This Is Not Sport

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

Well, it’s pretty obvious to anyone who’s read my rants and raves over the years where I stand on anything that has to do with weapons that kill. I think back to the words of late comedian Skip Stephenson, who merely posed the question, “Who gets up early, drinks a beer, shoots a defenseless animal, then leaps up in triumph like he won some sporting event?” In answer to that, no one I’d want to know.

I can’t believe the gall, not just of Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who killed a respected lion (and with a bow and arrow no less, so the animal’s death is longer and more torturous), but of the companies who offer people like Palmer the opportunity, for a fee, to kill whatever animal they please. Surely there must be zillions of better ways to spend a few thousand pounds.

Even worse are the people that pose for photos on social media with their bloodied prey. Again to quote Stephenson,” The (animal) was just out to get a drink of water, it had no idea someone was going to blow a bowling ball up its ass!” These people pose with their dead prey smiling like we should all be full of praise for them. And what have they killed? In most cases, herbivores that wouldn’t attack no matter how hungry they were, so the “him-or-me” reasoning goes out the window. Amazingly, I’ve seen threads following these grotesque posts where there are people defending the smirking asshole with some malarkey about it being the person’s god-given right.

This is not some position I developed late in life. First off, I’ve never been a vegetarian, and more ardent vegetarians would advocate me seeing the animal slaughtered, in hopes that would put me off meat forever. Maybe it would, but I really like the taste of meat, and I’m not interested in taking it out of my diet any more than I’d be interested in visiting the slaughterhouses. I’ve always been repulsed by some of those butchers that display the entire skinned animal in their front window, head still on the body. I would never go into such a shop, let alone buy something there. That’s about the only concession I’d make in that regard.

My revulsion towards hunting goes clear back to when I was about 10, and a neighbor friend would occasionally ask, when we’re looking for things to do, if I’d like to go hunting sometime. I was so taken aback by the suggestion, I couldn’t even think of a rational excuse beyond “No Way!” I wasn’t even curious as to what he wanted to hunt or what weapons he was suggesting taking along, I just knew that going into some animal’s territory with the intent of killing one of them just sounded terribly wrong to me. The kid never pushed the point any further, but he did ask me on more than one occasion.

Perhaps the guys that go in for these “safaris” think they’re enjoying the spirit of adventure and the great outdoors, but why spoil it for some other creature? Yeah, OK, if a lion or some other carnivore is charging you, and you have a gun, I guess the kill or be killed reasoning begrudgingly fits into place. Certainly the cavemen knew the sabre-tooth tigers would kill them if they didn’t devise ways to kill them first, but that was millions of years before guns were invented. That was also about survival, and often the adult male went out hunting and never came back. The hunters that pose with their prey (and shame on you, Prince Harry, for your 2004 photo with a dead water buffalo) don’t often eat the meat of what they’ve killed, which makes the “sport” aspect of it all even more stomach-turning.

Walter Palmer could well be extradited to Zimbabwe, where the lion was killed, to face trial, and while I agree he probably should face some kind of punishment, it’s not going to change the fact that a domesticated and loved animal is dead through Palmer’s over-zealousness. He has sent out statements of apology for his deeds, but he’s still the most hated man in America right now, not just among animal rights groups, but by most of the civilized world.

Maybe I’ve just been preaching to the choir here, but hey, you redneck assholes, if you’re so bent on showing how rugged and macho you are, aren’t there countless other equally perilous adventures that don’t involve invading some other creature’s habitat? Sure there are, but for some people’s agendas, that would be asking too much.

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