A lot has rightfully been made of the killing of “Cecil” the lion in Zimbabwe by that Minnesota dentist who paid what to me is an exorbitant amount of money, but to him seems like it might just be a drop in the bucket in his pursuit of something he’s so passionate in practitioning.
A lot has unrightfully been made, as well.
Whether Walter Palmer, as he says, hunted and destroyed the creature personally knowing what he was doing was illegal or not is not for me to decide without all the facts. I tend to want to believe him when he says he was not aware, but that benefit of the doubt is tempered heavily by my inherent disdain for the “sport” of big game hunting and those who go to such lengths to participate in it.
At the same time I have little support for those e-vigilantes who are raging so vehemently and maliciously against him, making him the vilified posterboy of All Things Evil, until the next object of their derision comes along.
Where I stand is simple. I believe in innocence until proven guilty. Period. And I refrain from judging accordingly. And I believe in the sanctity of ALL living things. Period. The only time I will kill any creature is when it violates my “Don’t bother me and I won’t bother you” standard.
Case in point: Tuesday morning I came back from my morning walk with Susan and dog Ranger, and after making coffee and sitting back down at my desk to do my morning surf I felt something crawling on my left ear that I must’ve picked up somehow somewhere in route. Instinctively I swatted at it, and succeeded in knocking it onto my desk.
It was an ant. One, single, solitary ant. When I saw this, I felt a twinge of guilt for my kneejerk reaction, but, in fact, it had bothered me. Fortunately, whatever blow it took from me proved not to have harmed it in any way, and I stopped what I was doing to shepherd it onto a piece of paper where I then walked it out the front door to the porch and deposited it on the railing to go about its way.
Could I have squashed it and gone on with my life? Ultimately, after a period of shame and guilt, sure. But was it infinitely more fulfilling to demonstrate respect? Absolutely, yes.