Trophy Killing Apologists Scrambling to Justify their Behavior and it Isn’t Working

"Cecil the Lion" by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia -
“Cecil the Lion” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia –

As expected following the news the last few days about the illegal killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe by an American dentist, the killing cartels and their apologists have taken to various media outlets to defend their “sport” and continue to foster the lie that it has something to do with real “conservation.”

One of the most absurd one that I read today came from a frequent apologist for wildlife killers, Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman. Barker talks about how the killing of Cecil was a “stupid act” but then goes on to espouse the “benefits” of trophy killing.

People who universally condemn hunters because of Palmer’s act don’t understand the critical role hunters play in conservation. The Safari Club, which promotes trophy hunting and conservation, suspended Palmer’s membership Wednesday, along with that of the guide.

The lottery held by the Bighorn Sheep Foundation and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game on Wednesday raised $62,000 for wildlife research. An Alabama hunter was the winner out of 5,855 $20 tickets for the chance at a bighorn sheep, a once-in-a-lifetime hunt.

Another hunter paid $100,000 to the national Wild Sheep Foundation at its banquet in Reno for an Idaho tag, which also benefits conservation. And another $100,000 was raised this year at the Idaho chapter’s banquet.

As usual the old “killing is conservation” argument is being used here. Us “anti’s” just “don’t understand.” You are right Mr. Barker, I DON’T UNDERSTAND. I don’t understand how someone can pay money to fly across the world to kill an animal. I don’t understand how one derives pleasure from taking the life of another being for pleasure. Trophy “hunters” like to pretend that they “care” about wildlife and their habitat. The fallacy in that argument is that if they are willing to spend tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for “conservation,” why do they need the payoff of a kill? “Once in a lifetime hunt” indeed because for the bighorn sheep it is their LIFE being taken in the process. The “killing for conservation” argument continues in the article:

Hunters are among the most active conservationists I have covered over the past 30 years in Idaho. They were on the front lines of the fight for protection of the Owyhee Canyonlands and are among the small group of sportsmen I see annual lobbying of the Idaho Legislature in support of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and habitat protection.

Ah yes, those “sportsmen” and their lobbying of IDFG. What exactly have they been “lobbying” for? How about one “sportsmen’s” group “lobbying and paying for trying to eradicate wolves from that state? From 2012:

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation leaders want state wildlife officials to get more aggressive about wolf control, and they’ve offered at least $50,000 to make it happen.

“We are not utilizing anywhere near to the fullest of what the wolf management plan authorizes,” RMEF president David Allen said on Monday. “The go-slow, take-it-easy approach is not working.”

The Missoula-based group wants Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to use the money to contract with the federal Wildlife Services agency to kill more wolves.

Is that the kind of “lobbying” for “conservation” that Mr. Barker is referring to? But no pro-killing article would be complete without the narrative of how the “great white hunter” has to come in with his or her big $$$$ and “save” the natives so they can build “clinics and soccer fields.” 

Big game hunters would pay tens of thousands of dollars to kill trophy animals. That provided an incentive for the village to protect the animals that otherwise were seen as threats. The village would spend some of the proceeds to hire guards to protect game against poachers, and the rest went for everything from wells to soccer fields to doctor’s clinics.

Yeah, I guess why that explains the massive increase in poaching and how many African species have been pushed to the brink of extinction in the past decade. Right Mr. Barker? I suppose like the NRA’s argument of “more guns” to solve the mass shooting problem, I can imagine the killing cartels and their apologists screaming that more killing is needed for “conservation.” No better analogy exists for this ridiculous argument than this one:

Killing for conservation is the same as screwing for virginity. 

I believe that says it all.

Throughout the furor over Cecil’s killing internet trolls and killing cartel apologists have been using the same tired line against those outraged over what occurred. They ask why we “care” more for a lion than we do for other humans? This is how I explained it to a typical apologist troll on Facebook this morning:

“Funny how there are so many people out there whining that “you care more about that lion than people.” Yeah I do. Cecil never cut me off in traffic. Cecil never hurled bigoted or racist comments to anyone. Cecil didn’t drive through my neighborhood at 3 am booming his car stereo. Cecil killed to eat and not for a trophy. Cecil didn’t use packs of dogs against helpless wildlife. Cecil didn’t start needless wars leading to hundreds of thousands of dead and maimed. Cecil didn’t wage war on the poor. Cecil didn’t try to cut the rights of workers. So yeah, I do care about Cecil more than most humans and I don’t care if that offends you or anyone else.”

I didn’t get a response. Shock.

There is no justification for trophy killing no matter how much blood money it brings in. If those that partake in such activities really “care” about “conservation” as they claim let’s see them cut a check for $50,000 or $100,000 without the bloody payoff. It ain’t happening.

Here are some other obscene “killing is conservation” articles showing up in the media:

Why killing lions like Cecil is actually good for conservation

Big Game Trophy Hunters Defend Their Passion

Other View: Those trophy hunters pay for game reserves

There are plenty more apologist fluff pieces out there if these haven’t infuriated you enough.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. sue hodges says:

    Just thought I would share. My ex calls trophy hunting and sport hunting ” Recreational Killing”. I would love for that term to enter into the conversation.


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