I don’t know who is sending would-be rhino Corey Knowlton all those death threats we keep hearing about, but I think it’s just terrible.
It’s terrible they waited until after he’d killed all those other 120 species—from every continent—that line the walls of his trophy room. Too bad they held off until he had a chance to murder one of every species of wild sheep in existence, for instance. It’s a shame the 35 year old lived long enough to become the co-host of a hunting show on The Outdoor Channel which extols the virtues of snuffing out wildlife and encourages animal assassination in the name of sport.
It’s an absolute tragedy they waited until he won last week’s Dallas Safari Club auction to hunt a black rhino in Namibia. Now, unless the threats are in fact serious and carried out in the coming weeks, he will get the chance to destroy yet another undeserving sentient being in the name of ego, selfishness, arrogance and hedonism.
For those not keen on lethal action, here are 3 things you can do to help:
1) PETITION: http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=104&ea.campaign.id=24844
2) PETITION: http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/get-involved/protect-black-rhinos-trophy-hunters
3) FB page with USFWS contact info and sample letter for writing to ask them to deny permit: https://www.facebook.com/events/242483775925213/
Corey Knowlton is the hunter who won the right to kill an endangered rhino in the Safari Club auction. This is part of trophy room (Big Horn Sheep section – Knowlton claims that he has hunted “over 120 species on every continent” – obviously many animals per species)…
…and this is what Grumpy Cat has to say about him:
Believing the spin that “hunters are an endangered species,” trophy-hunter hunting group, the Sahara Club, a conservation group dedicated to preserving the hunter herd for future generations of trophy-hunter hunters to harvest, auctioned off a chance to hunt an aging, expendable hunter to raise funds for their cause. Taxidermy services will also be awarded to the winning bidder. Proceeds will be used to enhance hunter habitat for the species known taxonomically as Homo huntsman horribilis and will go towards funding more logging roads to allow access for their trucks and four-wheelers, as well as building more conveniently located gas station/mini-marts, taverns and mobile home parks.
Biologists blame a long history of inbreeding for the decline in hunter fertility and viability. When asked about the ethics of hunting down and killing this unfortunate individual, a Sahara Club spokesman stated, “Overall I think it will be a good thing. While it may bad for this individual hunter, it is in the interest of conservation of the hunter species.” If the auction idea proves to be a success, the group plans to hold similar events for loggers, ranchers, commercial fishermen and other resource extractors also said to be endangered species by industry spin doctors.
Individuals chosen to be hunted down and harvested can thank the Safari Club for recently coming up with the idea of auctioning a rhino trophy hunt on an endangered black rhinoceros.
(This has been another installment in EtBG’s “Headlines We’d Like to See.”)
by Marc Bekoff
Should we kill in the name of conservation? Individual animals are not disposable commodities
We live in a troubled and wounded world in which humans continue to dominate and to relentlessly kill numerous nonhuman animals (animals).
A Texas hunting club recently auctioned off an endangered black rhino purportedly to save other black rhinos and their homes in Namibia. The Dallas Safari Club says, “Namibian wildlife officials will accompany the auction winner through Mangetti National Park where the hunt will occur, ‘to ensure the correct type of animal is taken.’” This is not a very comforting thought.
This sale, in which an animal is objectified and treated like a disposable commodity, raises many questions about how we try to save other species. One major question is, “Should we kill in the name of conservation?” People disagree on what is permissible and what is not. My take and that of compassionate conservation is this is not an acceptable trade-off. (Please see “Ignoring Nature No More: Compassionate Conservation at Work”, Ignoring nature no more: The case for compassionate conservation, and a Forbes interview for more on compassionate conservation.) The life of every individual matters.
The world is in dire need of healing and we must revise some of the ways in which we attempt to coexist with other animals. Some of these methods center on heinous ways of killing them “in the name of conservation” or “to foster coexistence”. Compassionate conservation stresses that the life of every individual matters and trading off an individual for the good of their own or another species is not an acceptable way to save species. And, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that it works in any significant way.
