Why I Am Encouraged: A Picture-Free Post About the Dentist Who Killed The Lion
Recently a dentist named Walter Palmer made headlines by assassinating a lion named Cecil. Palmer did it so he could stuff Cecil's head and mount it on his wall, orphaning Cecil's pride in Zimbabwe and destroying some of the last lions on the face of Earth. It is my estimation that all of the big cats will be extinct by the time the youngest people reading this bear grandchildren.
A friend of mine pointed out the hypocrisy of people who eat animals being outraged over Cecil's murder, including his own as he struggles to become a vegan. This friend happens to be a gay male who was routinely bullied in the same backwards, provincial, suburban American schools I had the misfortune to grow up in. My friend felt he should withhold judgement of Palmer, however, I disagreed.
My friend was directly victimized by those who share an eerily similar attitude to Palmer's. In fact, one of the bullies who used to torment my friend, we'll call him Kevin, is a hunter according to his Facebook page. To add insult to injury, Kevin appears to be raising his sons to hunt and most likely to engage in the same kind of bullying of the different, the dark-skinned, the disabled, and the unique that Kevin did at age twelve.
Bullies like to torture anyone who make them doubt their own power. For this reason, my friend was singled out for his intelligence, his uniqueness, and his passionate approach to life from an early age. Cecil was martyred because bullies abhor the idea of a creature who could easily eat them for dinner, if only they would play fair by abandoning their manmade weapons.
I am glad to see the backlash against Palmer, who has been forced to hide like the coward he is. He has closed his dental practice and was called out by the likes of Jimmy Kimmel. With any luck, he won't be able to succeed in any form of business again.
To be angry at Palmer is not just to be angry at a single murderer, it is anger towards demonic, privileged, dominant male culture, a culture of hatred of the Earth herself and all of the animals who seem more powerful than the human male.
We have been accepting of bully culture for a very long time and it is refreshing that finally, and probably now that it is too late, some of us are becoming louder about finding an alternative. I'm even refreshed at the prospect of Palmer finding his next steak absolutely teeming with E. coli or receiving the gift of construction nails in his tires. Sometimes the only language a bully can understand is his own.
Mankind has always been horribly cruel and abusive to animals. I shudder when I think of almost any era in history, from our cave dwelling ancestors who hunted the great wooly mammoths and giant sloths to extinction to the 19th century, when a pair of human males crushed the last viable eggs of the Great Auk simply because they could. At least nowadays there is a bit of uproar about it, even if it is from supposed hypocrites.