I don't care what the law says - I DO NOT recognise big game hunting as 'legal'. Laws maintain peace and order and shooting a lion for fun does not fall in to that category. In fact, I cannot believe such laws exist in the first place other than to perpetuate a centuries old paradigm that has no place in 21st Century thinking and the subsequent evolution of understanding and reasoning.
Probably like you, I wanted to vomit when I heard about Cecil the Lion. Seriously, it was such an appalling indictment of Man's utter disrespect for living things that I could barely believe it was real. I was furious, upset, depressed and despondent all in one very shitty mega-emotion which I wouldn't want to wish upon anyone (but yet we all shared). The online witch-hunt for Walter James Palmer was entirely justified and long may it continue. Importantly, I don't want any physical harm to come to the man; I just want him to experience life at the epicentre of global condemnation. I want him to reflect upon his standing in the world and the foul right he has bestowed upon himself as a man who gradually rids the planet of the magnificent beasts we love. But more than that, I want his actions to be the catalyst for something positive. Already, people are turning to the Born Free Foundation, for example, to learn more about people like him and the impact they have. Great organisations and charities are being inundated by sickened people whose attention has been focussed on something we need to purge from our world. That's a good thing.
But the naming and shaming of Walter Palmer has done something else. It has set a precedent to say that hunters can no longer hide under a veil of secrecy while they conduct such a destructive and vile part of their lives. I have the greatest respect for the Zimbabwean authorities who released his name because in doing so, they shifted the rules of a game that was once weighted in favour of the hunter. Unless they were an ego fuelled and celebrity hungry big-game killer (Kendall Jones, I'm talking about you...not that you care), these hunters could go about their business in relative obscurity with total impunity. Now, however, that's not the case. And for many, the prospect of being hauled in front of the World's media and placing their livelihood in jeopardy might just be enough to stop them picking up a bow. The need to kill big-game for the purposes of entertainment and trophy gathering surely points to a serious physiological anomaly. But, for hunters to be publicly exposed as having that psychological anomaly? Surely that's something they won't want. OK, some of them are so stoically pompous and ego-fuelled that it will be just another bunch of 'liberal' voices in the wind which they'll try and ignore. So, let's try and make the voices as hard to overlook as possible. Let's make the whole idea of hunting so socially unacceptable that to even consider it risks the loss of reputation, livelihood and the right to anonymity. Let's all make THAT part of hunting. Let's make a Walter Palmer out of the lot of them.
Governments might be loathed to make big-game hunting illegal, but that will never make it right nor will it ever be an excuse to cower behind. Executing big-game for sport or profit is absolutely wrong and I personally don't care who you are, where you come from or what your spurious reasoning is - you're just a pathetic killer.
And may the shame of it follow you to your grave.