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, 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.

Cheryl And 922,009 People Need To Get A Life

I got an email yesterday from asking me to sign a petition regarding “Cecil the Lion”. The email said 846,000 people had signed the petition which asks for “justice for Cecil”. As of a few minutes ago, that had risen to 922,009 signers.

These people need to get a life.

Trophy hunting, which Cheryl Semcer of Hoboken, NJ blames for the loss of a large part of the African lion population, is not the problem. Indeed, by putting an economic value on these animal, it has done more to preserve lions than anything a ban under the Endangered Species Act would ever do. It is the same with elephants and elephant ivory.

Am I the only person out there who has found the name of the lion – Cecil – somewhat ironic?

I would wager that most of the 922,009 people who have signed the petition never knew that Zimbabwe used to be known as Rhodesia. It was a country named for that famed British imperialist Cecil Rhodes. So we have a lion (the symbol of Great Britain) named for a British imperialist (Cecil Rhodes) by British scientists killed in the country formerly named for the imperialist (Rhodesia) that was forced by Britain to be handed over to Communist-backed insurgents who renamed it Zimbabwe.