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Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Problems in Our Own Backyard:: Lions and Elephants and Children

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.


  1. No one has orchestrated how I feel about that lion that was killed. Here is my take on this: I do not agree with hunting, but I realize people will hunt for food. I cannot stop this, but people who do not agree with it have the right to state their opinion about it. What I thought was mean about the whole thing is this guy is the kind of hunter who is a trophy hunter, and kills animals for fun and sport. I know there are people who think this is okay, but I do not. I do not agree with what he did, and I think those who do not can say so and not have to quiet their voices about it. What I would not do is harass this man, like some have. I have heard about people going to his Yelp page and posting reviews about his dentistry based on his trophy hunting. Like I said I realize some people do hunt, but even if they do that, there will be some who do not agree with it. Also, some people hunt and have a respect for the land and animals. They hunt animals to eat and use every part of. This guy was not hunting an animal to do that, so it was wasteful. I think it is perfectly okay to point this out. It is not about saving every animal, it is about expressing our opinions.

    1. I support free speech, too, Julia, and I would never tell people not to speak up about an incident that matters to them.

      I have no interest in trophy hunting and would never try to kill an African lion myself, except in self defense.

      But it is a very urgent matter for me to try to understand why to some people Cecil matters and Leo does not! Because it could be Bow next.

      I am trying also to understand the sort of people who cry crocodile tears about atrocities in foreign lands and won't lift a hand to save men, women and children in a nearby town who are about to be burned to death by the government.

  2. I agree with you Aya - people tend to ignore the atrocities happening right here at home - people are starving to death, homeless, animals are being slaughtered at will by the govt., babies are being slaughtered by a govt.-funded entity, and the whole damn country is up in arms about a lion in another country - a lion they've never heard of.
    It's all about what the media and our govt. wants them to focus on...I'm sick of it.
    Can't even watch the news anymore. Couldn't believe the ho-hum attitude towards Waco, Ruby Ridge, Leo & other govt. atrocities.
    I need a dome to come down over Gobbler's Knob - as in the Stephen Spielberg novel, and shut out the rest of the world - for they have lost their minds.

    1. Hi, Kathy. I don't watch the news, anymore, either, but it is hard to ignore the FB and Twitter feeds. People's feelings are being manipulated by the media, and they have no idea, because their critical thinking skills are not in use. Maybe it has always been that way, but it's just so clear and obvious now.

      If you figure out a way to get that dome to come down, let me know!