Conservation … A Strange Definition

Lion-not a trophyAt what point in the evolution of our vocabulary did the word ‘conserve’ come to mean ‘kill’?  I did not get that memo.  To me, the word conserve means protect, save.  A January CNN Special Report  carried the following headline:

Trophy hunting: ‘Killing animals to save them is not conservation’

I agree 100%.

zinke-1

Ryan Zinke

In December 2016, Trump named Ryan Zinke to lead the Department of the Interior (DOI).   On his first full day in office, Zinke rescinded the policy that banned the use of lead bullets and lead fishing tackle in national wildlife refuges. On June 2017, Zinke recommended that Bears Ears National Monument boundaries be scaled back. In August, Zinke 2017 added the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument to the planned list of monuments to be shrunk as well.  Last month, Trump, acting on Zinke’s advice, lifted the import ban on elephant and other big-game trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe to the United States.  Zinke, himself a passionate trophy hunter, justified himself against critics by saying that he had his best childhood memories of hunting with his father and that he was anxious to promote hunting for American families.  What the heck ever happened to family picnics and games of Monopoly???

trump-leopard

Don and Eric Trump … and dead leopard

Zinke recently established a new commission, the International Wildlife Conservation Council (IWCC).  The purpose of the commission?  In a nutshell, to make it easier to kill wild animals.  According to Zinke, it is about removing barriers to importing trophy hunting animals and relaxing legal restrictions on hunting and importing endangered species.  I repeat … its purpose is to make it easier to kill wild animals, even those on the endangered species list!  And in case you are not already mad enough, this commission will cost the taxpayers of the U.S. $250,000 per year … that’s a quarter of a million dollars!

Tiger, Petchaburi, ThailandAllow me, please, to introduce to you the members of this group:

  1. Paul Babaz, President of Safari Club International (SCI)
  2. Bill Brewster, U.S. hunter actively engaged in int’l and/or domestic hunting conservation
  3. Ivan Carter, Ivan Carter Wildlife Conservation Alliance
  4. Stephen Chancellor, Chancellor Foundation for International Wildlife Conservation
  5. Jennifer Chatfield, Wildlife and habitat conservation/management organizations
  6. Cameron Hanes, Archery and/or hunting sports industry
  7. Peter Horn, Tourism, outfitter, and/or guide industries related to international hunting
  8. Chris Hudson, Wildlife and habitat conservation/management organizations
  9. Mike Ingram, U.S. hunters actively engaged in int’l and/or domestic hunting conservation
  10. John Jackson, President, Conservation Force
  11. Gary Kania, Vice President, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
  12. Terry Maple, Tourism, outfitter, and/or guide industries related to international hunting
  13. Keith Mark, Tourism, outfitter, and/or guide industries related to international hunting
  14. Olivia Opre, U.S. hunters actively engaged in int’l and/or domestic hunting conservation
  15. Erica Rhoad, Director of Hunting Policy, National Rifle Association
  16. Denise Welker, U.S. hunters actively engaged in int’l and/or domestic hunting conservation

Information courtesy of FACA Database

cecil-lion

Cecil the Lion and Dr. Walter Palmer, his murderer

Of the sixteen council members, at least ten are known to have ties to Safari Club International, an international organization composed of hunters dedicated to protecting the freedom to hunt.  One ‘esteemed’ member of SCI is Dr. Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the lion in 2015 in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.  Mike Ingram, the ninth on the list, set up an illegal non-profit in 2016 that was used solely to sell access to Donald Trump.  Peter Horn, #7 on the list, is the vice-president of Beretta, a gun manufacturer.  Ivan Carter, #3, is a television personality hosting such shows as Dallas Safari Club’s Tracks Across Africa, and his own Outdoor Channel show, Carter’s W.A.R. Denise Welker, #16, killed an elephant in Botswana on one of Carter’s safari hunts. She received an award last year from SCI underwritten by the NRA.  Number 14, Olivia Opre, is a former Mrs. Nebraska who judges the televised Extreme Huntress competition for female trophy hunters.  These are not nice people.

wolvesDespite the fact that polls show that between 80% – 90% of Americans are opposed to big game hunting, this committee has been established at our expense to make the killing of animals easier.  Now, you all know I am an animal lover, but even so, just what gives humans the right to take the life of an animal for no good reason?  Who deemed that lions and tigers and elephants were put on this earth so man could take some perverse joy in killing them?  Frankly, the way I see it is that every creature on this earth has as much right to life as I do.  If my house were on fire, I can guarantee you that I would not leave until I had gotten every last one of the Significant Seven to safety, for their lives are as valuable in the grand scheme of things as mine.  Most of you probably wouldn’t go that far, and I understand that, but to viciously murder an animal just to hang its head over your fireplace and brag???

