I believe that we are each responsible for what goes on in our own backyards and that we should stay out of other people's business. This includes taking care of our own animals, our own children and our own lawn chores, and staying on our own side of the fence, even if we disagree with how someone else is gardening, pruning, raising his own children or training his dog. It also means that we should come to the defense of our neighbors when they are under attack by outsiders -- even the government -- but we should not intervene in domestic disputes on the other side of the fence. This is the essence of being a good neighbor.
Somebody killed a lion in Zimbabwe -- and people who pretend to be animal lovers are up in arms and asking for his head. But when the government of the State of Ohio confiscated, killed and then dissolved the corpse of an American lion, there was no such outrage. Nobody is calling for the death of the head of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
What is the difference? In the one case, it was a lion far away killed by a hunter. In the other case, it was a lion owned by an American and killed by the government. Why is it that the case of Leo the Lion has provoked no outrage? Is somebody orchestrating the public's feelings?
I remember a similar situation back in 1993, only it did not involve lions. It was about men, women and children. The government of the United States laid siege to the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, and in the name of saving children, burned the place to the ground with all the men, women and children inside it.
At about the same time, a lot of bad things were happening to people in Bosnia.
But most of the intelligent, intellectual and "enlightened" I knew at the time, who lived in Houston, Texas and went to Rice University, were enraged about the atrocities in Bosnia, which were far, far away, and they did not care at all what was happening in their own backyard, in Waco, Texas, which was only a three hour drive away. They could have saved the children at Mt. Carmel, whereas they could have done nothing about the people in Bosnia. I am not saying what was happening in Bosnia was good, but it wasn't our business. What happened in Waco was our business, because it was our government that was doing it, using agents hired with our money and weapons bought with our taxes -- and they were doing it in our name!
The principle in both cases is the same: We are responsible for what happens to American children and American lions and tigers and chimpanzees, when it is our government that is doing it. We are not responsible for what happens overseas.
Many animals are on the verge of extinction in Africa. There is nothing we can do about it. But we can stop making it hard for those private people who keep these animals and breed them and help them thrive here in the United States at their own expense and using their own means.
We can't save every child and every animal in the world. But what we can and should do is prevent our tax money from being used to keep American citizens from taking care of their own animals and their own children using their own funds. We should do this, because it is happening in our own backyard, and we have the means to stop it. And if we don't stop it, we are part of the problem.