Modern Morality and the Value of Life

The mainstream media has turned the killing of an African lion named Cecil into an explosive international story. The hunter, who paid Zimbabwe some $55,000 for the right to bring back such a trophy, was identified as Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer. Social media has been abuzz over this for days; Palmer received death threats and the most extreme of the “tolerant” haters online were literally demanding his scalp.

Lost in the reporting of this story are some disquieting facts. First, Zimbabwe has been cast in the unlikely (and wildly inaccurate) role of outraged victim. For those who might have missed it, Zimbabwe is run by 91 year old dictator Robert Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980. As has been reported in the alternative media, Mugabe delights in giving extravagant parties; his recent birthday party cost a reported $1 million. While animal activists and modern “liberals” of all sorts were mourning the loss of Cecil the lion, they managed to ignore the fact that Mugabe consumed what was referred to as a “zoo” at that party. Included among the delicacies was a baby elephant. Evidently, there aren’t any liberal tears being shed over the death of this innocent creature.

Among Mugabe’s birthday presents, just a few months prior to the death of Cecil the lion, was a stuffed lion, to be mounted as the dictator’s personal trophy. Local wildlife conservationists called the party “obscene” and described the celebration as “totally unethical.” And yet Social Media was silent. They also protested about all this taking place in the midst of “collapsed public hospitals, clinics and rural schools” in the impoverished African nation. Zimbabwe’s per capita GDP is the third lowest in the world, and the average wage for a Zimbabwe citizen is a paltry $253 per month. As a headline in the Minneapolis Post described it, “Cecil the Lion Had a Better Life Than Most People in Zimbabwe.”

Yet in spite of the embarrassing state of their downtrodden nation, Zimbabwe officials had the gall to demand that the United States extradite Palmer back to them for some suitably Third World style of “justice.” Palmer’s defense, which has fallen on predictably deaf ears, is that he relied on local guides and had no idea the lion he killed was a well-known local favorite. A petition urging that Palmer be delivered into the hands of this corrupt dictatorship had garnered some 175,000 signatures as of the end of last week. More than 500,000 had signed such a petition on Facebook. I don’t know if Palmer is lying or telling the truth, but the old “innocent until proven guilty” thing seems to apply here.

The country that has expressed such outrage over this one particular dentist has become, under the leadership of Mugabe, one of the most corrupt nations in the world. Zimbabwe regularly exploits its wildlife and natural resources, as illustrated recently when they captured more than 60 wild elephants to ship to overseas zoos in China and elsewhere. Safari Club International actively promotes trophy hunting in Zimbabwe, and as indicated by the princely sum the unfortunate Walter Palmer paid to the government there, Mugabe and his cronies obviously enjoy profiting from the enterprise.

The International Business Times recently reported that research shows people are twice as likely to give money to save a dog than to save a dying child. As they note, “an estimated 21,000 children die from the consequences of poverty” around the world every day. And, in fact, every year Americans alone kill some 360 lions. So what makes this one particular lion so special? Why the massive news coverage? Why all the impassioned outrage? And why do so many human beings now apparently value the life of animals more than they value human life?

During this same time period, there was a rash of undercover videos filmed, of Planned Parenthood officials, seemingly caught admitting to the marketing of human fetal tissue. The response on the part of our demented establishment was to suppress the videos. This is, of course, symbolic of what we see everywhere now in our culture, from Edward Snowden to the victims of bullying in schools. Whistleblowers are always the ones targeted for retaliation, and punished more severely than the wrongdoers they expose.

Recent studies suggest that an increasing number of college students support the concept of after-birth abortion. In other words, the willful murder of human infants. There is no semantics to be argued here, no debate about exactly when “life” starts. When a baby is born, life has clearly started. And a growing number of human beings, most of whom are undoubtedly outraged over the death of Cecil the Lion, are okay with that. The fact that a group of alleged “medical ethicists” associated with Oxford University could openly proclaim that parents should have the right to kill their newborns because they are “morally irrelevant” tells us just how far we’ve fallen as a civilization.

As far back as 2008, CNN recognized this phenomenon, in a story headlined, “Do We Care More About Animals Than Humans?” As we’ve seen in an untold number of instances, perhaps best exemplified when shoppers at a West Virginia Target completely ignored 61 year old Walter Vance, after he collapsed in the store and died, we seem to be feeling a decreasing empathy for our fellow humans. Animals, on the other hand, seem to evoke entirely different, more powerful feelings. We certainly see this in women, especially, who sometimes treat their dogs and cats like the children they often don’t have. By design or otherwise, we are dealing with redirected maternal instincts there.

I have never had a desire to hunt anything, let alone go on an African safari. It was certainly sad that Cecil the Lion died at the hands of a hunter. But the death of any member of the animal kingdom has to be considered as less significant than the death of any human being. Without society recognizing this seminal rule of human civilization, our moral compass becomes really skewered. Carrying this to its logical extremes, we risk becoming like Naomi Watts’ character in Peter Jackson’s remake of King Kong; ready to protect a giant, threatening beast, who has killed an unknown number of human beings, and willing to risk our own life in the process.

The U.S. Senate, in the wake of all those disquieting Planned Parenthood videos, still was unable to stop taxpayer funding of this organization, whose founder, Margaret Sanger, is remembered for quaint sayings like “the most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” Does anyone really believe that if taxpayers were responsible for any costs relating to the marketing of baby animal parts that our spineless politicians in both carbon-copy parties would fail to stop that funding?

So rest in peace, Cecil. But in the wake of the overblown media coverage surrounding the death of Cecil the Lion, let us never forget all the human victims of war, poverty, oppression, and injustice that lose their lives needlessly every day, of every year, all over the world.

About donaldjeffries

Author of the critically acclaimed best sellers "Hidden History: An Expose of Modern Crimes, Conspiracies, and Cover Ups in American Politics,""Survival of the Richest: How the Corruption of the Marketplace and the Disparity of Wealth Created the Greatest Conspiracy of All," and the newly released "Crimes and Cover Ups in American Politics: 1776-1963." Author of the 2007 sci-fi/fantasy novel "The Unreals," which has been described as a cross between The Wizard of Oz and The Twilight Zone, and compared to A Confederacy of Dunces and classic Russian literature. A second edition of "The Unreals" was published in February 2015 by Pocol Press. Long time JFK assassination researcher. Seeker of truth, proponent of justice and fairness. Enemy of corruption. Sender of as many "tiny ripples of hope" as possible.

Posted on August 4, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I disagree. Endangered species arguably are as important as people

  2. OMG that is one of the best commentaries I have read in a long time. While I am outraged at the killing of the lion, what you stated about the Zimbabwe government is even more outrageous. I did not know that, and I suspect many others do not either, the media is despicable in our country. I agree, what planned parenthood does is even more horrific, I have always hated them, but I seem to be a lone wolf. I read the commentaries on the videos, and people don’t seem to care. They think PP is somehow a “saint like” organization. They state that the videos were somehow “edited” to make them look worse then they are, wtf? The gradual desensitization of human life is going to prove unforgivable to the future, with a huge karmic kick in the ass coming. We are going to suffer terribly for our insolence. Al People who are homeless, hungry, sick and jobless are already suffering, how we can ignore them, (to the point of blaming them) is beyond my understanding. In closing I believe the guy did know he was killing a protected animal, (was not his first offense, and he removed the animals tracking device). He IS just that big of an asshole (all trophy hunters are imho). But the points you have made are far more serious, thank you.

  3. Excellent commentary. Thank you. I only differ with respect to your remarks on moral compass. Its capacity is big enough to embody care and reverence for humans (including of course, unborn ones), animals and all creation. I don’t think comparisons of value among these are felicitous for moral development concerning them…I think the global outrage expressed over Cecil’s death is a timely opportunity for awakening on many levels, and you have astutely called attention to a number of them…It’s just that to minimize or obscure the brute fact of it (this particular lion’s head on a platter), I think is a mistake. Thank you again. bk

  4. How could you have read Final Judgment and then claim on Coast To Coast on 8-24-15 that Israel didn’t have the power to assassinate JFK? You either didn’t read the book or you’re a fraud!

  5. Human births should not be left up to a hormonal desire or uncontrolled lust. Birth planning is not only intelligent but the only solution to poverty, environmental pollution, disease and
    war. China and India in particular are a disaster due to uncontrolled population caused by
    uncontrolled hormonal lust.

  6. The media basically controls what we see ergo what we believe. I agree with rklyce above and will add one thought. I know for myself and many others we ASS U ME that others or the government will take care of children, which in reality is not the case. If a human were drowning and an animal I would help the human first, but I would go back for the animal. The author gets his facts from the same ‘media’ and ‘polls’ that brainwash the populace. I try to listen to diverse views and come to a conclusion. I listen to NPR as easily as FOX

  7. “And yet Social Media was silent.” True, but only because social media and its population simply were unaware of what you mention.

    If that’s the case (that folks hadn’t heard what you report), then your insinuation of inconsistency is ill founded, it seems to me.

    • Should have written “then your insinuation of inconsistency (OF SOCIAL MEDIA) is ill founded, it seems to me.” How could social media be consistent if its information sources are corrupted, incompetent, or managed by hidden power centers?

      But I agree that our sources of information, if they are conventional media, lead most folks to be misinformed, or to view a situation in an unbalanced way, due to the fact media is not only in the entertainment business, but also the handmaiden of often hidden and powerful interests.

      Generally, I have been coming to the realization that everything we thought we knew about major events has been managed, configured, obfuscated, and generally mangled to fit a preferred view by oligarchical interests of tremendous primacy and privacy.

  8. By the way, I enjoyed your thoughts when you were on C2C last night.

  9. The Republican Party does not want Government controls, which leaves the doors open for all this corruption. To Govern is to responsibly set limitations. In other civilized countries, abortions are restricted to 12 weeks, and now that there is the day after pill, and birth control pills along with other birth control devices, there should be no need for abortion, however, there are certain religious organizations which choose to prohibit birth control in the interest of more members and money! Many babies are born to people who cannot afford to feed them, much less provide appropriate education etc., etc.. This is a receipt for poverty which begets an underclass that is abused by those in power for their drug trade, illegal weapons trade and wars! Teach your men to keep the zippers closed and date a woman without sex first. Take appropriate responsibilities.

    The US is a country built upon death and destruction to other countries, the murder and mass displacement of innocent people, families and yes, children. The highly religious who constantly talk about the Bible, Jesus and God, (the pretenders) obvious do not live up to the 10 commandments and conveniently forget “though shall not kill!” They do anything and everything for their self-enrichment.

  10. ‘Allo!
    I found your appearance on C2C pretty pursuesive.
    I am an long-time oldie fart whom has started study of media etc.when i discovered a book sold by mail in the early sixties discussing the secret campaigns to deny the damage to ‘Murrkka’s peasants caused by neuclear contaminants.
    When i thought about an establishment fouling their own nest i realised i lived in an deluded state.
    The investigative literature like i.f.stone’s Journal cemented my distrust of all recieved wisdom.
    It’s been an wild ride to find any facts after the 1900’s in written forms like books,’zines.
    I hope this encourages you to look deep in-to the musty archive of civilisation.

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