by Dennis McHale

The slaying of Cecil has galvanized thousands of individuals who have in dismay and agony expressed their collective outrage for this incomprehensible tragedy. The murderer (a word I chose carefully to express my own dismay) is now in hiding, fearful of retribution against his physical self, no doubt in fear for his life. The mob is assembling, the pitchforks are gathered, the torches lit.

I can not, and will not deny them their anger, nor will I offer any defense for the dentist who perpetrated this senseless and cruel crime against nature…but neither will I deny that he is not the only villain in this blood-fest.  We are all culpable in the slaying of this majestic lion, for when was the last time any of us demanded an end to this business of savagely hunting down and killing the world’s precious and endangered species for sport and for profit?

When was the last time we raised our voices, as we do today, to cry out for protection for the lions and rhinos and elephants and whales and seals, and indeed, all defenseless creatures charged by nature and by God to our care?  Ask yourself, as you hunt down the perpetrator of Cecil’s demise, what have you yourself actually done to prevent such craven and barbaric acts…not only against animals, but against ourselves?

It takes more than flooding social media with tear-soaked tweets and emotion charged re-posts. It takes sacrifice and commitment. It takes money and it takes action. Words are a cheap substitute, and even this, what I write, falls woefully short of what Cecil needed most in the awful hours as he slowly bled with an arrow sticking out of his majestic body. As he endured the hunt in his final hours.

Diane Fossey gave her life defending lowland gorillas. Jane Goodall devoted her entire earthly existence to the protection, understanding, and preservation of chimpanzees and other primates. And what do we do? We content ourselves with casting the first stone. We hunt for one depraved man who feeds his lust for massacre upon our very apathy and inaction. We text our outrage and then just as quickly check our “likes” on Facebook.

Shame on this man for his near psychopathic yearning for destroying Cecil.  And shame on us for not beforehand putting in place protection against such acts of depravity in the first place.


  1. I press the like button with an awareness of the irony you have eloquently described. I share your sentiment and am relieved to see I am not alone. I felt repulsed, angered and saddened by what I saw, not only of the beast who killed the lion, but of mob mentality that it has brought on. Many if my friends, family and neighbours suddenly seem foreign to me, and I shutter as I read their words and threats for the “condemned”. Words that do nothing for the beautiful creatures who were senselessly murdered or those who come after them. Thank you for this well written and thoughtful post.


  2. I felt awful learning of poor Cecil’s fate, I felt sick seeing the other pictures of this “man” with his “trophies” and reading that he had killed all but a couple of the glorious animals on the “hunters list” which until that point I didn’t realise was a thing… more fool me.
    Reading the threats against this “man” has also made me feel ill, I don’t think people understand that “skinning him alive and feeding him to the lions” makes them just as bad as he is. Although I must admit I think it somewhat interesting that he is now the hunted. I wonder if he realises that how he feels now is what he made those animals feel before he murdered them?
    Personally I think a suitable fate for this “man” would be that for each dollar he has paid to go murder a beautiful animal he must pay the equivalent to a charity for the conservation of that animal.


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