On Lion Hunting

by , under Politics, Society

It never ceases to amaze me at times how much of the general public can have a selective “outrage” at some person or event. The latest of course, is the outrage displayed online (even some of my friends on Facebook have displayed it) toward a white American dentist who went off to Africa and killed Cecil The Lion.

I never really could see the attraction of trophy hunting myself, and have no desire ever to participate in it. It is legal in some parts of the world and illegal in other parts. I totally understand the fact that many people don’t like the practice, but it has been a practice of many cultures for generations.

Today, in Africa, the tradition of Lion Hunting for trophy purposes is carried out by the Masai Tribes. Young teenage boys who want to be seen as “respected warriors” are sent on lion hunts – not for food or for survival, but for the sheer thrill of killing a lion. The lads who kill lions then wear the lion’s mane around their head as a trophy and sign of their hunting prowess.

This is not a “once in a while” thing. And it is common knowledge; those who took any Social Studies segments of primary school and studied the Masai Tribe know about this cultural activity. Yet, there is no outrage expressed against the Masai. And even though lion hunting is illegal in some countries of Africa, when the Masai do it, the law looks the other way.

When some white guy from America does it, everyone goes berserk.

Is there some kind of satisfaction in gloating in moral superiority or showing moral outrage the loudest and longest, especially on social media, these days? And so often, much of this outrage seems to be misplaced and isn’t actually moral at all… it’s quite hypocritical.

In America, over 1,000 people are shot each year by police. Some of these killings are justified, some are known to be not justified, and others are very questionable. Yet, there is little ongoing moral outrage over these numbers.

I personally find this difficult to understand.

Further reading:
From Gamergate to Cecil the lion: internet mob justice is out of control

Can Good Come From Maasai Lion Killings in the Serengeti?

  1. Dave Roberts

    Hmmm… I didn’t think of it that way. I was pretty pissed off when I heard about Cecil, but you are right when you put it in terms of what the Masai Tribe do, and how they hunt lions for the sake of prestige.



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