A couple of days ago, I saw this piece on BBC News about lions being bred specifically to be hunted and killed, mostly by foreigners, who pay thousands of dollars for the privilege; and of course to take home a ‘trophy’ in the form of the beautiful animal’s head.
From the research I have done, I am, of course, appalled and disgusted that these majestic animals are being used in this way. It sickens me that anyone would want to pay money to shoot such a beautiful creature.
I bet you can feel the ‘but’ coming… here it is:
But, I can’t help feeling uncomfortable hearing the similarity in the language used to describe this horrible act, and that used to describe practices of breeding animals within the meat industry.
For example, “these lions are bred in captivity with the sole purpose of being taken out onto hunting lodges, and shot by hunters.”
This is obviously a sentence in the BBC News report meant to shock and disgust the viewer.
I would argue however that just by changing a few words, it would have a totally different impact. Let’s say, “these pigs are bred in captivity for the sole purpose of being taken out into slaughterhouses, and killed for their meat.” This is just what happens, right? Because it’s a pig and not a lion, we aren’t shocked or disgusted, we just accept that that is true.
Now I know many people will say it’s different because the pig meat is going to be eaten and therefore not wasted. But the lions’ fur and bones are all used and sold to make a profit for the breeders (sold in Asia to make medicine, wine and even cakes?): it’s not just the head that gets ‘used’.
So is it really any different? Is it right that outrage and disgust is directed towards one and not the other? Particularly when the one we ignore/accept is happening in our country.
Is this controversial? I don’t know, probably. I hope I’ve put my thoughts across in a way that makes sense, I wanted to keep it brief, especially as it is an opinion piece from someone that has pretty limited knowledge on the subject.
Let me know your thoughts! My next post will be less upsetting, I promise. 🙂