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Jane Goodall Explores Trophy Hunting & The Ethics Of Killing Animals

Dr. Jane Goodall has been an outspoken animal advocate for decades. Naturally, she’s recently written a lot about the slaughter of Cecil the Lion.

I don’t know Dr. Goodall’s personal eating habits, I don’t know if she’s vegetarian, much less vegan, but she’s clearly not afraid to think about the moral implications of killing animals, whether for sport or for food. Here’s an excerpt from her most recent blog post:

But I simply cannot put myself into the mind of a person who pays thousands of dollars to go and kill beautiful animals simply to boast, to show off their skill or their courage. Especially as it often involves no skill or courage whatsoever, when the prey is shot with a high powered rifle from a safe distance. How can anyone with an ounce of compassion be proud of killing these magnificent creatures? Lions, leopards, sable antelopes, giraffes and all the other sport or trophy animals are beautiful – but only in life. In death they represent the sad victims of a sadistic desire to attract praise from their friends at the expense of innocent creatures. And when they claim they respect their victims and experience emotions of happiness at the time of the killing, then surely this must be the joy of a diseased mind?

There are many ethical issues, which we seldom face up to, whenever an animal is killed. For example, is it “worse” to shoot a wild boar for food than to slaughter an imprisoned factory farmed hog? Does the life of a wild turkey matter more than the life of a free range domestic turkey? Is the person who grants a license to the hunter, or the one who authorizes that person, or the one who drafts the laws that make it legal to do this, as guilty as the person who pulls the trigger (or fires the crossbow)? These and many other such questions are seldom asked. And when they are, they sometimes seem impossible to answer.

–excerpt from “Jane Discusses the Horrors of Trophy Hunting

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