The killing of Cecil the lion has been a virtue-signaller’s dream, a golden opportunity for people to flaunt their enlightened and compassionate credentials without doing any of the hard work required to stop it from happening again
Riding home on the night bus this weekend, Jeremy Corbyn-style, I found myself sitting behind a young couple sharing a convivial meal of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Between chicken wings and mouthfuls of fries, one of them opined to the other about how terrible it was that a human being could do anything so beastly as murder Cecil the Lion, an innocent animal.
“It’s awful, the man who did it should be shot” wailed the companion, as a piece of popcorn chicken slipped from his greasy fingers, rolled past me down the aisle and pinballed down the stairs to the lower deck. Casually imagining the execution of a man for the inhumane treatment of an animal, while devouring the factory farm-raised contents of a KFC bargain bucket. Sure, okay.
Now, I have no time for people who jet off to Africa to shoot unsuspecting endangered animals in order to mount their heads on a wall. It’s not real hunting, for a start, in reality being much closer to shooting fish in a barrel. Quite what such people are compensating for, I won’t begin to speculate. And of course it is sad when any great and noble creature like a lion is unnaturally killed, especially a creature known and loved by so many tourists and safari enthusiasts from around the world.
But some of us are starting to lose perspective over Cecil the lion, and could perhaps do with a quick reality-check. Take the people who decided to beam Cecil the lion’s face onto the side of the Empire State Building in New York: