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Why trophy hunting is on the wrong side of history and evolution

The practice does not support conservation in the long term. Image: Francois de Halleux / Flickr.

Cyril Christo, The Hill | February 10, 2021

“What if a greater race of beings were to make flageolets (flutes) or buttons out of our bones?”

—Henry David Thoreau

“The so called ‘civilized’ people? They had no excuse. They hunted for what they called ‘trophies,’ for the excitement of it, for pleasure, in fact.”

—Romain Gary, “The Roots of Heaven,” 1958

“Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.”

—Arthur Schopenhauer

“As for trophy hunting, I think it is probably the kind of animal killing that most resembles murder – murder in the first degree. It is done with planning (premeditation) and without provocation or biological justification. The animals are entirely innocent creatures killed only for ego-gratification and fun. It’s time we began to see this practice as akin to murder.”

    —Kirk Robinson, executive director of the Western Wildlife Conservancy

“Mankind’s true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.”

        —Milan Kundera, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”

Henry David Thoreau never made it to Africa but must have known what Europeans did to the great, great elephant herds centuries ago. Hundreds of thousands killed for fun. The big game hunters don’t like to admit their betrayal of life because it’s big business. Men like Hemingway who created a lifestyle out of brutality and unabashed vanity. Thoreau surely knew what had happened to the great whale pods of his time. But unlike the Inuit of the Arctic, whalers rarely ate whale. The Inuit would have been aghast at the way the white man treated whales and the way they massacred them without mercy in the hundreds of thousands. And later on in the 20th century with harpoon guns. They would have said we had lost our minds. And when one hears Paul Watson describing his defense of whales and what the Russians were doing, taking the purest oil on earth in order to lubricate Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, he knew we had gone totally mad. We have lost our bearings as a species.  The whalers of old, they happily took their oil and their teeth and their baleen. Whales became a resource and their great populations were wasted. Elephants became a resource and they were exterminated to a vestige of what they once were.

This argument very much like the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys will no longer hold weight in 20 or 30 years. If nature is still kicking, for many species, it will be a miracle. There is a catastrophe brewing for much of the natural world thanks to climate change. Seals are dying, whales are being beached and land mammals are starting to suffer as the 300 or so elephants can prove this summer in Botswana. We can no longer afford to assassinate the innocent.

My grandfather didn’t like fascists and the subjugating mindset that came with it. He and LeClerc defeated a Panzer brigade of the Nazi army, dead set on taking Paris in August 1944. It was neutralized and France was saved. He was fighting for freedom and as such was captivated by the great writer Romain Gary whose book “The Roots of Heaven” is one of the supreme masterpieces of the 20th century. Morel, the central character, is fighting for the rights of elephants who at mid-century may have numbered perhaps several million. Elephants for Gary were the world’s great sentinel for freedom. So to think that there are those who have enjoyed and actually looked forward to putting a bullet in an elephant’s brain is an atrocity of the highest order, totally counter to the tribes who used to hunt elephants just to survive. Hunting in tandem with poaching devastated their numbers over the last half century. Today maybe 400,000 forest and savanna elephants remain. The entire ecology of half of Africa depends on them.

Who are the would be warriors, that would love to open up the entirety of Yellowstone? Trophy hunters of course. Not to feed oneself but to say one has conquered a grizzly, to say one has vanquished a mountain lion. To adorn one’s mantelpiece. The ultimate act of betraying the wild, which is the greatest legacy of this very young country. Something for which the Native nations would be aghast. Killing for fun? Instead of having a sanctuary to go to, unique in all of America and the most remarkable we have outside of Alaska, some would have it open season to bagging grizzlies or wolves or bears and cougar. Quite simply astounding that this scenario could even be contemplated. Rob Wielgus, one of the preeminent predator experts in the country from Washington State University demonstrates how the “trophy hunting of adult male lions increases the number of lions and the number of attacks on livestock.” Very similar results with leopards in Africa with their highly acute territorial imperative. Rob’s work helped stop mountain lion hunting in the state. But of course, certain statesmen like Joel Kretz, a trophy hunter from rural Washington, was elected on a platform to hunt lions. And not coincidentally the greater percentage of lions reside in his district. The previous administration attempted to push “this extreme group of people run wildlife management on our national wildlife refuges.” It was only a recent ruling that just managed to stop scheduled hunts in Wyoming and Idaho in the greater Yellowstone area that would have allowed 23 bears to be killed.

