Bullfighting, the "big five" and other horrific excuses for killing

The final straw came for me a couple of days ago. In my Facebook news feed was a picture of little girl--no more than five or six-years-old--standing beside her "kill"....a dead racoon. The picture, obviously taken by a proud relative, sickened me...the straw that broke this camel's back. I can't print here what came out of my mouth when I saw this pic, but I'm sure you can fill in the blanks.

It's no big secret I'm all for animal rights....decidedly so. Knowing that all animals are made by the same creative forces we are, and that they are sentient and self-aware, ruthless killing in the name of entertainment, getting that oh-so-important head on the living room wall or hunting for so-called population control makes me furious. The pervasive ignorance of so many people, the sheer audacity of believing in human superiority over animals boggles my mind. Clearly it's not sinking in that animals have the same right to life that we do. It's NOT ok to kill for sport and it's especially heinous to teach children that killing animals is not only easy, but mom and dad will be so proud if junior nails that squirrel, deer or the neighbor's dog!

I've posted several times on different Facebook threads to hunters who believe it's their right to thin the population of animals as if somehow Mother Nature hasn't been able to do that quite nicely all by herself

for eons without their help. Nature takes care of itself with an equal balance of predator and prey. When people begin messing with it catastrophe invariably results. Wolves, on the endangered species list in the past, are threatened again. It took years to bring the wolf population back up from near extinction in the U.S., but now several states have ok'd hunting them. Apparently many ranchers don't like that wolves take a cow now and then. Ok....but did anybody ask the wolves if they minded that these huge ranches would push them out of their territories, threatening their existence? Lord knows what we need in this country is more cattle ranches, right?

Spain's national sport is bullfighting. We all know the picture of the brave bullfighter, resplendent in his costume, brandishing his red cape at a charging bull and narrowly evading certain death by pointed horn. Want to know the truth? Those bulls are slaughtered in the ring and there is no chance of escape though they try desperately. Google 'bullfights' and watch the images of these poor creatures bleeding heavily from pointed sticks hanging down their sides like so many harpoons, and a sword embedded in their neck. The poor animals moan in agony, dying in front of a crowd that cheers the bullfighter. Sick, sick, sick. Spain also has the reputation of disposing of their hunting dogs after they've outlived their use, usually dumping them down wells or simply hanging them from trees. There are forests of canine corpses. Brutality and abuse don't even begin to describe this. Lest anyone think that nobody in Spain cares, there are movements trying desperately to change this culture of madness there, but those in power seem determined to continue the old ways. The world is watching, however, and this "sport" cannot continue.

Elephant, rhino, cape buffalo, lion and leopard.....the "big five" of big game hunters. Get all five heads on your wall and damn....aren't you a star. It takes a big man or big woman to aim, shoot and kill that animal as it lies in the shade napping doesn't it? No population control excuse here, folks...oh no...this is just plain killing for the sake of killing. No matter that these animals are either critically endangered or near so. Nope. How can anyone...anyone....justify this?? Are they really that ignorant that they don't know animals feel too? That they have emotions like we do and deserve the same respect afforded to people? Would any hunter want to see his/her mother's head mounted on an animal's den wall? Oh yes, women are just as likely to hunt the big five as men. I've even seen kids proudly holding up a leopard's dead head, it's sightless eyes staring at the sky. Giraffes too....now there's a threatening beast. There are canned hunting parks in Africa where you can pay to kill a lion. These lions are caged...that's right...caged. All you have to do is aim and fire...presto...another magnificent creature lifeless and for what?? Your trophy.

I've heard all the excuses hunters give to justify their actions. The fact is, none of them are based on truth or compassion. They're simply excuses to avoid looking inward and to keep perpetuating brutality and the murder of innocents. It MUST stop. Enlightenment is imperative so I will continue to advocate for the animals...our brothers and sisters in life, in spirit, in one-ness. No child should be brought up to believe they have the right to kill. It's just a small step from animal killing to human killing isn't it? So the statistics show, and it's the only time people seem to sit up and take notice. "Well, damn....didn't this kid use to hunt and kill animals? We should've noticed and done something then." If this kid was taught by his parents that hunting is a-ok, and society continues to uphold the illusion that animals are subordinate to human beings, then we'll just have to accept the consequences....extinction of species ...including our own.

"If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans." James Herriot

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