photo of her killing a lion in South Africa; and rightly so. However, what I wanted to discuss was the issue of, firstly how anyone could do such a thing, but secondly looking at what message this sends out to the younger generations growing up about respecting the creatures we share this planet with.

Melissa Bacham smiles proudly over her kill of a majestic Lion in South Africa.
Lets get my views out the way. I think what Melissa has done is disgusting and no animal should be killed, especially in this way for sport. It is not for survival or food, just a glammed up idiot who thinks pulling the trigger on a machine is somehow a thrill. Well no you are wrong and I completely condemn this action and the abuse and killing of all animals around the world.

I simply cannot comprehend how anyone can simply point a gun at an animal and end its life like that. Also, I do not see a difference between the killing of any animal be that a cow, chicken, dog or lion, but I have a serious problem when it is for photo opportunities.

The message this sends out to people is terrible. It's OK to kill whatever we like because we can. What about showing respect for a creature that was here before we were and will be here after we go (as long as we don't shoot them all before we disappear). People then grow up with this disconnect from wildlife and see it as a commodity to exploit rather than live in harmony with.

The Arguments
I am honest enough to say I don't know enough about the issues around trophy hunting like this, but it seems like the main arguments for are:
  • Brings money into the country creating jobs and funding conservation efforts
  • Population control as too many top predators can cause a lack of prey
  • Saves more lions as males will fight other males and if they take over a pride will kill all the young
  • Link for pro arguments click here
The main arguments against are:
  • Only 30,000 left in the wild and this is pushing lions towards being critically endangered
  • Most Lions kept for canned "Trophy" hunting are reared on farms or private reserves especially for this
  • The Lion's pride is destabilised and another male will come in and kill all the young
  • Hardly any of the money made with canned hunting reaches the actual conservation projects
  • The total lack of respect for such a magnificent animal where the main purpose seems to be to pose and smile with your prize, and the message this sends out especially to children
  • Link for against arguments click here
Instead of asking you to sign a petition or donate to Lion Aid, I simply want you to make your own mind up. Please feel free to comment or send me a message and lets get talking.

But please if you shoot an animal may it only be with a camera and nothing else. I could have gone in with a joke about a cannon camera, but I thought best not to.