Opening up Yellowstone to hunting probably won’t happen because a measure of sanity will strike down this nightmare scenario, but the fact that it was wished, is the height of folly that our species owns. Most recently it was Edward Abbey who would have howled with suffocating embarrassment for what we had done to America when he exclaimed, “God bless America. Let’s save some of it.” And if a certain breed of huntsmen had had their way a great portion of the 48 states in terms of wilderness would have been utterly sacrificed.

North America has long had its breed of conquerors who took over the Native nations and subjugated the wildlife, for profits and also for fun. There is fun, there is sport and then there is subjugation. If we are used to conquering and mutilating humans, we unleash strange death wishes upon the other.  It is about the conquest of the other, 20 million buffalo exterminated, and the bounty hunting of rare, charismatic, dangerous animals of the world, an activity that begs the question, why?

Why kill for fun? Some have mentioned, it is an addiction. Like “mainlining heroin.” Others say that psychologically, it is an ego driven need to pretend that we are in control of nature, although with climate change that will soon change, and for all time. In the midst of the sixth extinction, many species are facing elimination, forever, all thanks to us. To find the targets of our misspent hunting cravings will be harder than ever.  James William Gibson, professor of sociology at California State University, has tackled some of the underpinnings of our societal malaise and paramilitary culture in which men attempt to restore a sense of  power and masculinity. In his book “Warrior Dreams- Paramilitary Culture in Post Vietnam America,” 1994, he surgically and precisely underscores the structure of a Rambo Culture in America. Warriors fighting and one may say even hunting outside the established order.

The killing of an animal for fun or leisure or so-called sport or for any reason but survival is murder as many have suggested but few are willing to admit. Max Weber, one of the supreme figureheads of sociology of the 20th century, emphasized how modern man’s disenchantment with nature and refusal to accept nature as alive, led to the dismantling of Creation. To be made into a commodity. Nature has to be dominated and subdued. But Nature is alive. Each animal is assuredly alive and an irreplaceable gift, the greatest this Earth harbors. To sacrifice one in the name of fun is fundamentally evil, but it demonstrates the warrior class to an extreme.

In America the continued baiting and snaring of black bears in Montana and Idaho, which can impact grizzlies, continues to this day. Wolves decimated over the last few hundred years, continue to be shot in the West and the last administration even made it easier for wolves and bears to be lured by doughnuts and then shot, although almost 70 percent of Alaskans oppose the killing of bears in their dens, and the killings of wolf pups by hunters which by any standard should be considered a monstrosity. Future generations, when predators are almost gone, will ask, what on Earth were we thinking or feeling for beings trying desperately to hold on for dear life.

What we need as a species is to recreate the self, the character and soul of what it means to be human. The hunting rational for conservation does not serve the others and it does not support short term or long range conservation efforts. We no longer need to kill to survive except under extreme or unique situations as Indigenous people have done for millennia. Reserves in Africa, the motherland of the hunting experience, have been denuded of its game across entire wilderness areas, most notably in the Selous of Tanzania, where 60 percent of the country’s elephants roamed until a few years ago. Where trophy hunters have been allowed, on most occasions, poachers have pursued their prey. Picture a 12-year-old girl with the carcass of a dead zebra or giraffe. Where did she learn this behavior? The wild giraffe population has dropped by 40 percent in the last generation. If one wants science and numbers, there it is.

From over 140,000 giraffes to 80,000 in less than a generation. The great sentinel of the plains are in free fall. Giraffes are among some of the first beings children marvel at when their parents buy them toys or teach them to speak. In the future, children’s first words after dada and mama, after the wild has become a memory, might very well be com-pu-ta.

The animals that introduced children to life will roam only as effigies in the imagination. It will not just be a sad world. It will be an irremediably, irreducibly, tragic world bleeding from every eco-system on Earth.

Let’s not forget that the mindset is not just America. It is British and French and Italian and German and now more than ever Chinese who are lusting after species, literally, on their last legs. Too many species are being lost, including half of all mammal species whose numbers are declining and a fifth of all mammal species are at risk of disappearing from earth. Forever.

