Have you ever wondered whether your children, or grand children even, will be blessed enough to see the animals you have seen in your lifetime? Lions, tigers, gorillas are just a few in a huge list of animals that are critically endangered, threatened or vulnerable to extinction. Humans have threatened these species for hundreds of years; whether through changing the environment via deforestation and the creation of bustling, polluted cities or through hunting and poaching.
Kendall Jones, a teenage girl from Texas, has sparked outrage on social media by posting photos of herself standing proudly next to her kills on Facebook – all endangered African mammals. I definitely am not pleased by the images nor would I ever partake in such an act myself, but after reading through the ridiculously mean comments on her page, I felt the situation was worthy of discussion. The key issue at hand, of course, is the preservation of these animals. These creates should never become a long-lost memory. I don’t want to live in world without animals in Africa that sing “The Circle of Life” every time a lion cub and heir to the pride is born. “The Lion King” reference aside, I don’t think (or at least I hope) anyone in the world is intent on driving these animals into extinction.
The animals killed by Kendall and other hunters (who pay to legally hunt) are supposedly animals which are incurably sick or endangering other animals. The meat is used to feed the hungry people of local villages and the money paid by the hunters goes towards preservation. If these animals were truly going to die, perhaps hunting them and using the loss of their life to enrich others is acceptable. Then again, these hunters could donate the huge sums of money they pay to hunt the renowned animals to the conservation efforts, preserves or to organisations that assist poor communities in Africa. Clearly, they don’t do this because they are passionate about hunting – and the debate of whether hunting is right or wrong is ongoing. Personally, I do not like the idea of hunting but in situations where it has a purpose and the death was inevitable, I can accept it. By a purpose, I mean protecting the animal kingdom, protecting farmers crops or feeding communities. In these situations, death creates life – it allows other animals to live and reproduce, for plants to grow and for people to survive.
It is the proud smile on Kendall’s face and the ‘promotion’ of killing such animals that is the most troubling/disturbing part of the whole debacle – and it is the reason people have reacted so aggressively towards her. To be passionate about hunting is one thing, everyone has a passion. Many people post photos of their hunting achievements, but generally the animals they have killed are animals which live in abundance and the hunters do not have huge grins spread across their faces. I do not think it is right or appropriate to post photos of endangered animals that you have killed. No matter your purpose in hunting, it is not okay to promote the intentional death of an endangered species. In doing so, not only is she suggesting that it is acceptable and promoting hunting in Africa to enthusiasts, but also (unintentionally) drawing a comparison between herself and illegal poachers. Many poachers hunt for both the pleasure and the monetary gain. It is clear Miss Jone’s loves to hunt, I just hope she is doing it for the right reasons (if there is any) and not purely for her own enjoyment.
I’d love to know if there are alternative methods that would assist both animal and human life WITHOUT this legal hunting. Obviously, I do not support loss of animal life, particularly that of endangered species. Feel free to comment your opinion (agree/disagree) or any information you have regarding this topic, I’d love to be informed!