The Lion, The Bitch and The Ecophobe

Amazingly, it seems that environment-hating columnist Ivo Vegter has found another way to make himself even more unpopular with the local bunnyhugging population. Not content with regularly using rational argument and solid proven facts in his support of fracking, he’s now only gone and said that we should all be killing lions like Melissa Bachman. Or something.

In truth of course, Ivo’s piece is actually about the lack of considered thought by the general public and some of our local journalists, who – amazingly (I know, I was shocked as well) – also spouted incorrect facts in pursuit of getting their desperate agenda across.

Emotive outrage and smug judgmentalism are no substitute for rational thought and pragmatic policy.

Absolutely, but then as I once said, internet environMENTAList warriors and slacktivists rarely seem to do any sort of research before making up their minds about what we should think on emotive issues:

Dolphin, panda, puppy – must protect.
It’s a trendy, ill-thought through, kneejerk, bandwagon-jumping response.

And following the whole Bachman “controversy”, it seems that we can add lions to that list as well (but not fruit flies, obviously). Because, as Ivo points out and as anyone else could also know if they’d bothered to do any research whatsoever, what Bachman did was perfectly legal and is quietly done by loads of other people visiting South Africa every single year, swelling our economy to the tune of R6.2 billion.

Sure, you might find it distasteful. Sure, it might not be for you (it’s not for me either, incidentally), but actually, that doesn’t make it unacceptable, illegal or mean that it must be banned. Neither does it mean that Bachman should be barred from entering South Africa again. Do you have any idea how utterly ridiculous this sort of petition sounds when you actually look at the facts?

You entered a country completely legally, supported a well-established, thriving and important local industry and did absolutely nothing illegal and yet we want you to be banned from ever going back.

Idiots, one and all.

And then it should be noted that the vast majority of the signatories aren’t even from South Africa. Since when should any foreigner have any say in who we let across our borders?
Because you all moaned and online-petitioned when China allegedly flexed its political muscle over the Dalai Lama, now didn’t you? And yet you’re more than happy for some easily-led Aussie schoolkid or a bored housefrau from Bremen to decide on a rather selective future immigration policy for the Republic of South Africa?

Have these people even read what they’re signing?

Yes, I’m sure all of them read this bit:

Her latest Facebook post features her with a lion she has just executed and murdered in our country.

Yes, not content with executing the lion, she also murdered it as well. And yes, I’m prepared to agree that this is a bit over the top. Still, at least she didn’t kill it as well.

But I’m more interested in this line:

As tax payers [sic] we demand she no longer be granted access to this country and its natural resources.

Hang on, over 100,000 of you aren’t tax payers [sic] of “this country”. And yet you think that you have a right to influence our country’s laws? Get real.

But back to the hunting thing. The fact is that hunting is completely legal in South Africa and that’s a good thing for the local wildlife, because case studies have shown that countries where hunting has been banned often suffer huge problems with poaching:

The notion that hunting harms the survival of species, or the environment more generally, happens to be false, and demonstrably so.

Commenting on Botswana’s recent decision to ban professional hunting in the hope that it would stop poaching, Professor Melville Saayman of the North-West University observed: “…the problem is that it is going to have a reversed effect.
Kenya followed the same path. They also banned hunting and currently have a huge game poaching problem, so much so that some of their species face total extinction.”

Maybe we should ban hunting and then re-run the old tearful Bokkie “LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE” posters for the greenies as the local ecosystems and game park industries collapse.

Happy Days.

4 thoughts on “The Lion, The Bitch and The Ecophobe

  1. They have it all wrong. Too many humans is the problem on earth, so why not let hunters like her who so obviously enjoy killing go out amd eliminate humans. Problem solved!

  2. Yip, knee-jerk galore. We had a similar issue here with a tagged lion being shot. All legal, of course. Proper licenses and permits and the works. The same kind of petitions were circulated, but going one step further: the hunting guide was included in the call to ban the hunter.

    Now, I may have own particular problem with shooting a tagged and well-observed lion (not to mention well-known), but for such an isolated incident to become precedent for an overall ban on big-game hunting in a country where the hunting industry is the third highest contributor to GDP (after tourism in general, farming and mining), is a lot more than just short-sighted. I do think the two gentlemen in question could have been a lot more circumspect about the choice of lion to shoot.

    Nonetheless, I hunt, out of necessity, and even allow a small handful of friends to hunt on our farm – it certainly has its place here, and we do a lot more conservation than any environmentalist in this way. There is a huge, huge difference between legally appropriated hunting and indiscriminately shooting anything that moves. Most, if not all hunters I know, choose what to shoot wisely. I’ve even experienced an old timer on the farm shooting close to 50 kudus and warthogs wilth his camera before actually killing 1 (ONE – UNO) kudu with his rifle.

    We also hug trees, because our cattle need the shade. We also destroy a lot of trees, because our cattle (and game) need grazing. All in balance, I say. And with this drought we have in Namibia, the animals are dropping dead like flies (no hunter involved). Any conversationalist of some worth will realize that hunting adds tremendous value in creating a proper and sustainable balance.

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