Why Caring About Cecil The Lion Is Good For Our Health

@Glowimages: Lion (Panthera leo) sitting in a path, Okavango Delta, Botswana
© GLOW IMAGES

I live not far from the Minnesota dentist/big-game hunter who killed a treasured African lion by luring him out of his protected national park, wounding him with an arrow and then tracking him for two days before finishing him off with a gun.  My British Columbia colleague, Anna Bowness-Park, helps us understand that the uproar (pun intended) caused by this kind of brutal slaughter, indicates a moral shift that can have profound effects on both societal and individual health.  Here’s Anna…

The senseless killing of Cecil, the nationally beloved lion in Zimbabwe by an American big-game hunter has provoked a media storm of angry protest and controversy.  Closer to home last year, Cheeky, a grizzly bear beloved by the First Nations who shared his territory, was shot and killed by an unapologetic NHL hockey star.  This angered First Nations’ people as well as many other British Columbians.

But the critical newspaper articles and social media frenzy in response to what has been historically a commonplace practice – i.e., hunting – indicates that these instances (and others) have awoken something in our hearts.  Is it that the senseless killing of creatures for nothing more than the purpose of sport is beginning to make less and less sense as we grow in our understanding of the connectedness and value of all life?…

Cecil and Cheeky may be rallying points for public anger, but there is no doubt that the moral compass regarding how we treat each other and the animals with whom we share this planet is undergoing a major rethink in Western society.  But does it have any staying power amid our flighty attention spans?  I think it does, especially as we begin to understand that how we treat each other and our fellow creatures is essential to both individual as well as universal health.

Please click here to read the rest in its original context…

3 Responses

  1. jean

    If only all these so called defenders of wild animals would only be so caring for all the children who are so abused physically and mentally, some have even died in MN, then I might believe they are so kind hearted. No protesters any where after a little girl not even 2 years old was stomped on by her mothers boyfriend which perforated her kidneys as part of her injuries and she died~~~all of the protesters are as disgusting as this murder.

  2. Joel Magnes

    I hear you Jean. Yes, all violence or cruelty against those on our planet who are vulnerable, especially animals and children, is disgusting. But I wouldn’t necessarily lump those protesting against big-game hunting into the disgusting category. There does need to be more outrage over all abuse and senseless death. The article above isn’t trying to cover everything, just some progress on the animal front. Thanks for your thoughtful response.

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