Cecil The Lion – A Closer Look

So I’ve just returned home from holiday, and have been confronted with so much media coverage about the death of Cecil The Lion. Cecil was killed by American dentist Walter Palmer who is said to have paid $50,000 to kill her as part of a trophy hunt. Obviously this is heartbreaking and I’ve never agreed with trophy hunting, or hunting of any kind, but the thing I found most interesting was the reaction from some animal rights organisations, which involves looking a little deeper into the story of Cecil.

The worldwide outrage surrounding the death of Cecil actually addresses another very different concept to trophy hunting – give an animal a name and people will sympathise. In this respect, it is a similar situation to the outrage over Marius the giraffe who was killed at Copenhagen Zoo in March 2014. Millions of animals that are killed on factory farms are not given a name, this is how we are able to view them as simply a commodity. Nobody can relate to a slaughterhouse full of thousands of pigs, but make a film about an individual pig named ‘Babe’ and you have a lovable character that is the star of a family classic.

Animal rights organisations including The Vegan Society and Farm Sanctuary have acknowledged this idea that the animals living on factory farms are as much individual beings as Cecil, however their deaths cause no media coverage or national outrage. They then showed images of these animals with the caption ‘I am Cecil’. The following was from Farm Sanctuary, capturing the idea that Cecil is now more an idea than an individual lion. Any animal could be Cecil.

Farm Sanctuary
Farm Sanctuary

Although what happened to Cecil was very sad and completely unnecessary, we can take some comfort in the hope that the media coverage of events such as these will hopefully encourage more people to make the connection between individual animals in the news and those we eat.

The Vegan Society
The Vegan Society

Cruel Tradition Finally Ended!

Today marks a fantastic day for animal rights! The Gadhimai Animal-Slaughter Festival in Nepal has finally decided to stop all animal sacrifices and end such a horrific tradition. This is a great result not only for the festival, but it also shows how people are starting to see that just because something is a tradition that has taken place for years, doesn’t make it right. This particular tradition is 300 years old and follows persistent campaigning from the inspiring animal charities Animal Welfare Network Nepal and Humane Society International/India. The next festival will take place in 2019, which the temple have said will be “a momentous celebration of life”. Times are definitely changing…

Fox Hunting Update

I was really pleased to hear that the vote to amend the fox hunting act has been postponed, for now. The protests that took place in Westminter this week and the general support from people and organisations to keep the ban have been fantastic to see. However, it’s important to remember that it is likely there will be another vote regarding the future of fox hunting, so I’m hoping this support will continue.

Fox hunting is cruel and completely unnecessary, it’s always been strange to me how people can call it a ‘sport’; the idea that somebody can take any kind of enjoyment from killing innocent animals is difficult to comprehend. Implementing the ban on fox hunting to begin with was a struggle, so it’s really important we do all we can to keep it firmly in place. To be continued…