Thursday 30 July 2015

The social media mob loves the hunt as much as Cecil's killer

People who are angry with the dentist who shot the lion think they are being compassionate and don't realise that in many cases they are consumed with hatred. Hatred is an interesting emotion which can be very deceptive, Pacifists, vegetarians, people who are concerned about animals and progressives are prone to hate without knowing it. 

Eighty or ninety years ago, Great White Hunters were heroic figures. Hunting or killing animals that are no threat absolutely does not appeal to me - unlike hunting foxes which is part of the English tradition and very useful but I wasn't aware that things had changed so much until this palaver about Cecil. I thought hunting lions was normal. And in fact it is. They are not a protected species and are killed all the time for sport.

But attitudes change and that's fine.

There is more kindness nowadays towards animals and in general than there used to be and this is good, but also a sense which is very worrying that the difference between man and beast is not absolute.

I feel very sorry for the man who shot Cecil. The internet is alive with whoops of delight from people who say his dental practice will disappear, has disappeared. Mia Farrow, the actress, has posted his address in Twitter and one can imagine him being killed by some American crazy.

The anti-hunters love the hunt as much as the big game hunters but they prefer hunting men not beasts.

Hemingway said, “There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.”

That's what the mob on the internet thinks.

I remember reading an Edwardian travel book about South America which referred to rumours that men, 'natives' or Indians of course, had been hunted on occasion instead of wild game. Murder as big game hunting. The book said these rumours were unsubstantiated, but I wanted to know more.

I hope it did not happen. But no-one can ever know.

There is an idea for a book or more probably a film here. Something like Heart of Darkness.


  1. Agreed. The nastiness directed at this dentist is appalling. This is exactly the kind of mentality and mob hysteria that has led to so many atrocities. I've never hunted, and I don't think it's a nice thing to kill animals for fun. However, I don't think it's a nice thing to humiliate and try to destroy fellow human beings who have different customs and ideas. The threats against this dentist's livelihood and, indeed, his life are sickening and reveal that for all the progress that humanity has (supposedly) made, we are still not too far from barbarism. Those who take part in the unjust humiliation and destruction of a fellow man should hang their heads in shame.

    1. I wish you had given your name - what a very true, wise, good-hearted comment.

  2. Talking about dentists, there used to be an hereditary peer called Lord Colwyn (a Liberal creation) who was a dentist. Rather grand to have a peer for a dentist - but he was private in the days when almost all dentists were NHS. I realise this is going off a tangent but peers are always interesting, except life peers.

    When Lords Jellicoe and Lambton had to resign in scandal involving whores it was interesting but Labour life peers just aren't, whatever their sex lives.

  3. There is no justification for what this dentist did (and has done before, if you read his history). He needs to be made an example of so that other rich people cannot follow in his footsteps to get their lion-skin rug!

  4. "The Most Dangerous Game" (1932) started the genre. Count Zaroff. Save this for an evening screening!

  5. I agree with you Paul. I don't like hunting and think what he did was reprehensible, but I have been really shocked at how overboard the reaction has been, even from friends of mine who are peace-loving, decent people. As you say, this man could end up murdered. Very unnerving episode.

    1. I don't think hunting is very Christian except where the animals need to be culled as with foxes. Even then I have some sympathy with Macaulay's puritan who hated bear baiting, "not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators." Still a hunt in full cry is a bonny sight and close to the core of Englishness.

  6. On commissioning, we were sent out on an operation in the bush. A fellow newly commissioned officer along with his Sgt. were missing at the rally point. They were attacked and killed by a few male lions as they were looking for food. I was on the patrol who found their remains. This doesn't justify anything but demonstrates that that is life in the bush. He had two small children as did his Sgt.