trophy hunting 2The United States is already the largest importer of hunting trophies by far, accounting for a staggering 71 percent of the import demand, or about 15 times more than the next highest nations on the list—Germany and Spain.  What, I ask, is there to brag about?  More often than not, it is not a fair contest, for the animals are actually enclosed, and safari guides lead the hunters (who have often paid upward of $250,000 for this ‘privilege’) directly to them.  Sport?  I don’t think so.  The lion, tiger or bear stands zero chance against a man with a huge rifle.  It would be rather like one football team beating another whose hands and feet were bound together with duct tape!

bearsThis International Wildlife Conservation Council has not one single member from the Sierra Club, from World Wildlife Fund (WWF), from International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), or any of the other organizations that actually DO work toward protecting and preserving the animal kingdom.  Not one.

elephantsI began this post with a musing about the word ‘conserve’.  I think I have it figured out now … it is to conserve/preserve the right of wealthy, arrogant Americans to kill the innocent.  That must be the definition Trump’s and Ryan’s slogan “Make America Great Again”.

Once again, I hang my head in shame for what my country has become.

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57 thoughts on “Conservation … A Strange Definition

    • @ usfman. I can not agree to equate the killing of wild endangered or extinction threatened animals with the eating of domesticated herd animals raised for that process. There is a world of difference between the two ideas. I do agree herd animals raised for eating must be treated with compassion and their lives should be made as comfortable and peaceful as possible. For one thing people don’t put heads of cattle on their walls along with the heads of chickens. At the same time those killing lions and elephants are not using the meat for food, they want only the trophy. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well, while I am not a fan of killing any animal, I do have less of a problem with it when animals are raised for that very purpose. Double standard? Perhaps. But to kill an animal in the wild just because you want bragging rights? No … just no.

      Liked by 2 people

    • We learn a lot by trying to be moral , trying to change our way of life to become more compassionate. It is an admission to ourselves that we fall short and that is just how character is built . It is easy to look around at the shortcomings of others and we do need to be aware of where we stand morally but we must always look to ourselves where we can make changes.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Dear Jill,

    These monsters like to hang out with each other. What better way than let’s go on a hunting trip. But what we are talking about is not hunting for sport but hunting for a trophy, a beautiful gorgeous creature that roams this planet.

    If I met any one of the folks, I couldn’t run away fast enough. You’re right to say that their stench is so pervasive. These folks are so un-impressive. In my mind, the animal has more value to the earth we live-in and I am so distressed that we have one of these monsters living in the White House.They eat their young, figuratively.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am 100% in agreement! I place more value on the animal than those who would kill him for no reason other than to brag. There is, on this earth, an ecosystem and each species, every plant and animal has a reason to be here, serves a purpose in keeping the earth stable. Jerks that think they are superior in this way are destroying that ecosystem for no reason at all. Wouldn’t you love to see them encounter a lion unexpectedly when they didn’t have their rifles with them? Hugs!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, I am not a hunter, so my perspective is from that lens. Hunting is supposed to be a sport, but these folks have turned it into a perverse ego feeding exercise – they must return with an exotic trophy. What bothered me most in a recent documentary is when hunters were taken on illegal elephant hunting exercises. Some would awaken sleeping elephants only to shoot them. To me, that sums up how perverse this has become. Again, I am not a hunter. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s just it … the animals are often in relatively small enclosures, sometimes sleeping, and the “hunter” has a guide with him who is prepared to shoot the animal if the big, bad hunter cannot, for some reason. It is no sport, there is no skill. It’s shooting fish in a barrel! And I’m glad you’re not a hunter!

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  3. I’m getting the idea that Trump must spend amount of his mind wonder ‘Now I’m hear what else can I do to upset those groups who’ve been so mean to me down the years….Ah I know!’
    Now we have supposed to have moved on and learned that killing animals is not sport….
    Since these ‘big game’ hunters would not look very nice in loin clothes, how about they show off their hunting prowess going up against ISIS in the field, I mean shouldn’t they be taking the war to these enemies of Western Civilisation? They could stride out there with their high-powered rifles……and……
    Probably need at least three changes of trousers and underpants, and that’s in the first day…..
    If they lived that long…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh no, my friend, for the members of ISIS might actually fight back! I can just see one of the Trump boys, or that Walter Palmer dude, up against somebody else with a rifle comparable to theirs. They wouldn’t really need those three pair of undies & pants, for they would die of heart failure before the first shot was fired. Fribbin’ cowards can only function in a controlled situation where they have all the advantages and are in no danger. And then they call themselves “skilled” and “brave”. B.S. 🐺 And y’know … personally I would rather encounter a wild animal or an ISIS fighter than one of these hunters with their big, bad guns. I can talk to animals, and I could probably talk to a terrorist, but one cannot speak to an empty-head.