Will it be worth having children where nothing breathes except the human face? Many children simply do not know if they will have a future due to climate change and the 6th extinction. The Extinction Rebellion that started in the UK just a few years ago is a direct response to humanity’s subjugation of the natural world for millennia. It is no coincidence that the movement started in the former British Empire. The great hunter ethos exemplified in Teddy Roosevelt, was assimilated into American culture following the British model. Hunting a single unique, often keystone predator species for the purposes of hunting does not improve an area’s biodiversity, which is plummeting all over the planet. Animals were not the ones thrown out of paradise. Only Adam and Eve were.

There is an entity called the Congressional Sportsmen Foundation that enables you to hunt eland for a few thousand dollars in Africa or black bear here in the United States. Recreation is one thing but the deliberate obliteration of a being for entertainment is not something we as a species can afford any longer. Everywhere ecosystems are in jeopardy and predator species are plummeting. Many of the most “charismatic,” most sought after species for the most elite hunters are endangered worldwide. The black bear population is not an issue for now, but their great cousins up north in the melting Arctic most definitely are.

The price tag on a polar bear, which used to nourish Indigenous communities and which are now hunted solely for their fur or body is obscene and a sacrilege. The polar bear will disappear from an overheating Earth within several generations. The foundation of their being is melting and no self-respecting Inuit would have hunted for fun in the old days if you listened to the Inuit elders or Rasmussen, back a hundred years ago. It would have been abhorrent. In equal measure, no self-respecting Maasai warrior would ever, ever have killed a lion for fun. The greatest warriors on Earth have now become lion guardians.

For a senator or outdoorsman from the U.S. or a businessman from China to pay $100,000 to simply put a bullet through the brain of the largest predator on Earth demonstrates how far we have lost ballast and why the world is convulsing. In January 2014, The Guardian ran an article “Rapid Loss of Predators a ‘major environmental threat.’” On land and in the sea. Sharks, one of the key components of the immune system of the oceans are in free fall. Many thousands have been caught in shark fishing tournaments for fun off Montauk and many others coastal cities. Many have had to reform. Tournaments saw the light, but many shark populations have been reduced by 70 percent as well. Some scientists fear sharks might not even survive. They go back almost 500 million years ago. How dare us.

Between major global climate upheaval we are all experiencing and the very fragile state of democracy worldwide with people clamoring for food, water and resources, species are being decimated. They literally have nowhere to run. The aerial shooting of wolves, the baiting and killing of grizzlies or black bears or mountain lion in North America is insanity and hubris writ large. Maybe humans, so divorced from the survival days of yore are bored out of their minds. It’s possible.

There are many arguments for why trophy hunters kill. Hunters can absorb the high costs of hunting, which enhances their status as “men,” mostly men, although some of those hunters stop as they get older and feel more vulnerable to life’s last days and start to feel compassion for other living beings.

We have been social predators for eons only out of sheer necessity. A long time ago, our species was an innocent killer, as Jane Goodall and Hugo van Lawick can testify in their first book on jackals, spotted hyena and wild dogs called “Innocent Killers,” 1970. All that changed with civilization and the domestication of animals. We know the story.  Our destructive potential imposed on nature especially in the last 200 years with the industrial revolution, has developed in tandem with the ability to inflict pain on ourselves on a mass scale. Innumerable species decimated and vanquished at the hand of man. It is part and parcel of a larger mindset of conquest and subjugation. What we do to ourselves we have inflicted on the others. So, to ask why trophy hunters crave to kill begs the question, where does this strange, aberrant behavior come from.

It stems from psychology but philosophers such as Arthur Schopenhauer had partial explanations for the need to kill. It is a stain on our karmic DNA. In the old days we needed to hunt for food, and except for the last remaining tribal groups on Earth, humanity no longer needs to do so to survive. Trophy hunting is of an entirely different breed than hunting out of sheer necessity. Schopenhauer exclaims, “The assumption that animals are without rights, and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance, is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”

Strangely, as our civilization approaches its peak years and possibly senility it may behoove us all to ask why some of us insist on killing for fun. The entire foundation of our morality is breaking down. The gap between rich and poor, between peoples of different colored skins, between men and women and between human and non-human is increasing. The inequality is numbing to the point of mini revolutions across the globe. The need to subjugate has been engraved into civilization’s fingerprint for millennia now. Today it has taken on unique proportions because it is an industry bringing in tens of millions of dollars, money which mostly stays in the industry. The Native people of Africa, already moved out of prime hunting grounds, are not allowed to hunt. But foreigners, of course, are.