Black rhinos do indeed find themselves trying to avoid humans out to kill them, but in Namibia only 10 rhinos have been killed since 2006. Of course, this is 10 too many, but far fewer than have been killed in neighboring South Africa where around 1000 were killed in 2012 alone.
“To destroy nature is not to conserve nature. To mount the head of a wild animal in your trophy room is not conservation, it is repugnant.”
The above quotation comes from an essay in examiner.com called “Must conservation of wildlife including killing wildlife”. It was based on a 60 Minutes report titled “Hunting animals to save them?” While it dealt with wildlife ranches in Texas where people can pay a small fortune to kill various animals in canned hunts, it does raise important questions about killing in the name of conservation. Some other valuable snippets worth deep consideration include:
“If we want to conserve a population of, for instance, people native to a particular section of our country, would we kill a few to conserve the others? Isn’t that saying the group is more important than the individual? Isn’t it saying the individual gives up his or her rights to life because he or she belongs to a particular group, a particular species?”
“Each life—human animal and nonhuman animal—is an individual with an individual personality. Take a group of purebred puppies, for example—they may all look the same but they aren’t. They are their own individual beings with individual traits and personalities. Wildlife are individuals with their own individual traits and personalities. To say one is more deserving to live than another, in the name of conservation, bastardizes the word.”
Killing animals to save others sets a bad example and a regrettable precedent and is not the way to foster peaceful coexistence. When people say they kill animals because they love them this makes me feel very uneasy. I’m glad they don’t love me.
Cruelty can’t stand the spotlight and it is important that news about the sorts of activities discussed above be widely disseminated and openly discussed. That major media is covering them is a step in the right direction.
By Eric Aasen
Bob Barker, the legendary game show host, has chimed in on the Dallas Safari Club’s black rhino auction that’s taking place this weekend. He wants the club to call off the event.
The club hopes to raise as much as $1 million to protect the rare black rhino by auctioning off the right to hunt one. But the auction has kicked up international controversy. Club members have been receiving death threats, and the FBI is investigating. (Update: On Saturday, the rhino hunt permit was sold for $350,000, the Associated Press reported.)
Friday afternoon, PETA released a letter from Barker, who hosted “The Price is Right” for 35 years. He’s also an animal rights advocate. (You remember his classic sign-off, right?: “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.”)
The rhino to be hunted is an old bull that’s past the point of helping sustain the herd. This is the sixth such auction in Namibia, but the first to be held outside the country. The Dallas Safari Club says 100 percent of the money raised will go toward conservation efforts.
But in his letter, Barker says it is “presumptuous to assume that this rhino’s life is no longer of any value.”
“The rhino that your organization reportedly has in its crosshairs is an older ‘non-breeding’ male who has apparently been deemed expendable,” Barker wrote. “As an older male myself, I must say that this seems like a rather harsh way of dealing with senior citizens.”
“Just because you’re ‘retired’ doesn’t mean you don’t have anything more to offer. In fact, I personally feel that I’ve accomplished a great deal since I quit my day job. Surely, it is presumptuous to assume that this rhino’s life is no longer of any value. What of the wisdom that he has acquired over the course of a long life? What’s the world coming to when a lifetime’s experience is considered a liability instead of an asset?
The Safari Club’s executive director, Ben Carter, recently spoke with KERA about his group’s efforts. Listen to that conversation here.
Here’s Barker’s full letter, provided by PETA:
I am writing to ask you to call off your planned auction of a chance to kill an endangered black rhino in Namibia. The rhino that your organization reportedly has in its crosshairs is an older “non-breeding” male who has apparently been deemed expendable. As an older male myself, I must say that this seems like a rather harsh way of dealing with senior citizens.
I can certainly sympathize with this animal’s plight (and I would think that many of your older members could as well). How many seniors have been written off simply because they have a certain number of birthdays under their belts? But just because you’re “retired” doesn’t mean you don’t have anything more to offer. In fact, I personally feel that I’ve accomplished a great deal since I quit my day job. Surely, it is presumptuous to assume that this rhino’s life is no longer of any value. What of the wisdom that he has acquired over the course of a long life? What’s the world coming to when a lifetime’s experience is considered a liability instead of an asset?
