It has always been my position that killing animals that are handsome, adorable, or elegant is morally wrong. The only animals that should be killed are ones that are mildly annoying like flies or delicious like wherever hamburgers come from.
So when news broke that the most evil dentist since Christian Szell killed a handsome lion, the reaction was swift, unanimous and correct: fuck that guy. Considering Dr. Walter Palmer, DDS may face extradition to Zimbabwe, and that his best-case scenario is remaining America in a quasi-Twilight Zone state where he is free, but imprisoned by the universal hatred of his neighbors and former friends, his life is certainly ruined. We did it!
But you know what group of people doesn’t quite feel so strongly as I do about Cecil The Lion’s death? Zimbabweans! And while you might think that this is the result of some sort of antipathy toward a marauding death beast named after the aggressively racist colonialist who their country was once named for, for some, the issue is a bit more fundamental than that.
“What lion?” acting information minister Prisca Mupfumira asked in response to a request for comment about Cecil, who was at that moment topping global news bulletins and generating reams of abuse for his killer on websites in the United States and Europe.
The INFORMATION MINISTER had no idea who this lion was! Now, this may be more a function of Zimbabwe’s awful, incompetent government. But it’s not like the locals are up in arms over this.
“Are you saying that all this noise is about a dead lion? Lions are killed all the time in this country,” said Tryphina Kaseke, a used-clothes hawker on the streets of Harare. “What is so special about this one?”
Uh, it has a name?
“Why are the Americans more concerned than us?” said Joseph Mabuwa, a 33-year-old father-of-two cleaning his car in the center of the capital. “We never hear them speak out when villagers are killed by lions and elephants in Hwange.”
So why are the Zimbabweans less concerned than us about Cecil’s death? The answer is simple. Imagine if Zimbabweans came here and started hunting our asshole dentists for sport. Sure, asshole dentists are a commonplace nuisance, but it’d still be a little weird, and a little annoying. And it’s rude and disrespectful to come to our country and violate our strict No Dentist Hunting Laws by luring them outside of the Safe Dentist Preserve with… flouride, let’s say. But we wouldn’t really care that much because asshole dentists are all around us, and to the extent we interact with them, it’s when they poke our gums with sharp metal objects and then berate us for not flossing.
So maybe everyone does care the right amount. RIP Cecil, nevertheless.