The Roar That Woke Up the World:
Cecil, King of Beasts, Calls Us to Stop the War Against Creation
By guest blogger Elaine Tselikis (Part 2 of 2) (Part 1 appears on the August 17 blog)
“The only way to turn anger into something good is to be doing something to try and prevent such an atrocity happening again. That’s the only way, to feel that you’re using all your energy to stop it happening again.” ~ Jane Goodall
AS KING OF BEASTS, Cecil roars for ALL his animal brethren, the earth and us. Daily in Africa, we murder one rhino, several lions and nearly 100 elephants. Wild lions numbered 250,000 fifty years ago. Today, less than 25,000 remain. Endangered lions, elephants and rhinos will be extinct in 10 to 20 years if our debauchery continues. In America, we slaughter essential apex predators. Yearly, we exterminate billions of wildlife for strip malls and factory farms, where billions of artificially inseminated animals are killed. We kill millions of companion pets. We kill and torture billions of nameless victims for fur, laboratories and circuses. And we kill human babies, the poor and women. Because we kill defenseless animals – it is easier to kill vulnerable humans.
CECIL is the tipping point to halt the war against Creation. He exposed Hell’s Business of Death, starting with trophy hunting which stole his life. The $20 billion illegal global wildlife trafficking ring is linked with trophy/canned hunting, terrorism, Chinese ivory poaching for trinkets, and animal body parts marketed for voodoo impotency potions. In the USA, more tigers and lions are in-bred for the cruel, captive exotic wildlife trade than those living in the wild. What kind of people ARE we to cheapen and annihilate lives for bloodlust, selfish greed and superstition?
CECIL shows that crimes against animals are crimes against humanity and the environment. Elephants, lions and rhinos have existed for millennia, forming a crucial role in ecological health. Human overpopulation, American cattle farming and corporate land grabs destroy habitats and steal sacred lands of indigenous peoples. Poaching funds terrorists who kill wildlife rangers; kidnap schoolgirls; rape women; bomb college kids; and destabilize regions. What is more important: trophies and trinkets – or beating hearts?
CECIL’S story as an INDIVIDUAL father and defender demonstrates ALL animals are individuals. They have loving family relationships. Researchers studying Cecil’s pride confirm his partner Jericho continues to cry “in mourning” for his friend. Animals have a God-given right to BE HERE and fierce will to live free.
CECIL shows the destructive impact of one Walter Palmer is multiplied by others like him. Safari Club International, including its Maine affiliation, has 50,000 members. These are not woodsmen hunting abundant deer to augment food for their families. Rather, each member is urged to achieve “Grand Slams” of serial killings, with the ultimate goal to slaughter over 300 animals for fun, targeting the most endangered. That’s a holocaust of more than 15,000,000 lives.
CECIL’S declining numbers shatter the 19th century “conservation” myth that promotes killing animals is “for their own good.” Trophy hunters are environmental terrorists, murdering the biggest, strongest individuals and collapsing family lines to extinction. Our perverse animal killing systems also perpetuate human misery. Conversely, shifting our immoral killing paradigm to co- existing, life-affirming systems truly conserve and enrich animals, biodiversity and humans. Trophy hunting contributes less than 3% to African communities, versus larger revenue and job creation of eco-tourism. The potential to boost investment in responsible eco-tourism in Africa — and Maine — is great. When allowed to live, wild lions, elephants and bears bring in millions of dollars over their individual lifetimes – because more people want to see these majestic souls ALIVE.
ULTIMATELY, Cecil roars for us to abandon old prejudices against animals: that they are “machines” or have been “given” to us to do whatever we want. No being exists for us to abuse. We alone kill for pleasure. Of all living beings, the most we kill are animals. And of all the animals, it is the wild ones we butcher into oblivion. In this Age of the Selfie, our arrogance, hedonism and cruelty are out of control. WE need “management” – not animals.
Pope Francis announced September 1 the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to illustrate our damaging responsibility for this Sixth Mass Extinction and how we can help heal the earth. Many citizens are simplifying lifestyles, realizing vain consumerism murders wildlife. People are demanding elected officials work for OUR tax dollars – not a minority of wealthy, thrill-kill lobbyists and Communist regimes.
We can be peacebuilders by mustering our compassionate energy to end the freefall genocide of terrorized animals. Think of the abundance, harmony, ingenuity and life-affirming economies we would create if we stop squandering blood-money warring against Creation. When we awaken to Cecil’s roar, we have power to help restore his natural kingdom. But we must make this commitment now and choose: Are we Cecil? Or are we Walter Palmer?
Cecil is Roaring for Life. Long live the King of Beasts!
Elaine Tselikis is a communications consultant, animal advocate and lifelong Mainer.