Indefensible Acts in Africa

Last week media reported on a trophy-hunting tourism group that was holding what was expected to be a huge trade show north of Toronto. African Events Canada claims its hunting tours are beneficial to everyone involved. It even says the animals benefit because they’re not poached, they’re hunted and used up. So, you know, it’s good for them, except for the whole being killed part.

The venue hosting the event cancelled it. So they moved to another venue but once it caught wind of the issues and the opposition to the company, it also cancelled. They eventually found a banquet hall in Concord that took them in.

The company claims that without the economic spin-off of trophy hunting, the locals would turn to poaching to survive. It says the Africans use every bit of the dead beast and get revenue from hotel bookings and other aspects of trophy-hunting tourism. They make hunting and killing a majestic animal sound like it’s the Mother Teresa of activities.

When I see a photo of a wealthy North American proudly holding up the deceased head of an animal, it makes me stupid with anger. Please, someone explain to me how traveling to kill an elephant or rhino or lion in an unfair fight on its own territory, is a form of entertainment? If you shoot a deer and use its meat to feed your family, I’m not happy but I’m tolerant. If you murder a beautiful beast that’s not threatening you, simply because you’re rich and it somehow gives you a thrill, I hope you contract something horribly painful and chronic and they name the condition after the animal you killed.

three adult elephants surround a new baby in a protective circle
Photo by Paul via Flickr

The owner of a local meat company and his son reportedly traveled to Tanzania in 2011 so they could each hunt and kill an elephant. They tried to bring back the ears, skin and tusks for some sort of morbid home decor, but it was all confiscated at the border. Their actions were revealed last week when a Montreal taxidermist was raided for trying to import elephant tusks without a permit. The barbarism of killing a beautiful, sensitive beast for its tusks brings out the lioness in me. I will never, ever buy another a product made by this company, whose name rhymes with Sikorski Sausages.

While African Events Canada made its case for trophy hunting, its spokeswoman tried to make it sound like they were almost a charity because they were doing so much good for the locals and even the animals, while satisfying the blood lust of their wealthy clients. A woman with Animal Justice put it best. If you want to do the best thing for the animals, stop killing them.

1 thought on “Indefensible Acts in Africa”

  1. You know, there is a serious conflict when you try to apply first world standards and moral behavior to those countries where its people are fighting to survive. There exploiting a natural resource just as we are with the key difference being that in our case it’s natural resources such as wood and oil where there natural resource is a living animal.

    Hunting to survive, feed and cloth your family, I can live with that. Controlled hunting for population management, understandable to a point. Live game hunting for the thrill of it and some trophy, I have absolutely no tolerance for!

    But it doesn’t address the economic and underlying realities, and until that is done, we’ll continue to see these events.

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