Why we may never understand the reasons people hunt animals as ‘trophies,” Xanthe Mallett, a criminologist, reports, “research shows increased levels of hostility and a need for power and control are associated with poor attitudes towards animals, among men in particular.” Mallett also writes, “another paper has linked personality traits of some people who hunt for sport to a different “triad” of behaviors, known ominously as the “dark triad.” This includes narcissism (egotistical admiration of one’s own attributes, and a lack of compassion), Machiavellianism (being deceitful, cunning and manipulative) and psychopathy (lack of remorse or empathy, and prone to impulsive behavior).”

In a study published in 2016 during the heyday of the elephant slaughter authored by Scott Creel, Jessie M’soka, Eli Rosenblatt, Twakundine Simpamba and others, the authors underscore that:

“Trophy hunting has had negative effects on lion populations throughout Africa, and the species serves as an important case study to consider the balance of costs and benefits, and to consider the effectiveness of alternative strategies to conserve exploited species. Age-restricted harvesting is widely recommended to mitigate negative effects of lion hunting, but this recommendation was based on a population model parameterized with data from a well-protected and growing lion population.”

The research by Brent Staplekamp who actually collared Cecil the lion before he was killed by a trophy hunting dentist from the U.S., suggests that lion hunting is not sustainable. His experiencin Hwange, the largest park in Zimbabwe should silence all skeptics once and for all.

Today the lion population is decreasing across Africa. Some say there are 30-25 thousand left, some say as few as 10,000. When will they be as rare as cheetah, who may number no more than 7,000, maybe 1,000 less. When I was first in Kenya as a teenager of 15, there may have been as many as 40,000 cheetah. The elephant herds of Africa have taken a direct hit losing 30 percent of the their numbers in the last 15 years. The black rhino hovered close to 70,000 individuals in 1970. Today maybe 5,000. To auction off a black rhino in Namibia for $350,000 as happened in 2015, flies in the face of reason. Was that animal really worth more dead than alive? The outrage against that particular killing was widespread and begs the question: Is this the best humanity can do to preserve its most fragile species?

Not that long ago, there were more than 40,000 tigers in India and maybe 80,000 in all of Asia. Between 1875 and 1925 the rich and aristocrats of Europe killed off the vast, vast majority of Asia’s most formidable predator. India now has maybe 1,600 tigers. Is there going to be a price tag to shoot a tiger five years from now for $1 million, $5 million, how about $50 million?

I, for one, would rather see the Sistine Chapel fall to pieces, the unique vision of one man, just one man, however talented he may have been, than to lose for all time a single species whether it be the mountain gorilla, elephant, lion, tiger, polar bear or any whale species on this planet. We are riding on the razor’s edge of insanity when the body parts of species on the near edge of extinction continue to motivate adult men, mostly men, for killing purposes.

With all the money at hand in the world, conservation and the business elite need to mobilize economic resources in tandem, because we now know that nature’s financial score card, what she yearly gives back in terms of ecosystem resources of the planet is more than double what humanity makes each and every year in terms of GDP. Economy and ecology have to come together.

I asked a priest at a temple in India what would happen to humanity if we lost the tiger. He said, “it will not matter because there will not be humanity any more.” In a park, almost serene beyond comprehension, the great 65 feet statue of Vishnu the protector, preserver and sustainer of the world lies in the forest where about 8 tigers per square kilometer roam the sanctuary. Buddhist monks used to meditate in caves where tigers patrolled the jungle. The grown men of the world steeply infused with the last remnants of Rambo style mentality, still suffering the stress and horrors of post Vietnam, post 1960’s social dislocation, continue to execute the greatest exemplars of the life force on Earth.

