People are understandably outraged by the slaughter of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe by an American dentist. There are many reasons why this story is heartbreaking. The African Lion population has dropped 60% in just three decades. This lion was beloved by tourists and locals. And he was radio collared as a part of an Oxford study.
People react to the photo of the hunter, Walter James Palmer, crouching over the dead carcass of the majestic creature, his smug smile seemingly confirming what we all already suspect — that this man has no respect for nature or her creatures.
However I have to admit that I don’t fully understand this outrage. Not that the act is forgivable, or even defensible. No, what Palmer did was horrible and he deserves the treatment he is now receiving.
What I don’t understand is the disconnect. Where was the outrage for the 40,000 lions killed and driven to extinction in the past 30 years? Where is the outrage for the countless species, big and small, charismatic and not, that are being driven to extinction right now?
But perhaps most importantly, where is the outrage for the pig on your plate in the morning, the chicken in your salad at lunch, and the cow on your grill at dinner?