Domicile, not dominion
Domination is the vocabulary of the weak and powerless.
As human beings, we were gifted by the divine with the highest powers of understanding and reasoning on the planet. And we were given a guidebook in the form of the New Testament, a manual for the modern age that began two thousand years ago, the Piscean age whose symbol is Christ, as to how to treat all life on earth. We were to give it domicile, not subject it to dominion. We were to use our powers to tame and foster, not destroy. We know how to do this, and have refined these means to the place they are today. If we choose to employ the lesser life forms on the earth in the hopes of maximizing all the world has to offer, we are to do no harm and strive to do good — to them and to each other.
For a time, we needed to control those forms in such a way as to ensure our own survival and evolution as a species. But that was hundreds of thousands of years ago. From the 1st century CE, human beings have had other means to feed and shelter, advanced, sophisticated and humane means, in the form of scientific and intelligent farming, as well as gathering and exchanging food and other products for enjoyment, perpetuation of our kind, and development of the earth’s resources.
One holdover from our more chaotic, bewildering and unconscious past is the tendency to resort to violence and weaponry when we are too lax or confused or misled to use other, more elegant means. Part of this is the indiscriminate use of firearms.
I don’t want to dwell on this too much this weekend as I am in the midst of hosting my visitors, and I did not post this on a Friday morning, as year three of this blog is dedicated to exploring beauty in our lives and all around me here in this abundant and progressive place called California. The very word conjures up cheer, happiness, sharing, progress, enlightenment, success.
But I have to comment on the wanton murder of a beloved lion this weekend. A lion who was treasured by his countryman, one of a dwindling number of his kind in the wild. A magnificent creature cut down, painfully, by an ignorant, violent, cowardly American, I am desolate to admit.
When you hand a toy weapon to a child, this is the logical outcome. When you organize shooting parties of fox or deer or antelope or pheasants or any other living creature, this is the logical result. Some day down the road, a depraved individual will shoot an endangered species for no other reason than they can. They have the ability to fly to the area. They have the money to pay a poor resident of that nation so he will take them to where the animals live, many of them protected, loved, befriended and therefore trusting of human beings. They have the most sophisticated rifles with instrumentation that enable zeroing in on the innocent, unsuspecting target and killing it brutally. For what? To eat lion meat? To take the skin or head or tusk or tail or teeth back as macabre trophies for an equally benighted audience?
What is the reason you hunt? It is no sport. There is nothing in it any more that gives man any real disadvantage. It is even more despicable than two men pommeling each other until they bleed, and eventually lose their minds and die young, simply because they are poor and the masses want to see them hurt each other for a craven entertainment.
I would as soon shoot a baby as I would an animal. I know there are people who think this heresy and that human beings are in a different category altogether. Really? Those are often the very same people who condemn abortion in America (a practice I consider murder, as well) but who think nothing of drones or bombs killing thousands of Iraqi babies and children. People who are now lobbying for war against Iran so we can kill thousands of Iranian babies.
And they think of hunting as brave and masculine and entertaining and natural.
Don’t fool yourselves. You just don’t understand killing. If you did, you would not keep pets and then look the other way when weak, disempowered, mindless people who don’t know what else to do with their money and time, of a truly magnificent and productive nature, practice marksmanship in the best case, and release their pent up frustrations and misery by inflicting it on others, especially helpless animals.
I base this analysis on 40 years of thinking about this topic, and studying the issues and facts related to it. This is not something I say just because I am an East Coast Progressive with a soft heart.
If you still can’t grasp the dimension and gravity of this crime, just imagine what you would think if you were to go to the zoo with your children and see someone with a crossbow or a rifle shooting animals in their cages. I see no difference whatsoever between that and what this deeply selfish, unconscious, ignorant man did to Cecil.
You would never pick up a gun if you had studied and analyzed and thought about this as I have, because you would recognize where this action ultimately leads and you would be too ashamed.