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Elephant Versus Humans: Crucifying The Wrong Guy

So the Interwebs is in an uproar against Bob Parsons, the CEO of GoDaddy. Because he posted a video which shows himself and three other big game hunters shooting an elephant, one of three bulls who were destroying a village’s vital crop. PETA are, naturally, very upset. Some people even shame him for vacationing in a poor country who is suffering under a notoriously tyrannical leader*.

I’m upset too.

I’m upset because the death of that elephant has caused so much anger. I’m upset because the death of that animal is being valued above the quality of life and freedoms of those poverty-stricken Zimbabweans, actual human beings who could starve if their cash crop is destroyed. I’m upset because we aren’t recognizing that not only did the death of that animal eliminate a threat to an entire city’s source of income, but it also provided them with meat**. Maybe it’s easy for us Americans as we sit in our nice houses, bellies full, temperature carefully controlled for maximum comfort, as we buy our food from a market which takes us all of five minutes to get to and which requires us to walk maybe 100 steps, from house to car, from car to entrance.

Why don’t we get righteously angry about our government spending millions (billions?) subsidizing high-fructose corn syrup/oil companies/coal companies/other already-filthy-rich companies/people and demand that we help Africa get clean drinking water and basic sanitation? Why doesn’t the free world cry for Mugabe to be deposed? And what about the hungry and poverty stricken in our own country?

If he isn’t already, Parsons—a wealthy man himself—should be helping the people of Zimbabwe in other ways too: donating money for wells, medical supplies, and educational materials, for example. But if the actions of Parsons and his mates—Ian Gloss, Tim Element, and Tony Theiler—depicted and described in that video helped a poor village in Africa—AFRICA, PEOPLE!—survive and fill their bellies, we’re crucifying the wrong guy.


* Why is big game hunting suddenly evil? The rich and powerful have been doing it for centuries, and at least he is targeting problem animals–not completely dissimilar from the problem feral hogs in Missouri.
** Parson’s video is described as graphic for the scenes depicting the Zimbabweans eating the elephant, carcass splayed open so that they might harvest the meat, but I maintain that this is only graphic to those of us who have our food processed for us. Millions of people around the world kill and then dress down their food every day.

2 thoughts on “Elephant Versus Humans: Crucifying The Wrong Guy

  1. Dorothy Smith

    05 Apr on 2011 at 18:33

    Agreed! Also I don’t think people should be ‘mad’ at Charlie Sheen, yeah he is an idiot but I personally know some people who act that dumb but on a smaller scale since they have less money! Human life should be of great importance to us, since we are humans. Once again the media blowing something out of proportion, taking it out of context and then other people taking it at face value without actually researching it.

  2. David Gross

    01 Apr on 2011 at 10:01

    Nice Linden,

    I didn’t know about this uproar. I’m sure you read some of the comments below the video…they are pretty vile. I thought it was pretty interesting that people are saying that his humanitarian goal is really just a cover for wanting to go out and shoot some Elephants. Seems like that’s always the way things go. Otherwise, wouldn’t stuff like Walk for a Cure and all those various 5 and 10k runs to cure cancer or poverty or whatever be something more along the lines of “Write a Check for the Cure?” Finding a way to help out that you also think is fun isn’t greedy, it’s a good way to stay motivated.