There are only about 5,000 black rhinos still alive in Africa. What kind of message does it send when we put a $1 million bounty on one of their heads? These animals are endangered for that very reason: money. What makes you any better than the poachers who kill rhinos to feed their families? At least, they are honest about their less noble motives. You try to dress up greed under the guise of “conservation.”
True conservationists are those who pay money to keep rhinos alive—in the form of highly lucrative eco-tourism—as opposed to those who pay money for the cheap thrill of taking this magnificent animal’s life and putting his head on a wall.
If you want someone’s head to go on a wall, pick mine. I will happily send you an autographed photo to auction off instead. My mug may not fetch as much money as that of a dead rhino, but at least we’ll all live to enjoy another sunrise in our sunset years.
Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY
December 19, 2013 A Chinese antique dealer, described as one of the most prolific wildlife traffickers in the world, pleaded guilty Thursday as the director of conspiracy to smuggle $4.5 million in rhinoceros horn and elephant ivory from the U.S. to China.
Zhifei Li, 29, faces a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison on each of 11 criminal counts when he is sentenced April 1.
New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, whose office prosecuted the case, said the trafficking of such things as rhino horn, which can fetch up to $17,500 per pound on the illegal market, has swelled to “unprecedented levels.”
“The brutality of animal poaching, wherever it occurs, feeds the demand of a multibillion-dollar illegal international market,” Fishman said.
[And finally, this article, the last of today's series on anti-animal A-holes (brought to you by good folks at "Ammoland"), needs no introduction...]
Rhino Permit to be Auctioned at Dallas Safari Club Convention
Published on Friday, October 11, 2013
DALLAS, TX - -(Ammoland.com)- Through an historic collaboration between governments, one hunter will have a chance to hunt a black rhino, help manage and conserve the species, and import a rare trophy to the US in 2014.
The Dallas Safari Club (DSC) has been selected by the Government of the Republic of Namibia to auction a special hunting permit with all proceeds earmarked for rhino conservation in that country.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has promised full cooperation with a qualified buyer.
DSC will sell the permit during its annual convention and expo Jan. 9-12 in Dallas.
An unprecedented sale price is expected.
This fundraiser is the first of its kind for an endangered species, said DSC Executive Director Ben Carter, and its going to generate a sum of money large enough to be enormously meaningful in Namibias fight to ensure the future of its black rhino populations.
The Government of the Republic of Namibia approved the permit in accordance with CITES provisions to generate crucial funding for rhino conservation initiatives including anti-poaching effortswhile at the same time managing the black rhino population within Mangetti National Park, where the hunt will take place.
Science has shown that removing certain individual animals can help rhino populations grow.
Black rhinos commonly fight to the death. In fact, the species has the highest combat mortality rates of any mammal. Approximately 50 percent of males and 30 percent of females die from combat-related injuries. Extremely aggressive bulls are known to be population-limiting factors in some areas. Selectively harvesting these animals can lead to population increases and greater survival. [This is total b.s., by the way. Don't these people have any faith in nature whatsoever?]
Rampant and indiscriminate poaching is threatening rhino populations across Africa. Rhino horn has high black-market value, especially in Southeast Asia, for ornamental uses and folk remedies, although medical research has disproved actual benefits.
The Conservation Trust Fund for Namibias Black Rhino will receive 100 percent of the hunting permit sale price. Both DSC and contracted auctioneer Ed Phillips of Houston offered to forego their customary sales commissions to support the special cause.
Louisiana conservation attorney John J. Jackson, III, helped facilitate the auction item and proceeds will be channeled through his Conservation Force, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity, for income tax deduction purposes.
The winning bidder may hire his or her qualified outfitter or guide to lead the hunt, which will be accompanied by Namibian wildlife officials.
About Dallas Safari Club (DSC) Desert bighorns on an unbroken landscape, stalking Cape buffalo in heavy brush, students discovering conservation. DSC works to guarantee a future for all these and much more. An independent organization since 1982, DSC has become an international leader in conserving wildlife and wilderness lands, educating youth and the general public, and promoting and protecting the rights and interests of hunters worldwide. Get involved at www.biggame.org.
In agreeing with President Obama’s plan to strike Syria, Representative Nancy Pelosi was quoted as saying we must respond to actions “outside the circle of civilized human behavior.” Nice to hear that the U.S. Government thinks it has the moral authority to respond to such actions. While they’re at it, I can think of a whole lot of other actions which should be considered “outside the circle of civilized human behavior” that are desperately in need of responding to.
I’m referring, of course, to the innumerable abuses of non-human animals by humans—many that go on every day right here in the U.S. of A. I’m afraid if I were to try to list all the instances of human mistreatment of other animals which should fall outside the “circle of civilized human behavior,” the pages would fill the halls of justice, spill out onto the streets and overflow the banks of Potomac River in an unending tsunami of savagery.
So here’s just a partial list…
Wolf Hunting—No sooner did grey wolves begin to make a comeback in the Lower 48 than did the feds jerk the rug out from under them by lifting their endangered species protections and casting their fate into the clutches of hostile states. Now, hunters in Wyoming have a year-round season on them while anti-wolf fanatics in Montana have quadrupled their per person yearly kill quota.
Trapping—Only the creepiest arachnid would leave a victim suffering and struggling for days until it suits them to come along for the “harvest.” Yet “law abiding trappers” routinely leave highly sentient, social animals clamped by the foot and chained to a log to endlessly await their fate.
Hound-Hunting—“Sportsmen” not content to shoot unsuspecting prey from a distance of a hundred yards or more sometimes use hounds to make their blood-sport even more outrageously one-sided.
Bowhunting—Those who want to add a bit of challenge to their unnecessary kill-fest like to try their luck at archery. Though they often go home empty-handed, they can always boast about the “ones that got away”… with arrows painfully stuck in them.
Contest Hunts—Prairie dogs, coyotes, and in Canada, wolves, are among the noble, intelligent animals that ignoble dimwits are allowed to massacre during bloody tournaments reminiscent of the bestial Roman Games.
Horse Slaughter—After all that our equine friends have done for us over the centuries, the administration sees fit to send them in cattle trucks to those nightmarish death-camps where so many other forcibly domesticated herbivores meet their tragic ends.
Factory farming—Whether cows, sheep, pigs, chickens or turkeys, the conditions animals are forced to withstand on modern day factory farms fall well outside even the narrowest circle of civilized human compassion. To call their situations overcrowded, inhumane or unnatural does not do justice to the fiendish cruelty that farmed animals endure each and every day of their lives.
Atrocious conditions are not confined to this continent. Chickens in China (the ancestral home of some new strain of bird flu just about every other week) are treated worse than inanimate objects. Bears, rhinoceros and any other animal whose body parts are said to have properties that will harden the wieners of hard-hearted humans are hunted like there’s no tomorrow. And let’s not forget the South Korean dog and cat slaughter, or Japan’s annual dolphin round up…
Far be it from me to belittle the use of chemical weapons—my Grandfather received a purple heart after the Germans dropped mustard gas on his foxhole during World War One. I just feel that if we’re considering responding to actions “outside the circle of civilized human behavior,” we might want to strike a few targets closer to home as well. Or better yet, reign in some of our own ill-behaviors so we can justifiably call ourselves “civilized.”
It’s Election Day and you’re probably on pins and needles waiting to find out which lucky candidate will be the next President of the United States. But I want to talk about something more important.
I don’t have anything in particular in mind. It could be the weather (or more specifically, how the weather is changing because of global warming). Or, it could be the rhino poaching problem in Africa, the dolphin slaughter going on right now in Japan or the perilously low numbers of big cats left on the planet. Or how, for some people, attitudes towards wolves haven’t changed since the barbarically backwards days of dark ages past.
The point is, no matter how this hyped-up human election turns out, there are other important issues going on at the same time that aren’t getting the media attention they deserve.