LIONEL PODCAST: Tears for a Lion But Nothing for Innocent Humans Killed by Drone

Felicide. Cecil the Lion, a much-loved lion who lived in a nature reserve in Zimbabwe, was recently killed by a human. That human is said to be Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota. Palmer is said to have paid $50,000 for the privilege of killing the big cat with a bow and arrow, reports the Telegraph.

Explain the mentality of grief. I wish I could figure out what actually makes people tick. And, more specifically, our schizophrenic relationship with animals. A lion is hunted by a psychopath dentist and the world goes nuts. His trophied carcass is displayed to the world and now there’s a bounty for Jerry Helper. Yet daily, our country and others involve themselves in behaviors that are beyond hideous. Women, children and old people killed via drone and hellfire missiles in Yemen. Not a peep.

Look around. Animal conditions at food processing plants and slaughterhouse. Not a word. Yet we connect in some weird anthropomorphic connection to a lion, the Twittervese explodes. Why? Why is that one example so horrible? Look at how we treat cetacean mammals at horror centers like Sea World. Whales, dolphins, and porpoises are cetaceans and we trap and imprison them for our amusement. These are truly magnificent animals with a paralimbic system that allows them to feel loss far greater than even humans. They are truly awesome, to borrow an overused word. But not a word or tweet. 

Anthropomorphic disconnect. But this lion, a tragedy to be sure, is just one example of daily atrocities that we either ignore, know nothing about or look the other way. Must we employ Ricky Gervais to point that human horrors exist as well?

It would be like killing our Lassie.  I’ve never hunted but am a lifelong supporter of the Second Amendment and an ardent carry permit advocate. I’ve been a plant-based vegan for years and I’m not one of those insane characters that normally come to mind when one hears the word vegan. Hunters I have found represent some of the most ardent defenders of ecosystems and normally evince a tremendous respect for natural habitat and resources. They are to be differentiated from those individuals who take some psychosexual pleasure out of the blood sport of deliberately destroying a beautiful creature just for the sake of its murder. This pathology enjoys the same framework is that of the serial killer. Gandhi said you can tell about a civilization by how it treats its animals. If that is true, we have a lot of ‘splaining do, Lucy.

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