Thursday, July 30, 2015
As I may have mentioned once or twice, I live in a rural area and my property abuts state forest -- or, more properly, a "state wildlife management area," which means a wilderness in which hunting is allowed. (In season, with a license, of course.) Hunting deer in the state forest is an arduous endeavor that requires considerable knowledge and skill. The land is rocky and steep, full of brambles and almost impenetrable stands of mountain laurel. It is infested with ticks, mosquitoes, and biting flies. The deer are elusive and they can move through the terrain much faster and more easily than humans.
Nevertheless, guys go up there and take on the challenge. If they succeed, they put food on their table. I'm all for it. I even gave my neighbor permission to pursue them onto my property. There are more deer in New England today than there were when the first English settlers set foot here. With the Indians, cougars and wolves gone, somebody has to hunt them. And hunting animals for food is the natural human condition.
Walter Palmer, however, is not a hunter. The technical term for him is an asshole. He hired some guys to lure a lion with bait, and shine a spotlight on it, so he could stand there and shoot it. Oh yeah -- it was a bad shot, and it took the animal a day and half to die. And obviously, he didn't eat it. I have no idea why anyone would enjoy this activity, and even less how anyone could take pride in by displaying a "trophy." Why didn't he just buy an old lion from the circus, chain it in his back yard, and shoot it there? Seems like pretty much the same concept. It doesn't matter to me that the animal had been given a name, actually. What matters is that the act was utterly pointless.