If big game hunters were to enter even one of the caves at Bandhavgarh, sit very quietly for an hour in a way Buddhist monks used to 2,000 years ago, and maybe indulge in a moment of utter tranquility such as most of them have never done before, exit that cave, and stare profoundly into the eyes of a tiger at 20 feet, they would be utterly silenced and irreducibly haunted and transfigured by a vastly more coherent being. But I suspect there are a few hunters today who would follow in Yuri Yankosvky’s footsteps when he left Russia after the Russian Revolution and became a tiger hunter living on “tiger steaks and vodka.” The tigers bred in China for tiger wine are shameful beyond measure. The deer bred in Texas by the thousands for the biggest horns is craven.

To track down an endangered argali sheep in Mongolia, the one inscribed on hunter’s life list of trophies is mindless. While no-one is allowed to kill a tiger in India the black market still exists. One day many species will become as rare as the Bengal, Sumatran tiger or Siberian tiger. But there are those who dream of hunting them. They continue to be poached. With changing monsoon patterns with heat indexes expected to rise across Asia, how will the tiger survive? How will humanity survive?

Unbelievably enough, an elephant can still be targeted for the asking price of $40K. How on Earth anyone would want to shoot one of the pillars of the world is beyond comprehension. But the estimated value of an elephant over its lifetime may be over 1.5 million dollars, many, many times what it is worth as a lifeless, mute, inert, devastated lump of obscenity hanging on someone’s wall, or as a tusk encased in glass. When will this come to an end? When will there be only 1,000 elephants left in the wild protected by electric fences and armed guards? By then there will be nothing left of the wild.

What exactly will it take to come to our senses? You know, when a child looks at a live being and then is told that adults, or their parents enjoy, actually enjoy the slaughter of that being, that child is severed from the world forever as “Elephant Song,” the remarkably insightful film from Canada makes abundantly clear. We have reached the tail end of morality on this Earth as a species. A few more millimeters and we will have reached the point of no return. The Convention on Biological Diversity seeks to stave off the bleeding of nature while nature still exists in some measure. But we are running out of time. The Arctic and Antarctic melting are starting to make short work of our vanity. We need to wake up.

There may come a time, when teachers will have to explain to their students what Nature was. That Nature came to an end abruptly in the 21st century out of greed and utter arrogance. The end, not just of the proverbial elephant’s tail, but the lifeline to existence, which are its species. We have the next four years and maybe this decade, and then it will be over. I promise. Unless we make an about face.

The clinical dimension of loss where 70 percent of the world’s animal populations have been eliminated in the last two generations is incalculable, ecologically, and in terms of the human psyche, psychologically and spiritually. It is why more people are addicted to drugs than ever. Why more people are taking their lives than ever. Why more people are deciding not to have children than ever. Because not only are they being left behind, the species that gave them a reason to marvel and wonder, are diminishing. We have precisely this decade to turn things around before the possibility of living viably on this Earth disappears.

Recently, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the explorer, was able to convince the WWF to change its endorsement of trophy hunting. Which speaks volumes about this inimitable explorer and about one of the very largest conservation groups on the planet. Change is possible. Fiennes wrote about Boris Johnson, as the leader of the country that incited trophy hunting more than any other in modern times when he said that he hoped that the prime minister would understand that hunting was about cruelty. “Bullying bastards are involved and people who are vain sticking lovely dead animals on their walls.” This preeminent British adventurer was the oldest to climb Mt. Everest and has crossed both polar ice caps summoned by a spirit virtually unmatched in modern times. So when “Killing Game: The Extinction Industry” 2020 by Eduardo Goncalves came out, he had to call out the WWF for its diabolic practice of supporting trophy hunting and called out the practice for what it was, the perfidy of killing for its own sake.

Released five years after the killing of Cecil the lion, the book made an impact and especially on the WWF. They were shamed as should every killer, every hunter who wantonly destroys life for fun, not for venison, not for food, but for plain old entertainment. In this extraordinary time of extreme vulnerability, life can no longer be taken for granted. To hold onto antiquated models of human behavior does humanity and Earth a grave injustice. As Eduardo exclaims, “All forms of animal cruelty, persecution, and murder are unjustifiable. But this is perhaps the most senseless and vile form of animal exploitation of all. It is people killing animals literally just to amuse themselves.”  Nine out of ten people want trophy hunting banned and the vast majority want to see all forms of trophies banned not just endangered species who could well disappear in the next few years, let alone the next generation. If the WWF can change its stand on one of humanity’s most heinous practices, so too can the executioners of the wild, called trophy hunters.

