Big Game - Big Costs

100619_142350_0.pngBig Game - Big Costs

The recent news of Dr. Walter Palmer's big game hunt and the illegal poaching of a popular lion, Cecil, is a costly adventure on several fronts.  On top of that, it's a shame, and maybe on top of that it's shameful.

At some point, aren't we - or shouldn't we - be beyond all that?  This is the 21'st century - we can follow the lions, photograph the lions, and share the lions with millions of others.  What kind of selfish, egotistically needy person engages in a big game hunt to kill the lion - a resource we should be more interested in protecting than poaching.  

We rightfully and dutifully gave up the hunting of whales, and that image of a maniaclly aggressive Ahab has faded into the literary world where it belongs.  Is Dr. Palmer a new Ahab? What does it mean to be a Palmer, selfishly taking that which ethically belongs to everyone?

And yet, the death of a lion is not the only issue connected to this situation.  Dr. Palmer paid some $50,000.00 for this hunt.  With so many people in such dire need in the world, could not that money have been more appropriately used?  If Dr. Palmer has that much money to spend on repeated big game hunts, I suggest he set up a foundation to improve education - both here and in foreign countries.

And yet, the case presents even more dilemmas.  American veterans often face a terrible plight - the costs of war are great and do not end when then war ends.  Dr. Palmer could have used his funds for any just social cause - and the American veterans could be helped.

And yet, there's more.  Unfortunately the news of late is filled with stories of police shooting citizens and citizens shooting police.  It almost seems as if there is an underground war in the urban world.  Could Dr. Palmer have done something there - even in his own home town?

This is an important story - not just because of what happened, but because it focuses our attention - not just on lions and poaching, but on the degree to which are priorities are all out of control.  These are not the best of times for a civil society.

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