Trophy hunting, I just don’t get it. I’m not against hunting, quite the opposite in fact. I grew up in a house where venison often graced the table. Whitetail deer, killed and ‘dressed’ by my grandfather in our front yard, it was a regular part of my diet growing up and though it’s not a major part of my meal plans today, I still like deer. I’ve tasted squirrel (honestly, not so good) and rabbit and wild hog too (both = delicious!).
Hunting is not something I’ve done since I was a boy, not because I don’t enjoy getting up before the sun and tromping into the wilderness to sit still as a stone while bugs attack my flesh. Wait… never mind, that’s exactly why I haven’t hunted since the age of 14. But to kill (or ‘harvest’ as some prefer’) an animal in order to consume its flesh, I’m totally cool with that.
Trophy hunting though… this:
Why? Do these people believe they’re channeling our ancient ancestors, stalking and slaying lethal beasts? Are they heroes in their mind? I’m genuinely curious, what goes through someone’s mind when they pose for pictures like these:
Truly, I can’t imagine. And I’m no pussy, I love a good NFL game, I’ve screamed ringside at professional wrestlers and MMA fighters, enjoyed MTV’s ‘Jackass’ as much as anyone, but why do this? What does it prove, do people who do this feel empowered and if so, why?
It’s just an animal… a poor, dumb animal, one whom; despite whatever fantasies macho-men (and women) hold, means no harm to you or anyone else. Lions and tigers and bears and rhinos and giraffe just want to eat, sleep, have sex and raise their offspring.
You have to wonder if some of these rich hunters have perhaps seen the films Jaws or Anaconda or Cujo too many times and now fancy themselves silver screen movie stars. Maybe the Wisconsin dentist who payed $55,000 for the privilege of murdering Cecil the Lion saw the movie ‘Ghost & The Darkness’ and imagined himself a young Michael Douglas or Val Kilmer. Of course, the lions in that flick, and the real-life lions they were based on for that matter, aren’t at all like the lions that affluent hunters are paying tens of thousands of dollars to kill today.
The practice of ‘canned hunting’ big cats has exploded across Africa in recent decades and according to The Economist it now brings in almost a billion dollars a year. If you’re not familiar, canned hunting is done on private land with lions bred to be hunted. They’re cheaper, on average a ‘wild’ male lion costs much more than a captive lion, around $70,000.
Oh, in case you were wondering how much it’ll set ya back to murder an African lion born and bred for that express purpose, here’s a price list from a popular trophy hunting website:
Blonde Mane Lion – $16,500
Record Class and Black Mane Lions – $25,000 to $35,000
Trophy White Lion – $30,000
Lioness – $9,900
Really wanna show the world how cool you are by slaying an exotic animal but just can’t afford to kill a lion, even those ‘cheap’ captive ones?
Then try giraffe hunting!
Yes, sadly, giraffe hunting- for some unholy reason, is a real thing. You can kill one of these beautiful creatures for only $3,000. Real bargain wouldn’t you say? Or if you’ve ever wanted to blow away a horse but were worried about what your neighbors would think, try a zebra hunt for around $1,200. You can kill a baboon real cheap, less than a $100.
If that animal killin’ is a little too bargain basement for the big game hunter in ya, then try a hippo, they run around $10 Grand.
The trophy hunting of exotic animals, lions, rhinos, hippos, monkeys, polar bear (why, WHY kill a damn polar bear?) is a practice whose time has come. Let it end.