But the greatest argument of all comes of course from science. Incontrovertibly so. The “maximum sustainable yield” concept that hunters might use, let’s say in taking out a few dozen, or even a hundred deer out of population of let’s say a thousand over a year leaves the remaining population with more “unfit” individuals. Those with the biggest horns, the largest tusks, if taken out, leave the less fit in the overall population. The “conspecific competition” between the strongest males in a species is reduced by targeting the ones with the largest horns, which erodes and undermines natural selection. Trophy hunting is artificial selection. Trophy hunting impairs genetic selection for the hardiest individuals. Trophy hunting stops evolution or rather causes reverse evolution.

We can no longer afford to turn a deaf ear to the future. For if we do not act now, the future will be silent except for the guile laden, war ravaging, profit mongering voice of a young species, called Homo sapiens, that took the life force for granted and conducted itself in a manner that led to the 6th extinction now upon us. For far too long men thought they were superior to women. For far too long whites thought they were superior to people of color. For far too long humans have thought they were superior to animals. For far too long humans thought of themselves as the crowning achievement of life on Earth. If life persists with even the semblance of the species Earth once had by century’s end, it will be a miracle. If we don’t, the hunters of the world will have plenty to answer for because their ethos, their conduct is part of the warrior behavior that puts a bullet in an elephants’ brain because it can. We are very close to the point where nature simply has no use for us anymore. We are unraveling the life force.

Sometimes with the barrel of a gun.

Anyone who has doubts about the psychosis involved with the deer breeding farms in Texas should go down to that state and look around. To shoot deer with the biggest horns, “Hornography,” as Gibson calls it. Africa’s situation with the near shut down of tourism should not be an excuse for ramping up the hunting industry’s quota for the greatest mammals on Earth. The death industry imposed on the innocent is very much part and parcel of our militarized civilization. And we will have to invent incredible excuses for the incredulous children who will have lost wonder and childhood forever. We are very close to the razor’s edge. We need to be very careful this decade. We are about to lose the meaning of life. Which is life itself.

As Werner Herzog, the visionary filmmaker once exclaimed after making “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”

“I do not want to live on a planet where there are no lions anymore.”

Our species used to kill to survive, because we did not have a choice. Today we have to choose life before it withers before the great cosmos of what this Earth once encompassed. The animals of the world, the backbone of existence, have been treated like expendable resources and garbage for far too long. The cavemen of 50,000 ago had far more respect for life. Animal populations are collapsing and our civilization will too. Native people always took the weakest individuals, as I was just told by a Gwich’in elder in Alaska. They respected the leader, the strongest of the bunch. Our civilization simply does not. Unless……unless we change the heart of our humanity. In this extraordinarily fragile pandemic time, we should all know what that means.

Perhaps when all is gone and there is quite nothing to expect to find in the forests of the world we can look back with utter shame at what was and remember the great short story, “The Most Dangerous Game,” by Richard Connell in 1924 wherein the protagonist, a man, is hunted because he has cunning, courage and reason which supposedly the other animals do not. From the story:

“It will be light enough in Rio,” promised Whitney. “We should make it in a few days. I hope the jaguar guns have come from Purdey’s. We should have some good hunting up the Amazon. Great sport, hunting.”

“The best sport in the world,” agreed Rainsford.

“For the hunter,” amended Whitney. “Not for the jaguar.”

“Don’t talk rot, Whitney,” said Rainsford. “You’re a big-game hunter, not a philosopher. Who cares how a jaguar feels?”

“Perhaps the jaguar does,” observed Whitney.

“Bah! They’ve no understanding.”

“Even so, I rather think they understand one thing–fear. The fear of pain and the fear of death.”

“Nonsense,” laughed Rainsford. “This hot weather is making you soft, Whitney. Be a realist. The world is made up of two classes–the hunters and the huntees. Luckily, you and I are hunters.

As Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, who has spent years with the Bushmen back in the 1950’s and knew the old Africa like very few on Earth magisterially explains, “Yes, poaching and trophy hunting are different, but only from the human point of view. The two disgusting practices are identical from the wildlife point of view, especially for endangered species which seem to attract unusually large numbers of trophy hunters.”

We have to change as a species before it’s too late.

Learn more about Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson’s work at their website.