Portraying animals as being no different from humans is a modus operandi of the Liberal-left. The furore over ‘Cecil the Lion’ is part of a long tradition that attempts to de-centralize Man.
An American dentist popped off on hols to Zimbabwe, paid something like $50 K to shoot a lion and is now a global monster.
Yes, what I just said is correct and hasn’t been made up. As of time of writing, criminal charges beckon for Walter Palmer. The lion is called ‘Cecil’ by the way.
It’s not the first part of that opening sentence that is bizarre, however. Men often have something of a ‘Moby Dick’ complex and love to take on nature. It is the last part which is perplexing.
Don’t get me wrong. Lions are aesthetically beautiful, majestic creatures who we cannot take our eyes off if we see them in a zoo or on National Geographic. But they are also ‘man-eaters’ and I don’t mean that in the same way as the Hall and Oates song of yesteryear. Get alone with a lion and he will want you for lunch.
More common than the phenomenon of man-eating is the attacking of farms by lions and farmers in places like Kenya have faced criminal prosecution for protecting their livelihood. Presumably if a hungry person stole a chicken he could be killed. No one comes to Kenya to upload pictures onto Facebook of the native underclass.
Ok, you’ve got an idea of where this is going and probably suspect I am one of these climate change deniers who reckons we should squeeze the Earth like a wet towel until it is as dry as possible. Nothing is further from the truth. Humans need the natural world and must live in harmony with it. They are not in a battle with nature and wanton violence against Mother Earth or other creatures is something I would frown upon.
My point about the ‘murder’ (yes that word has been used) of Cecil is more general. I would accuse many of the so-called environmentalists, and supporters, of being less interested in the welfare of animals and more interested in de-humanizing people. In other words, there is a political element to environmentalist movements. Here is my argument.
The contemporary world denies what religions have taught us. Modernists claim that humans are not unique and therefore the religious position of ‘man created in God’s image’ is untenable. Of course, this runs counter to what we see around us.
One way of debunking Man’s sublimeness would be to ban all religions or subjugate the religious until religion only manifests publicly as dead and irrelevant houses of worship. This was done in Communist countries under the guise of defending rationalism from superstition. In more Liberal countries, where many share the same aims as Socialists (namely to re-distribute wealth by uprooting natural institutions), debunking Man calls forth a different set of tactics.
One of the most common tactics for Liberals is to raise up what has been brought low. This way, there will be no unique centre of gravity. Some examples can now be given.
Recently, some oxymoron called same-sex marriage was legalized in many countries. This was to de-centralize marriage so that it no longer occupies a pedestal. Consequently, the special union of a man and woman appears meaningless.
Similar to this operation, animals can be given ‘rights’ and humans can appear no different from other animals. In the Soviet Union, Stalin banned eagle-hunting amongst native Kazakhs and thus affected the Communist teaching on humanity on the natives. Similarly, in England fox-hunting (vermin-hunting would be more accurate) has been banned and the usual left-wing suspects have trumpeted this as a progressive step (it is definitely a step in the direction left-wingers wish to advance).
There are a myriad of other examples: the age-old practice of whale-hunting is now a crime. Song-birds that migrate from Africa to Europe and are killed by starving desert-dwellers are considered sacrosanct. As another example, albeit an anecdotal one, I was on holiday in Africa and witnessed the locals (who lived up a very cold mountain) collecting wood from a tree that was cut down. Some English speaking tourist had written on the trunk of the tree in marker ‘crime.’ Oh, if only the locals could freeze and save the trees!!
It is strange, but not inexpiable, for Palmer to go out to Zimbabwe and shoot a lion for no reason. But the furore is the rage of a mostly liberal and left-wing media. For them, Cecil the man-eater is no different than a human Cecil and it is important that all those who think that Man is a special creation get that round their heads.
For me, I believe we should respect nature but also recognize that it is not always our friend. The killing of a lion won’t disturb the eco-system however. It is insignificant and, in any case, animals do not have ‘rights’ in the way that term is applied to humans.