It is with absolutely no surprise that at breakfast this morning, Peter informed us of the "Cecil Effect", which is simply a Social Media-friendly iteration of the "Law of Unintended Consequences".
For those Gentle Readers who may have been living under a rock, last July an American hunter thumped a lion in Zimbabwe -- legally. The international media must have been short of neurologically-room-temperature reality stars that day, and turned this fairly routine killing into an ecological frenzy.
It is safe to say that out of 10,000 Zimbabweans, 9,999 of them had not one clue regarding the life of this lion -- and frankly, did not care. This did not stop the media from deciding that this lion was obviously beloved by all, and the Twitter Twinkies lost their ever-loving minds.
Rallies were held! Speeches were made! T-shirts were sold! Petitions signed! Appropriate hate directed! Knee-jerk laws passed!
Fast-forward seven months -- about two months longer than I had thought, truth be told -- and this morning we learn that one concrete consequence of all of the knee-jerk bushwa restrictions is that about 200 lions are probably going to have to be culled, because the furry great bastards are eating the game preserve out of house and home.
As a child of Africa I'd like to point out a gritty reality that the Mainstream Medi and the Twitter Twinkies are going to be deep in denial over:
It costs about $USD50,000 to buy a tag for a lion in Zimbabwe -- that (stable) money goes to Zimbabwe.
Every hunter who buys a tag for a lion must stay somewhere in Zimbabwe -- and lodging costs money, which stays in Zimbabwe.
Every hunter who buys a tag for a lion must eat during his stay -- and food costs money (which stays in Zimbabwe).
Knick-knacks, souveniers, tchotchkes, trinkets, gifts for friends and family back home, and other mementos of a trip to Africa would be purchased. Money which doesn't go back State-side.
We won't even discuss tips and bribes, other than to say ... it's Africa. Tips and bribes will be significant.
As a mental exercise, let us take fifty thousand US dollars (plus all the other money, noted above), multiply that number by two hundred lions, and see how much money the bunny-huggers and the spine-less, knee-jerk politicians and bureaucrats have kept out of the mouths of starving Zimbabweans and the game reserve.
That's right, Tofu Breath: those game parks you're dotting your cupcakes over? A large percentage of their budget and operating capital comes right out of the wallets of hunters.
In one fell swoop -- over one idiot furry predator -- you've not only managed to take the food right out of the mouths of the families that have come to rely upon it, but you've also managed to make a significant dent in the operating capital of the park itself.
On top of being forced to kill 200 lions -- for free.
Well done, old chaps. Jolly well done.
This is what happens when people whose entire knowledge of the subject comes from a grotty Disney version of Hamlet (with dancing hippos, and singing giraffes!); these Disney-sotted simpletons decide that this gives them insight into a complex situation in a complex country on the other side of the world, and throw a monumental hissy-fit until Someone Has Done Something, and be damned to the consequences.
While this sort of idiocy does win up hurting someone -- the eco-bullying, patchouli-reeking Twitter Twinkies, sitting smugly in their parent's basement never really get to feel the consequences of their brief shining moment of Social! Justice! For! Cecil! Yeah!
Sod 'em all.