Here we go again. This time, some dentist killed a lion named Cecil and the social media world is calling for all sorts of creative (and disturbing) punishments.
This guy does nothing more than kill an animal for fun, which is what every single non-vegan does every day at every meal, and he’s labelled a “psychopathic” killer. So, is it because he killed the lion himself that he’s a “psychopath”? Or is it because he did not eat Cecil’s dead body? Does eating the dead body make the needless killing okay?
To be clear, I am by no means defending what this guy did. Killing animals for fun is wrong. But so is killing them because they taste good, or their skin makes a fashion statement, or any other equally trivial reason we have for killing animals. We eat them, wear them and use them in all kinds of vile ways, when we have absolutely no need whatsoever to do so.
So why the outrage over Cecil’s death, and why is there not any outrage about the over 50 billion other animals who will be killed in just one year to satisfy people’s appetite for meat, dairy and eggs, things we do not need to survive? Why are we all getting upset over the death of one lion, who actually lived a pretty good life, not in a zoo or factory farm?
Cecil’s death is a tragedy, as was the death of Marius the giraffe. But their deaths are no more tragic than the deaths of other animals who die needlessly at the hands of humans every single day.
So here we go, onto another single issue campaign about an individual animal or a single species. And again, it’s about one single “evil, psychopathic” perpetrator who everyone wants to kill in revenge, failing to realize that we are all him. If we eat, wear or otherwise use animals, then we are all the dentist; we are all Michael Vick; we are all needlessly cruel to animals.
And again, raging over this single issue won’t create the necessary paradigm shift that will recognize animals as sentient beings who are entitled to our respect and entitled to live their lives free of being used as resources by humans. All it will do is get people outraged about this one act of violence toward this one individual, rather than helping them see the much larger picture, which is that what was done to Cecil is done to billions of other animals every second of every day for no justifiable reason.
I will keep plugging away doing vegan advocacy, posting this link on every comment I see about Cecil that does not have the message that all animals matter: http://veganismisnonviolence.com/2015/07/29/abolitionist-reflections-on-cecil-the-lion/
The Veganism is Nonviolence page is a great source of information about veganism. I encourage you to check it out, and please, share the link anytime you see outrage for Cecil in social media. It’s great that people care about this one lion, but they need to expand that moral concern to include all other sentient beings.