I have had dreams of “trophy”, “sport” and “canned” hunting from the perspective of animals before. Out of the blue, those dreams were shocking for me, as I had not consciously been aware of that kind of hunting to such a detailed and intense degree before. Waking up from those dreams, I sobbed from the depths of my soul. Those dreams took place years ago. Back when my state began killing wolves for “sport” again. Those are dreams that will never leave my memory. It was as if I was in the place of the animals victimized. If my dream was what I think it was – an actual merging with animals who have experienced this, then I would say this: We have no idea of the extent of cruelty that goes on during Trophy, Canned and Sport Hunting. It is torturous and barbaric. The words “Hunting for Sport”, “Canned Hunting” and “Trophy Hunting” are terms that only thinly veil the truth and reality of what it really is. The real words for all those terms is: “Cruel”, “Amoral” and “Horrific and unfathomable loss of critical thinking, conscience, ethics and compassion.” And countless endangered, and other animals, are continually being murdered in this way – cruelly, unethically, illegally. I have met ethical hunters. They hunt fairly. They hunt to eat. It is not for a thrill or sport, and never does a good hunter ignore the state and need and balance of habitat, resources or endangerment. I have also witnessed that good hunters, in older age tend to want to observe nature and protect it more than continuing shooting. Good hunters have ethics, compassion and critical thinking skills intact. Just like good veterinarians do – as good spiritual leaders do, as good doctors do, and as good police officers do. If something is done criminally, unethically and cruelly, the person or people responsible need to immediately go to trial and serve time and make reparations in a way that brings healing to the situation and those harmed and their loved ones. Period.
Cecil the Lion was murdered illegally from a space where he was protected and in a world where lions are endangered, with limited resources to support and protect them. It is a crime and must have consequences. For all animals and people, frankly. Unethical and reprehensible actions like these must be swiftly dealt with, without protecting the criminal, no matter what his or her standing, title, status is, or what club he or she belongs to!
The good to come from this horror is the deepened and heightened awareness of the amoral, unethical and illegal qualities of hunting for sport, trophy hunting and canned hunting. It needs to be stopped. And this issue reaches into the other dire unethical and illegal actions being exposed more and more everyday in our world…how Indigenous, Latino and African-American people are being murdered, brutalized and victimized in our country by officials who swear to protect, honor and serve citizens – who swear to ethics and innocent until proven guilty due process. This isn’t the same subject as unethical hunting, yet it is the same stream of unethical, cruel, illegal and amoral behavior in our world right now. And for me, I am seeing it all at once, rising up to be seen and dealt with. Big. Ugly. Darkness and shadow that now we are seeing.
The temptation is to be moved to a place of helplessness, overwhelm or apathy in the face of all this darkness. But the truth is, if it wasn’t revealed, how would we address it and deal with it? Just as we become aware of a negative thought or behavior we practice without being aware and it sabotages us without us realizing it. And when we finally become aware of it, we can see and change and make amends.
The complexity and widespread unethical behavior we are facing is overwhelming. But, surely we can face it all together and demand ethics, conscience, due process, consequences, compassion, right action!?
Cecil the Lion and his family are in my heart. He symbolizes important, sacred and dire things for so many of us. I send my love and prayers for every Good to come from this to him and his family. I am sad about it. And I pray and trust that this raised awareness will do justice to him and his life. May his life and illegal and painful death serve a greater purpose of awareness and restorative justice.
I read an amazing post about Cecil this morning that prompted me to write this. It is from an animal communicator, Nancy Windheart, about Cecil. I highly recommend you read it. Bring some tissues. Here is a link to the article about Cecil from Nancy:
And here is a page worth joining on Facebook: