Strategist

Curiosity Matters

An Exploration of Branding, Design and Cultural Trends

The Real King Of The Jungle Ignores Reality

If' you've been following the news lately, you'd know there's been some recent controversy around a man who won a hunting auction to shoot a rare rhino in Africa. At my first glance while reading the headline, I let out an audible urgh, imagining the anger I felt over the recent lion hunter Melissa Bachman hunter images. But then I actually read the article. Buried towards the end was the little known fact that this type of hunting is sanctioned by conservationists as maintaining the health of the herd. The Guardian goes into more detail than CNN, stating that:

The Safari Club's executive director, Ben Carter, has defended the auction, saying all money raised will go toward protecting the species. He also said the rhino that the winner will be allowed to hunt is old, male and nonbreeding and that the animal was likely to be targeted for removal anyway because it was becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife.

So the key facts here are that this specific rhino doesn't produce and not only is he depleting the resources of healthy, producing rhinos, but he is threatening other wildlife through his aggression. Plus he would have been likely removed. Sounds like if this were a human, we'd either lock him up in jail or kill him with a lethal injection.

We all die. Rhinos die. In probably much less humane ways than a swift bullet. Thoughts of my endless lion-video watching over the holidays flashed into head (don't ask). I imagined a pack of lions attacking a giant beast, slowly taking the beast down as they kicked and struggled. If they were lucky, a bite at the neck would cut off feeling and function early in their struggles.

While it's disturbing to see this struggle, who am I to judge lest I'm a strict vegetarian (I'm not). The lion has to eat or will die as well. Our food is killed for us - enabling us to completely detach ourselves from this natural, everyday cycle of life and death. Never having to make those death blows means never having that feeling of one species' life being drained as our ability to live another day is fulfilled.

People look at these hunters with such hate, often confusing them with having the same motivation as poachers  - commenting on how disgusting it is that these hunters take pleasure in taking another species' life. Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 1.51.42 PM

We have entire industries based on the pleasures that come with taking another species' life. It's called the restaurant industry. The food industry. The cookbook-writing industry. It's the pleasure that comes every time you bite into a steak. Or a burger. Cooked to perfection - leaving no trace of the original being that provided you with this pleasure.

So where does this all fit into strategy and planning? CNN captured people's inability to look at all the facts and sensationalized pre-conceived notions to tell a story. But maybe the real story is why we're demonizing this man. Are we jealous that he has the bravery and means to tackle what we are afraid to admit? That our very existence involves taking the life of another being? If not directly through the foods we eat, then through the habitats that we've taken over, the pollution we've created and the resources we've depleted. They die so we can live. But unlike this man, we choose not to confront this basic truth.