Cecil is name of a lion which got killed, and there’s wide outrage, just like when a tiger named Ustad was removed from the wild.
Let’s Go Beyond Cecil And Ustad :
So it’s not a situation of a rose by any other name, because if either that particular lion or tiger had not been known to tourists, no one would be protesting right now. It’s known as ‘concern hierarchy’. It affects everything from conservation to hunting to how and what we consume.
The trophy hunting of cecil was awful for sure, and the outcry was warranted, but we need the outcry everyday. Snakes get slaughtered for just being snakes, 100 million sharks are killed annually, and all of us casually snuff out insects by the billions. We won’t care if a snake was named Cecil or Ustad. When wetlands and grasslands are cleared in India, no one protests.
There, we are not losing one animal but entire ecosystems and the valuable services they provide. Highways, mines, dams are ruining and killing wild ecosystems across India, putting in peril hundreds of tigers elephants, birds, snakes, rodents and so on.
Walter Palmer, the dentist who killed Cecil is reviled, but the Kentucky Department of the US fish and wildlife service a while ago shot a cougar in Kentucky. It’s the first one seen in over a hundred years there. It was shot because it was too close to the nearest human infested area. No one protested. Cougars are regularly shot by farmers as they are seen as a threat to the livestock.
In India hunting is banned, illegal hunts abound. The ministry of environment and forests allows for certain animals to be declared vermin and shot. It’s a concern hierarchy and it needs to change if we hope to get a clear perspective to make our own informed choices. India will be most populous country in the world overtaking China by 2022. As humans top every concern hierarchy, in a battle between numbers and nature. If this goes on we will lose the wild life.