Today I Learned…

Today I learned, by reading academic literature, that by engaging in trophy hunting or merely desiring to do so, I am:

  • Engaging in male supremacy by seeking a trophy of my “conquest”
  • Taking part in an ongoing rehearsal of Western imperialist history
  • Seeking to subjugate and conquer “subhuman” (their words) indigenous peoples
  • Partaking in perpetuating the racist and sexual norms of oppression and social exclusion
  • A human supremacist
  • Not a conservationist
  • Alarming and social reprehensible
  • Violating the dignity of nonhuman animals
  • Entrenching my Western narrative of supremacy which is underpinned by my chauvinistic, colonialist and crudely utilitarian anthropocentric attitude.

​Who would have thought I was “guilty” of all of that just for wanting to go on a once-in-a-lifetime hunting trip to Africa.

Evidently, that is the opinion of Dr. Chelsea Batavia, a postdoc fellow in the Dept of Forest Ecosystems and Society, at Oregon State University

The paper, The Elephant (Head) in the Room, can be found here.

This same lead author also thinks tsetse fly eradication is not ethically justified. This is despite almost 70 million Africans who are at risk for sleeping sickness. The disease, by the way, is fatal without treatment.

Batavia was also one of the star’s of the anti-hunting Humane Society of the US’s YouTube diatribe on trophy hunting.

At Academia.edu, I subscribe to be notified of articles about wildlife conservation, Africa, and trophy hunting. Most articles are much different but I do find it instructive to know what is going on in academia as they are teaching (supposedly) the next generation of wildlife biologists.

Trophy Hunting Helps African Animal Populations

The British publication The Economist just produced a very interesting video on trophy hunting in Namibia. It makes the point that hunters and their money pays for conservation, provides meat to local communities, and provides an economic incentive to stop poaching and overgrazing.

You may not agree with trophy hunting and that is your right. However, bans on trophy imports, public shaming of hunters, and calls for banning it outright will eventually lead to the extinction of many species. Putting an economic value on wild animals, regulated hunting, and hunter-funded anti-poaching efforts have been shown to work.

Dallas Safari Club Celebrates 40 Years

The Dallas Safari Club will be celebrating their 40th anniversary in January with the DSC Convention. The convention will be held January 6-9 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

In preparation for this event, they have released a short video showing their progress since 1982.

I have never been to a convention like this and hope to attend in January. My dream is to do a plains game hunt in either Namibia or South Africa in 2023. I grew up reading Hemingway and Ruark. While a two month safari in Kenya aka British East Africa is a thing of the past, a plains game hunt is not and actually can be cheaper than an elk hunt in Colorado.

Safari Club International Adopts Policy On Captive Bred Lion Hunting

The Safari Club International is one of the leading organizations concerned with wildlife conservation in Africa. They work closely with both African governments and game managers on issue related to the conservation of big game on the Dark Continent. Thus, when they adopt a policy concerning the hunting of captive bred lions, it is news.

Their policy, in short, is that they oppose hunting captive bred lions. SCI conventions, other gatherings, and their magazine are perhaps the biggest way that African outfitters reach American hunters. Given this, SCI’s refusal to let those who promote the hunting of captive bred lions to participate in those events is a big stick.

From SCI’s release:

Considering
that the practice of the captive breeding of lions for the purpose of
hunting has doubtful value to the conservation of lions in the wild, and
considering that such hunting is not consistent with SCI’s criteria for
estate hunting, the SCI Board has adopted the following policy:
  • SCI opposes the hunting of African lions bred in captivity.
  • This
    policy takes effect on February 4, 2018 and applies to hunts taking
    place after adoption of this policy and to any Record Book entry related
    to such hunts.
  • SCI
    will not accept advertising from any operator for any such hunts, nor
    will SCI allow operators to sell hunts for lions bred in captivity at
    the SCI Annual Hunters’ Convention.