Dear Facebook Friends ...
The killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe by an American dentist has one vegan writer wondering how his Facebook friends could be so right—and so wrong.
July 30, 2015
Dear Facebook friends,
As you probably already know, I’m a big fan of your cat posts blowing up my Facebook feed. In fact, one could argue feline memes are pretty much the only reason I’m on social media. I mean, who can’t get enough of Pumpkin riding an invisible bike or lil’ Thumper hiding in a mailbox? No one. That’s who.
So, this request might come as a surprise, but could you please stop posting links to stories about Cecil, the 13-year-old lion killed in Zimbabwe by a Minnesotan dentist? I ask not because I don’t care about the senseless murder of a gorgeous creature (I do) but because many of your posts make you seem hypocritical. The vegan in me really wants to reply to your comments, but I’m afraid you’ll think I’m just another crazy herbivore spouting animal-rights rhetoric. You’d probably be right, but then again, so would I. This would lead to an argument and, as a general rule, I’m not interested in arguing with my friends. Still, I got some stuff you need to know.
Similar to you, I am appalled by the senseless murder of a sentient being who was lured out of his sanctuary because he smelled food (a shady move on the hunters’ part if you ask me). And we’re on the same side—perhaps I wouldn’t care so much if this hunter went eye-to-eye with Cecil, killing him with his bare hands in a struggle to save his family from a lion because maybe I, too, would kill a lion if he was attacking the wife and children I don’t have (then again, if pitching a tent in lion country sounds like a good idea, perhaps I get what’s coming to me). But he didn’t. The dentist shot Cecil with a crossbow, which remained for nearly two days before the hunter killed him with a gun. I might weigh 155 pounds, wear nerdy glasses, prefer reading to watching television, and live with two cats, yet even I’m aware that shooting a defenseless animal with a crossbow and later a gun is the exact opposite of what it means to be a man.
But if you’re so offended by this horrific act, may I ask what you’re having for dinner tonight? And what you had for lunch? How ‘bout breakfast? Or a snack?
I ask because even though my 20s have rendered my short-term memory useless, I know nothing I ate today, yesterday, or for more than the past decade has had a face, has cared for their offspring, or has swish-swashed their tail as they casually stroll a grassy field. My meals didn’t feel the stress of knowing they were going to die, never had to listen as their brethren were sent to slaughterhouses, never flip-flopped back and forth—desperate to breathe—after being pulled from their natural aquatic habitat, never screamed, squealed, or squeaked as they were sentenced to death for crimes they never committed.
Many of yours did.
If you’re so upset regarding Cecil’s death, good. You should be. Just like you should be upset about the pepperoni topping on your pizza, the grilled chicken breast you have every night because you’re trying to “eat healthy,” the fast food milkshake you slurp while stuck in traffic, and the candy bars, cheesy potato chips, turkey dogs, bacon maple doughnuts, and everything else you eat that came from animals.
Simply put: if you feel anger for what happened to Cecil but continue to eat/wear animal products, you are being a hypocrite. Put your money where your keyboard is and do something about it. Stop eating meat. Stop consuming dairy. Stop wearing leather. And stop supporting companies that produce these things.
Sorry. I got a little activist-y there for a second. Again, we’re friends. I enjoy our time together and I don’t want to fight. Instead, I come with a question: Ask yourself why you’re reposting and commenting on Cecil’s vicious, needless death. Then ask yourself how you’re any different than the dentist who killed him.
Ryan Ritchie is the senior editor of VegNews.
Starbucks to Release Plant-Based Food Line this Year
Heeding the demands of animal-rights group Compassion Over Killing (and at least 30,000 people ), the international coffee chain announced it would launch a plant-based food line during its shareholder meeting.
Read More »
World's Last Male Northern White Rhino Dies
Horn poaching has led to the decimation of the rare subspecies of African rhino, with only two females left on Earth.
Read More »
Virgin Trains Debut Their First Vegan Cooked Breakfast
Commuters in the United Kingdom can now enjoy a hot pot of vegan hash browns, beans, mushrooms, and spinach aboard west coast Virgin Trains.
Read More »
50 Percent of Meals at One CA School District are Vegan
Children in Santa Barbara school cafeterias are raving about vegan brand Hungry Planet's soyrizo quesadillas, crispy chicken burgers, spaghetti and meatballs, beef nachos, and chicken alfredo.
Read More »
YouTube Stars Rhett and Link Veganize Arby's
The comedy duo's wildly popular Good Mythical Morning YouTube series heads to Arby's, Wendy's, and McDonald's for the vegan edition of their segment Fast Food Secret Menu Hacks.
Read More »
- San Francisco Bans Fur Sales
- Drake Ditches Meat
- Acclaimed Chef to Open Vegan Convenience Store
- Vegan Food Truck to Sell Chicken Nuggets in Boston
- Nearly Half of Meat-Free Canadians are Millennials
- QDOBA Now Offers Price Cut for Vegans
- Biotech Startup Develops Fungus-Based Clean Pet Food
- Portland Pub Replaces Beef and Lamb with Vegan Burger
- W London Hotel to Offer Vegan Menu
- Saudis Go Vegan to Curb Obesity Epidemic
- Vegan Wine and Cheese Delivery Debuts
- Kraft Heinz Looks to Invest in Plant-Based Startups
- Toronto's Vegan Bake-Off Crowns Best Plant-Based Bakers
- MLB Ballparks Nationwide Debut New Vegan Options
- Daiya Debuts Line of Vegan Ice Cream Bars
- Cory Booker Dishes on Whole Food Plant-Based Journey
- World's Best Restaurant NOMA to Serve Vegan Menu
- Germany's First Vegan Kindergarten to Open in Fall
- Athletes Unite to Fight High-Speed Pig Slaughter Bill
- New Voodoo Doughnut to Sell 13 Vegan Options