I don’t mean to sound cold and insensitive, but I’ve had just about enough of Cecil the Lion media coverage.
I have a soft spot in my heart for animals, I really do. If I see a photo of a cute little puppy, I say, “Awww,” just like everybody else. If I watch a video on YouTube featuring a cat acting like a human — because, let’s face it, cats think they are human — I laugh as hard as anyone else.
I even feel that animals have family bonds just like humans do, and that they feel deeply sad when separated from their brethren.
But at the end of the day, an animal is just an animal and is not on the same level as a human being, thus our media should not be reporting on an animal’s death for days on end.
I don’t want to be misunderstood, so I will continue my explanation.
I cringe at animal cruelty, I really do. I shudder when I think of how certain animals are abused by their owners. I’m practically demoralized when I see sad commercials featuring pets who are in desperate need of being rescued from kill shelters. Several years ago, I impulsively rescued a dog the night before she was to be euthanized — which speaks volumes about my sympathy for animals because it sometimes takes me hours just to pick out a movie to watch (just ask my wife) let alone adopt a new member of the family.
And on top of it all, I hate hunting. I realize that somebody needs to hunt and slaughter animals in order for us to have food, but hunting as a sport is just not in my DNA.
But even when I sympathize with animals, I know that they are not equal to us. Genesis 1:26 says:
Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’Genesis 1:26 (NIV)
Herein lies the problem with the Cecil the Lion coverage: we live in an era of social media where everybody has an opinion and chooses to weigh in on it. I, for one, am using my blog space to write about the coverage, which kind of goes against my article’s premise because I’m only further fueling the dialogue about the lion.
But my point remains firm: why must we have major news networks covering the death of a lion when we have so many problems in our country and our world? I think there is so much wasted energy in this discussion.
Just the other day, I read an article that noted that in excess of 150,000 people signed a petition for the White House to extradite Cecil the Lion’s killer and “bring him to justice.” Countless others are staging various forms of protest.
My immediate reaction was: Really? People are poor, homeless, jobless, and terminally ill and we’re worried about avenging Mufasa’s death?
I love animals, but my attention stops at the initial report of the story.