      Liked by 2 people

            • I’d almost rather take my chances against a mountain lion than Tiger Lily on one of her bad days! She is vicious! Funny story … we used to have a cat named Pickles (don’t ask 😉 ) This was back in the days when I worked, so one day the maintenance dude came to change the furnace filter, and as he was bent over doing that, Pickles jumped on his back and dug her claws in! He went to my neighbors house and told them about it, said she was better than any watchdog he’d ever seen! Funny, after that they stopped changing our furnace filters and now I have to do it myself. 😕

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  4. Any who dabble in the novels of Jane Austen will know how well bred men often went hunting or shooting which goes to show a gentleman refined and of noble character can take to the gun.
    In this more transparent age we have learnt that intelligence and breeding or university education does not eliminate a dark side to many characters . Even those in the church or medical professions have fallen from grace .
    ‘ May the Good Lord the gifty gie us,
    To see ourselves as others see us .’

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It has always been a sport of the rich and privileged and kings along with Royalty have been involved for centuries. Prince Phillip went on a tiger hunt in India in 1961 along with our esteemed Queen Elizabeth. Darling of the girls Prince Harry went on hunting trip in Germany to hunt wild boar along with German aristocrats.
    Just to put the record straight cruelty is not a sole prerogative of the rich and famous . In Spain hundreds gather an a regular basis to watch a taunted bull die at the hands of men they call heroes. In the past bear baiting was a regular and allowable sport to entertain the public and dog fighting is still practiced underground.
    Do you remember Chicken George in Alex Haley’s Roots ?when cock fighting was all the rage although a slave it made him an important man.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Quite so. When I was young, my father took me to a bullfight in Mexico … I remember being so traumatized that we had to leave halfway through … it was a terrible experience and ever since, when I hear of a bullfight, I hope the bull wins. And yes, I do remember Chicken George. Sigh. So, what is it about mankind that gives them the notion that they are superior to all other species? That is what i simply cannot understand!!! It makes me ashamed to be a part of the “human race”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t mind them thinking they are superior as indeed they are in intelligence, but where is the compassion and the sensitivity to other breathing living creatures. I don’t expect my little dog to play chess but I find time to put the board aside and play throw the ball.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I’m not convinced that they possess superior intellect. Au contraire, anybody with that level of arrogance has failed to understand how the parts of nature fit together. Just my opinion, but I associate intellect with compassion and sensitivity.

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          • Jill there is a modern illusion about the intellect that the higher that faculty is the more compassionate the person must be. Along with this error is the idea that education is the answer to the world’s problems. Charles Dickens delt this a severe blow in his less well known novel Hard Times . The man of facts Mr Gradgrind learns by slow degrees there is more to life than facts.

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            • Good point, but … is not education about more than simply learning facts? Is not education also about learning how to think, how to find solutions for problems using thought processes, as well as facts? If education truly does its job, teaching young people how to think for themselves, how to process facts and information to find ways to improve such things as the condition of the earth, of living creatures (including mankind), then isn’t it the first step in solving the world’s problems?

              Liked by 1 person

  6. It seems tRump and his administration has brought out the worst in our country. He is a horrible base human and his ilk are flourishing in this time. It seems the very worst of humanity is pouring out now. How we save the planet and ourselves I do not know. But I can see that we are not as evolved as we thought we are. Lucky for us most of his kind in his cabinet are elderly, except for their children who continue the disease. Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

  7. There is no opinion, only knowledge. TRUMP, and I am not mincing with his name here, deserves to be lead trophy on someone’s wall, and each member of SCI and every other so-called “conservation club” should have their heads mounted on either side of Trump’s. THAT WOULD BE TRUE JUSTICE!
    And for the helluvit, throw in every member of the NRA while we are at it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • There isn’t a wall big enough to hold all those, and … can you imagine the smell? I wouldn’t want even one of those UGLY heads hanging on my wall … throw ’em all in a huge pit, fill it with gasoline and light it afire, I say.

      How are you doing, my friend? Hanging in? Hugs!

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      • Trying to hang in, succeeding sometimes. But you just gave me an idea! You want a wall big enough to hold all those heads… Let Trump build it. That would be the ultimate irony. Trump building the wall where eventually will hang all the heads of all the people dumb enough to believe him.
        As for the smell, well, I guess all the Americans will have to move to Mexico, or Canada, for a few centuries, just to get away from the putridity. ..

        Liked by 1 person

        • Believe it or not, I had the same idea! But then I thought it wouldn’t be fair to the people living in the vicinity of the wall, so I nixed it. And I’m not sure that either Canada or Mexico would be far enough away to escape the stench. Some of my Canadian friends tell me that some days, when the wind is coming from the south, they are almost sickened by the odour.

          Hang in … I’m here if you want to talk. Hugs!

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