Popular television host and trophy hunter Melissa Bachman has come under fire from what seems like the entire Internet (even Morrissey has spoken out) after posting a photo of her most recent hunting excursion in South Africa. After Melissa visited the Maroi Conservancy she shared the below photo and comment to her Facebook and Twitter pages:
“An incredible day hunting in South Africa. Stalked inside 60-yards on this beautiful male lion…what a hunt!”
A hailstorm of negative comments and tweets started coming in, culminating in a change.org petition asking South African government officials to ban Melissa from ever returning to the country. The Conservancy where Bachman hunted felt the need to take to their own Facebook page to offer their point of view:
“We do ethical hunting and all meat from animals hunted is distributed to the local community. Funds generated from hunting goes towards fixing the border fence that was washed away in the 2013 floods; combating poaching which is excessive in this area due to close proximity to Zimbabwe and running a sustainable conservancy. We have lost 2 eland, 4 giraffes and numerous other animals in the past 2 months that were killed by spears and dogs. We control our game numbers to prevent starvation of animals.”
Regardless, the petition continues to grow, now reaching nearly 270,000 signatures, and anti-Melissa Bachman/anti-trophy hunting Facebook pages have begun to pop up. Here is where the issue strays from self-justified anger to misguided rage.
Many who have commented and shared this piece of news do not realize that everything that Melissa did was completely legal, and even benefited the South African government who sells the costly tags that are required to hunt a lion within the country. Like the Conservancy noted, the meat and funds go back to the local community to combat both natural and economical issues.
Another issue with this mass outrage is the act of “slacktivism.” If you’re not familiar, think back to LIVESTRONG. Basically, any issue that comes to a head in the media and causes an emotional reaction with the masses is taken up in a temporary phase of activism that really holds no long-term value to the actual cause. Most of the fans of these anti-hunting Facebook pages are not active animal conservationists, but rather the much more common “slacktivist.”
With the growing public opinion toward big game trophy hunting, we would like to hear our reader’s opinion on the age-old sport, and what you think the future of it is within the current social climate.