We Need To Talk About Cecil

Heather Christena Schmidt said what I wanted to say about Cecil the Lion and how it relates to the bigger picture very eloquently. It saved me quite a bit of writing. Thank you, Heather.


I was called an idiot over social media today. Facebook. Comments. Big surprise.

I had commented on one of the hundreds of articles shared this week regarding the death of Cecil the Lion. If you don’t know what happened – i.e. you live under a rock – Zimbabwe’s, and perhaps the world’s, most beloved black-maned lion, Cecil, was shot with a cross-bow by a hunter that paid roughly $55,000 for one of his routine hunting excursions.

The details and the truth of how Cecil – a radio collared animal – was killed and beheaded are still to be uncovered, and the bullshit needs to be filtered out. The dentist who fired the shot, from Minnesota, claims that he was unaware it was Cecil, and that he believed he was paying for legal hunting led by professional trappers. But the semantics are muddied, and I’m sure it’ll be a while before…

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13 thoughts on “We Need To Talk About Cecil

  1. Killing Cecil was a horrible thing. I have never understood the need of men (it IS mostly men) to get their rocks off by killing — humans or animals. I don’t think it matters if it was Simba or Cecil. Or Bambi or his mom. So while I have a lot of sympathy for many victims of social media — particularly folks whose jokes get taken seriously and their lives are ruined — my sympathy meter is on low for the manly dentist. That said, I don’t think that the death threats, coming from folks complaining about a killin’ are at all sensical.

    But her bigger point, I agree with fully. Our outrage is selective. There are so many horrible things that happen in the world every damn day. And we let them. What is wrong with us? Or are we very much like the new head lion, perfectly willing to kill someone else’s cubs.

    Just like as a parent, we all have to choose our battles with our kids (and with our spouses), we all have to choose what we focus our outrage on. What’s most important to us. Otherwise we would all head for the nearest bridge.

    The cause du jour is one of the reasons I don’t do Facebook. It gets tiresome. I want to choose my own battles. I have many.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I think it is safe to say that most hunters are not impressed by the likes of Palmer. There is usually for far deeper motivations behind hunting, usually for the meat, for conservation purposes, as well as enjoying nature. Trophy hunting like that is the luxury of the rich and is a completely different animal than nabbing the buck to feed your family for the winter.

      Palmer does have a wife and two kids. He also has employees. I do have sympathy for them.

      I am with you. How much emotional energy do people have to expel that much on a lion in Zimbabwe when we have so many things to express outrage about over here? People are interesting to say the least. They give us blog fodder.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll give you hunting for meat and for conservation purposes. Enjoying nature you can do quite well without a gun or a bow, thank you very much.

        And I do feel sorry for the innocent victims in that story. All of them. Palmer isn’t one of them though IMHO. (Not that he is deserving all he is getting on this scale. )

        Liked by 1 person

  2. All those things are horrible, and they all break my heart. Frank Decaro, in response to the criticism of out rage for Cecil, when there are so many atrocities happening to humans, said “We can be upset about more than one thing. Outrage doesn’t have to be singular. We have the capability to be outraged about multiple things at the same time.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said – it’s obvious to me that the response for Cecil is greatly disproportional to the crime, especially compared to the injustices that get no attention or outrage. How many of these people even knew that Cecil existed before this?

    Hell must have frozen over because I actually agreed with some of what Matt Walsh said about this – he said (paraphrasing from memory) that it’s easy to attach to the Cecil issue because it’s easy to love lions in the abstract. Lions are across an ocean from us and demand nothing from us. Loving humans is a concrete love that demands that we do things and change things and it’s uncomfortable; that’s why people generally disengage from that type of love and opt instead for the easy, distant, abstract love of the clickbait cause -of-the-day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am completely with you, Athena. I am also worried that we are getting close to the “We know better what is best for the Africans than they know” mentality about this.

      I was reading about Botswana. They banned big game hunting outright and are gaining tourist dollars from photo safaris. Sounds great on the surface. But the locals are losing crops because the elephants are trampling all over them.

      People mean well, but create other problems with their solutions.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m proud of myself in that while I wasn’t happy about the lion being killed, I didn’t give in to hate and write a bad yelp review or call for the guy to become broke and homeless. I knew enough from past Scandals of the Week that more information and things to think about were forthcoming.

    [If it does turn out that he knew what he was doing was wrong and he did provide bribes, then I suppose shooting him with a cross bow and giving him 40 hours to elude hunters is only fair]

    Any given person only has so many F-cks to give. It’s okay to care about This Lion but not that Video if that is where your belief system alignments lay. It’s also okay to care about both the lion and the video. Or to not care about either and focus your rage/energy on changing Rape Culture, or how colleges exploit student athletes or [insert personal cause here.] It might not make you a very favorable person in the eyes of some of your peers but that’s life.

    What is wrong is forcing your cause on someone else and/or being so close minded in your rage that you call for a dentist to be lynch or planned parenthood to be defunded before all the facts are out and an impartial investigation is completed.

    These events should serve as a cautionary tale on not jumping to conclusions and following due process.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Some people are making a stink over privacy issues because the ‘big, brave’ hunter had his address published – all I say is – I thought he approved of hunting? Now let’s see how he feels being hunted… [ by the way – he may have gone down to his place on the SW coast of Florida].


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