Cecil the Lion’s murder was tragic and anyone who thinks it’s good ol’ fun to go out and shoot a creature only to put its head or skin on the wall or floor is beyond my comprehension or compassion. Yes, I’m outraged at the wanton destruction of such a magnificent animal, and yes, I do think the hunter and those who helped him should be dipped in antelope blood then air dropped into a pride of hungry lions, but I’m (almost) more annoyed at people’s knee-jerk reaction to the killing.
Don’t get me wrong; the world has a right to be angry, but getting angry over the death of a lion (or giraffe or rhino) for a week or so isn’t enough, and in some cases is a bit hypocritical for those who promote (knowingly or not) the harm of other, less glamorous animals.
Basically what I’m saying is, have you looked in the mirror lately?
Go on look and ask yourself these questions…
- Do you support entertainments that harm or exploit animals such as bullfighting, running with the bulls, rodeos. circuses, for-profit zoos and aquariums?
- Do you make the effort to purchase hair care products, skin care products, cosmetics., and perfumes that are not tested on animals?
- Do you support businesses that destroy habitat, get their meat from CAFOs, or whose suppliers make regular use of pesticides?
- Do you get your pets from animal shelters or do you head off to a breeder? And if you do use a breeder, are you really really really ensuring their animals are treated properly?
Now, I don’t want to go all PETA on you, but you can’t get outraged over the suffering of one animal then turn around and brush on mascara that was jabbed into the eye of a bunny while you’re sipping your coffee under the Golden Arches as you bide your time before the aquarium that illegally harvests its specimens opens.
That’s hypocritical. VERY hypocritical.
In America (and many other places around the world), we vote with our dollars (or euro, or yen or whatever). Every dollar that is snatched from the hands of animal baddies and placed in the hands of companies that strive toward promoting animal welfare (and the health of the environment in general) is a very good thing that helps alleviate cruelty to our fellow beasties.
It’s not easy. Believe me, as now make every effort to ban from the house all beauty products made by companies that test on animals and aim to give my restaurant dollars to places that (mostly) use reputable and sustainable sources, I can tell you it takes a bit of research before shopping or dining out and it can be a pain in the ass, but the emotional rewards are definitely worth it.
Think about it, even if you’re getting a vegetarian item at a fast food restaurant that uses factory farms where critters suffer for months, you ARE supporting animal cruelty by giving that establishment your money just as much as a trophy hunter going out to bag himself a lion’s head.
So go ahead, you should be angry over Cecil’s death. You should sign petitions to ban trophy hunting. You should applaud airlines who refuse to allow “trophies” onto their planes. You should be concerned about the plight of elephants and rhinos and make donations (if you can) to animal welfare societies.
But to really make a difference, to really alleviate animal suffering, you also need to do your part every day.
Where to start…
- ASPCA – 10 WAYS YOU CAN FIGHT ANIMAL CRUELTY.
- Leaping Bunny (great source for a wide range of household and beauty products that haven’t been tested on animals).
- Paula’s Choice – Animal Testing Report Card (a quick and simple resource for who does and doesn’t their beauty products on animals)
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TAMMIE PAINTER IS THE AUTHOR OF THE TRIALS OF HERCULES: BOOK ONE OF THE OSTERIA CHRONICLES AND AN ARTIST WHO DEDICATES HERSELF TO THE TEDIUM OF CREATING IMAGES WITH COLORED PENCILS.