October 5, 2015
Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire stated, “I am not a hunter; I have never intentionally killed anything bigger than a hornet, though I have been absolutely ruthless with houseflies.” Dr. O’Connell commented that this Dr. Walter Palmer brouhaha is getting out of hand. The crowds outside his private dental practice in Milwaukee were calling him a ‘murderer’ for killing a popularized lion on a recent safari to Zimbabwe, Africa. One of his guides had apparently lured the lion out of a protected park so the killing could occur. Given that lions are a protected species due to dwindling numbers, and the notion that he should have checked things out much more carefully before he pulled his bowstring, I think he should have been heavily fined, and he probably will be. But jeez, extradition, a murderer?
Do these protesters understand the realities of the life and death struggle playing itself out every second, in every corner of our world? Have these naive people ever seen videos of lions making a kill on a zebra or gazelle? Ripping the flesh of a still alive and trembling prey? It’s ugly stuff to watch. But it’s life. Have these folks watched that now infamous Planet Earth video in which a killer whale leaps out of the water to grasp a frantically fleeing seal in its huge razor-tooth maw? THAT is murderous stuff. Do these same folks concern themselves with the millions of slimy but unidentified bugs that smear their windshields on a warm summer night? Do they rue the ants they themselves put to death with the malathion powder they sprinkle along their home foundations? Or the benign appearing ant “cups” that invite the insect to carry poison back to their colonies?
I want to be very clear. I am much in favor of outlawing hunting everywhere in the world, except in those regions where wild game is plentiful and proteinaceous calories are needed. But, my rationale does not include that it is cruel and unusual punishment for a lion to accept an arrow to the heart for its demise. How could it get crueler than what nature stages? To have your neck crushed in the jaws of a lion. Give me a break.