Trophy hunting sucks: my published letter

I’ve just found out that a letter I wrote has been published in the African Geographic. This is a glossy, but very good magazine pushing eco-tourism in Africa.

I wrote in response to a Professional Hunter (PH) that suggested that responsible Canned Lion Hunting might not be such a bad idea. My letter said:

I find the opinion that hunting contributes to the conservation infuriating. I believe that a pseudo element of conservation exists as a side product of hunting, but this “conservation” goes very much against the spirit and letter of the real thing. For instance, hunting breaks down the evolutionary fundamentals of survival of the fittest, because hunters always want to kill the fittest animals. You need only look at the research that Beverly & Dereck Joubert have done on the declining size of male lions’ manes to find evidence of this. Canned lion hunting is also once more on the rise despite promises from the hunting fraternity that this practice would be discontinued.

Beverly & Derek Joubert by Graham Boynton
Beverly & Derek Joubert by Graham Boynton

I also find reference to the “fair chase” in hunting laughable. Anybody, even a child, can nowadays kill a lion or an elephant with a 30/06 rifle. Where is the fairness and honour in that? How many hunters are killed compared to the wildlife they kill. There is no fairness in hunting.

I think trophy hunting is a selfish industry that only benefits a small number of very wealthy individuals, most of them are not even from Africa. We Africans are one day going to be very sorry that we allowed these people to make commodities of our heritage.

I actually wrote some more, but this is what they published. I am obviously very happy they published the letter, but now I’m noticing all the stuff I could’ve said better. I guess I’ll just have to do some more!

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