Big Game Hunting: Our Issue or Theirs?

Facebook: kendalltakeswild

Facebook: kendalltakeswild

This week there has been a story making the rounds with a ton of controversy in its wake. It’s the story of Kendall Jones, a cheerleader and big-game hunter from Texas. Now I grew up in the rural state of Vermont, so when you hunt it’s typically to use every piece of meat you can. Some take trophies like antlers, feet and some get the entire head and neck of the creature mounted on their walls. I also grew up with a Native American background and their lessons of using every part of the animal is instilled in my heart and soul. Don’t get me wrong, I understand hunting both as a sport and as a need for survival. So how does Kendall’s story tie into this? I’ll tell you.

So Kendall Jones: going to Texas Tech University, a cheerleader and has been going over to Africa to legally hunt big game since she was 13 years old. My questions are such: since when does America police Africa’s animals? Why do we care what this girl is doing as long as it’s legal, safe, and sane? Now, I’m not here to argue about the morality of hunting down lions and elephants and other creatures she has posted pictures of her having taken down. That’s not my call—as long as it’s legal and I’m not being forced to participate, I really don’t give a shit what she’s doing. So I’m not here to tackle that nonsense and really, you shouldn’t be too worried about it either. At most you can choose either to view her candids or not. As for the morality: your opinion is yours alone and no one cares about it, I assure you.

As for why America seems to think that we have any idea of what should be allowed or not in Africa with its own animals… this disturbs me. Mostly because hey! We’re not doing a fine job with our own animals and how to deal with them. Need a few examples: mustang herds having no place to live, so we either domesticate them or they go for dog food; wolves are reintroduced to certain areas after we nearly killed them all because they were a nuisance and kept killing our herds; even bees are no longer safe as pesticides are killing them off. So what makes us think that we have any say in Africa’s conservation of their animals on their land? We don’t. As far as to what Kendall has been up to: she actually receives permits from a specific locale in order to hunt a certain number of a specific species within their boundaries. For example, Namibia is legally allowed to sell 5 permits[1] for the adult male black rhinoceros, these permits are given to them by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The reason for this is to not only control the population (did you know that male lions will usually kill the cubs that were from another male?), but to help the local communities—proceeds and even some meat is handed over to those in the area, so they may benefit from the hunt.

So here’s my question to everyone who is all riled up due to this story making its rounds: what part of the story bothers you the most? Why do you think it bothers you and further more, should a young woman who has done nothing illegal, only something that is morally controversial, have to worry about being kicked out of her University because she’s posted some pictures that might bother someone on her private Facebook page?

[1] Article on Trophy Hunting

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