Joe Rogan and Cameron Hanes chat about the “Cecil the lion” story, telling it like it is and countering many of the ignorance-based opinions of the anti-hunting crowd.
Joe Rogan and Cameron Hanes are a couple of guys who know a thing or two about hunting, wildlife conservation and social media. Here, the two chat in a coffee shop about the trending social media topic of the month: the killing of Cecil the lion.
Rogan is one of the first Hollywood personalities to make a huge splash with an Internet presence, with his very successful podcast series. Hanes is an acclaimed bowhunter athlete who uses Facebook to effectively keep his supporters informed and tuned in to his activities in the field and in the gym.
But even an experienced Internet entrepreneur like Rogan is surprised by the response the story of Cecil the lion has generated. “It’s just amazing how many people have jumped on it,” he says. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
The two agree that the “outrage” expressed by the anti-hunting crowd has been over the top, and in many cases disingenuous, as many people use issues or causes like this one to elevate themselves for questionable reasons.
“No matter how bad you are, if you say ‘This is terrible!’, [then] you’re better,” says Hanes. “People are jumping on the bandwagon to bash hunters…it’s just a way for people to say ‘I’m a good guy, because I’m with Cecil!'”
Rogan agrees. “Social media brownie points,” he replies.
It’s a lively, informative and well-spoken chat between the two, with plenty of quotable lines and arguments that hunters can make use of when fighting their own battles with anti-hunters.
Hanes points out the bias of the media as he discusses the inflammatory language used in many of the news reports on the Cecil the lion story.
“The media uses words like ‘decapitated’…’lured’…well, you know, how you kill a lion in Africa is you bait it. So I guess that is ‘luring,’ no different than when you lure a fish when you catch it. So, it’s kind of a hot word they’re trying to use.”
“And then ‘decapitation,'” he continues. “You know you have to process an animal when you kill it. Deer, elk, whatever. You field dress it and, yeah, its head coming off is part of it. And so, we don’t say we decapitate it. We say we field dress the animal. That’s what they do. And so, wading through all the sensationalism, it’s hard to say exactly where we are with this.”
Rogan jumps in with a bit of well-deserved ridicule of comedian and virulent anti-hunter Ricky Gervais.
“We don’t know if this is true,” says Rogan, “because it’s all over Twitter, but he apparently deleted it, if it is true, that Ricky Gervais posted that ‘a lion is more beautiful than a newborn baby.'” (laughter and head shaking.) He continues, “What does that mean? That you should kill babies and not kill lions? I don’t even know what that means.” (more laughter and head shaking.)
“Go over there [Africa],” says Hanes. “Talk to the people over there. Live over there. Then you can have an opinion. We have it so good here…it seems like we have to find the ’cause of the week.'”
Rogan picks up the ball on the issue of game laws and hunting as a tool in successful wildlife management, a partnership that many anti-hunters dispute.
“The laws are pretty strict, and for people who aren’t aware of it, game populations in this country are very carefully managed. It’s probably one of the best government organizations that we have, is the wildlife and game organizations that we have in America. They do an amazing job. …they do a fantastic job of knowing of knowing exactly what the populations are and how much they can take and how much that we need to leave.”
“Yeah,” Hanes adds, “That’s not for anti-hunters, who really don’t know anything about it, to weigh in on, in my opinion.”
While the two hunters do not defend the individuals involved in the shooting of the lion, they make excellent arguments defending and supporting hunting for the noble pursuit that it is.
“My whole thing is that hunting is about honor. If he was dishonorable about killing ‘Cecil the lion,'” says Hanes, “well, he needs to answer for that.”
“If you love animals and you think that people should be able to eat meat, you should be pro-hunting…” concludes Rogan. “There are meat eaters out there that are angry at hunters. That’s just damn stupid. We didn’t get to this stage of civilization without figuring out how to kill animals.”