Generally I like to offer my readers a fairly neutral approach to the topics I discuss. A balanced well rounded world view that encourages people to think for themselves and to view both sides of an argument with compassion and clarity.
Sometimes however I tackle a subject so fucking disgusting that no amount of neutrality is possible. Nor would I want to be considered neutral. Its the closed minded individuals who sit on the fence and refuse to consider the impact of the true atrocities in the world who contribute to the increasing moral apathy endemic in our society today. Sometimes it isn't enough to be objective, sometimes you just have to fucking care.
You can see from the picture what I'm referring to. The deliberate premeditated murder of a creature that this vile creature herself refers to as "Majestic." Certainly a lion is a majestic animal, possibly the most majestic of all the inhabitants of the animal kingdom. And like most of us, it does a better job of doing its majestic business alive than it does dead.
Melissa Bachman is a killing tourist, a person who takes obscene personal delight in travelling to foreign countries with the specific intention of killing the animals who live there. She pays anything up to $45,000 (that's about £27k to us English and incidentally about the average full time wage in England) for the privilege of taking the life of another living being.
Numbers of lions in Africa's wilds have reduced from approximately 200,000 at the turn of the century to estimates as low as 20,000 today. If we contrast that with the 7 billion people currently on the planet you could put forward a cogent argument from scarcity that murder of a lion is actually a more serious offence than murder of a human. The disappearance of you or I would hardly be noticed but, stats wise, one death in the lion kingdom really matters.
You might choose to argue that you and I really matter too. That we have friends and families, possibly even children who rely on us to feed them. Well I'd throw it right back at you with - so might the bloody lion. Ever stopped to think about that Melissa? Ever stopped to think that the lion you slaughtered for the thrill of your own cheap gratification may have had a family as well? It is naive to imagine there are no emotional repercussions to the animals left behind when one of their pack is brutally murdered. It is naive in the sense of ignorance because those of us who own animals and interact with them on a daily basis know better. Only the truly stupid would deny that animals have feelings. The truly stupid and of course the emotionally closed minded.
I'm truly sick of the articles defending this sick bitch. I'm sick of being told its ok because locals ate the lion. How does eating an endangered species make its death morally defensible? (And don't quibble about the legalities of endangered species, when 90% of your kind are slaughtered within a 100 year period, that's an endangered species in my book). I'm sick of being told that the backlash against Melissa in the press is a sexist agenda (What does it matter if a man or a woman pulled the trigger? The backlash is about the death itself and the shameless bragging of the killer, not her gender.) I'm sick of being told that the South African economy relies upon the funding of killer tourists. This is extremely offensive to the people of South Africa who have according to the World Bank - A politically stable and well capitalised banking system, abundant natural resources,and well developed regulatory systems." Oh and indeed a "Sophisticated financial and industrial economy." Not exactly the sort of culture that needs to go round killing lions?
But the thing that particularly frustrates me, in fact the thing that has me howling from the ceilings in rage is the argument that we should overlook Melissa's behaviour because according to Rebecca Davis in the Daily Maverick, the blame should lie at the feet of the African government for handing out "gilt edged invitations" to hunters in the first place. You know what, you could bombard me with invitations to go hunt lions to the extent that Hogwarts sent letters to Harry Potter and still I would exercise my right to tell the murdering bastards where they can stick their gilt edged invitations. And why? Because I believe in fucking personal responsibility, because I believe each one of us has the choice as to how we live our lives and that when we make the wrong choice we haven't got the right to go wimping out, pointing the finger and saying "Please Sir - they made me do it." No you sick bitch, they didn't make you do it. Nobody made you pull that trigger but you. You looked at that innocent animal, you shot it and then you posed for a photograph that you were stupid enough to share with the world showing just how damn happy you were that you shot it. You disgust me and you disgust any human with enough humanity to empathise with that poor dying majestic creature.
I'd like to say I hope you die horribly but I'm a witch. I think I can do better than that.
Here's the petition to keep the lions of South Africa safe from Melissa Bachman.
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