Monday, August 3, 2015

A Death With Less Coverage Than Cecil the Lion

Not that I'm not sad about the lion...

In a rare case of finding common cause, thousands of Israelis and Palestinians gathered Saturday in rallies and protests. They took to the streets a day after suspected Jewish terrorists set fire to a Palestinian home and burned a toddler to death, presumably to expel more Palestinians from the West Bank and expand Jewish settlements.

The loss of the child was enough for people on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide to rise up and affirm a basic tenet of their Abrahamic faiths: That innocence is a blessed right and must be protected.

It was such a dastardly act that even Benjamin Netanyahu was moved to decry it. 

This moment of unity should not be forgotten. It reflects a search by many religious leaders, whether Jewish, Islamic, or Christian, to define the core doctrine of these sibling Abrahamic religions and help them find peace with each other.

We can hope. Jonathan Sacks:

“It is not our task to conquer or convert the world or enforce uniformity of belief. It is our task to be a blessing to the world.” The basis for this blessing, he states, is that the Abrahamic faiths have made the claim “that every human being, regardless of color, culture, class or creed, was [created] in the image and likeness of God.”

“Too often in the history of religion, people have killed in the name of the God of life, waged war in the name of the God of peace, hated in the name of the God of love and practiced cruelty in the name of the God of compassion. When this happens, God speaks, sometimes in a still, small voice almost inaudible beneath the clamor of those claiming to speak on his behalf. What he says at such times is: Not in my name.

Also not getting enough coverage was the last blue moon until 2018. You snoozed, you lost.

MEA CULPA: Upon reflection, I feel I may have been dismissive of the lion story with my post title. It is an important issue. We are certainly not in Teddy's time anymore. 

“Theodore Roosevelt was a passionate hunter. He loved the thrill of tracking and chasing game, the skill in marksmanship, the careful and deliberate recording of his observations about each hunt, the demanding—if smelly—preservation of specimens, and the pleasure of capturing in rich and vibrant language this ephemeral experience so that he could share it with the world,”  

Things are getting better despite the on-going presence of some neanderthals in our society. That's why I have a "look on the bright side" label. 

What has fundamentally altered our view of trophy hunting is the moral shift that comes as the result of an amalgam of factors, including film, celebrities, and even vegan trends pushed by animal rights groups. According to a Harris Interactive poll commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group, about 5 percent of Americans – that's about 16 million people – say that they never eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry. Of these vegetarians, about half say they are vegan. 

Giving Roosevelt some credit:

President Roosevelt himself was likely a major contributor to the anti-trophy sentiment that exists today because of his refusal to kill an old, sick bear that had been tied to a tree by his guide just for the sake of shooting something on an unproductive hunting trip.

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