Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Beautiful Cecil

If you were on the internet yesterday you likely saw the uproar at the news that Cecil, one of Zimbabwe's most beloved, majestic creatures, had been baited to get him out of the preserve he lived in, shot with bow and arrow, hunted down over two days, skinned and beheaded. For sport. FOR SPORT.

As a quick aside before I continue, I went to high school with a kid whose family hunted for sport, who traveled all over the world to kill animals. I went to a party at his barn my senior year and when my bladder had filled to bursting I walked into their mega-mansion in search of the bathroom. I remember walking through their library which may or may not have actually housed books, I can't remember because I was horrified at the amount of stuffed carcasses. There was a gigantic black bear standing on its hind legs towering above me. I can't remember if the rhino in my mind actually existed or I just added it in along with the other animals, big and small. But I do remember overhearing the guy saying later on that they'd be flying to Africa in the next year to procure an elephant. I was horrified at the time and on occasion still wonder if that poor elephant did end up stuffed, in their home.

I suppose that my feelings, which are profoundly emotional, are along the lines of why I decided to become a vegetarian. I do not think that my life has any more or less value than any other life. Every single creature on planet Earth is vital to the success of our ecosystems. Flies might be annoying as hell, but they are food for frogs, birds, fish, which fertilize plants, are food for other creatures, and on it goes. We are all connected and equally important yet humans don't seem to recognize that. We see ourselves occupying the top of the food chain, but instead of realizing the responsibility of our position we destroy, flagrantly.

For someone to hunt animals, not out of necessity to feed or protect his family, but just because he can makes me ill in regards to humanity. I don't think enough is being done to counteract all that we have done to destroy this planet - protecting species from extinction, conserving water, planting new trees to counterbalance deforestation. And honestly, maybe it's the worrying gene I come by honestly, but I am panicked about what kind of planet my children and grandchildren are going to inherit.

I'm sure you can find a fair amount of organizations working to counteract what humans are doing, but the one I want to spotlight today is Arm The Animals. I can't remember how or when I found them but I know it was on Instagram and I've loved the irony of their clothing designs. The kitten throwing the grenade is my favorite because it's so absurd. But the message behind the company is important and so today I bought two of their sling bags in support. They have a collection in Cecil's memory, with all net proceeds going to Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, which protects the area where Cecil was lured from. AND WHO DOESN'T WEAR TEE SHIRTS?!? DON'T PRETEND LIKE YOU DON'T. Do the planet a favor and buy something for yourself or as a gift to someone you know who will appreciate it. And maybe also take a moment every day to think about your personal impact on the planet and how you could change it for the betterment of everyone. Because we ALL deserve to live here. All of us.

Ok, guess I'll step down from this soap box.

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