I saw this beauty on my newsfeed this morning, and it really got under my skin.
Tl;dr version: lady who hosts a hunting show went to Africa and shot a lion. Buzzfeed writer who went to Africa one time thinks its “the most cowardly thing you can do” because it wasn’t a dangerous hunt.
I think this is a pretty non-critical reading of this situation because we kill animals for reasons other than self-preservation all the time. What’s the difference with this situation?
Well, for starters, lions are cute and cuddly looking. They aren’t like cows and chickens, who we not only kill all the time, but let them basically live tortured, miserable lives. As the author says, lions are basically big cats.
Killing ugly animals = everyday life. Killing pretty animals = cowardly.
The other difference is that we as a culture don’t like to actually kill animals ourselves. That is for other people to do. We can talk about how evil it is that they do it, but not acknowledge that this happens on our behalf. I respect hunters because I think it requires a kind of existential strength. You look at the bad parts of life with your eyes open. It’s not sweeping death under the rug, it’s looking it in the eye and giving it a name (or at least a face).
Animals that live in the wild are happy. Killing them with a gun is humane, they don’t suffer, it just ends their happy life.
Melissa Bachman, the lion hunter, has two moral advantages over the average consumer. The first is that the animal wasn’t treated inhumanely (compared to factory farmed meat). The second is that she acknowledged the animals death.
Unless you’re a vegan and equally concerned about the lives of chickens and cows, you have no place clutching your pearls about a lion. I think the more cowardly activity is eating meat without acknowledging what happens in order to get it on your plate.