Trophy hunting is "hunting" the way that Big Thunder Mountain is a "train ride"

You may already know that killing a lion is the most cowardly thing you can do, but The Searcher's essay on lion hunting, with accompanying illustration, makes the point with admirable force and eloquence.

And it's "hunting" like Disneyland's "Thunder Mountain" is riding a train. These massive animals are rousted from their sleep in the middle of the night, blinded by bright lights, and lured with food into an area where a person is hiding within a few meters wielding a device that can kill the largest land mammals on Earth with a single shot.

That's not a sport, it's just an outlet for sociopathy.

Trophy hunting also reverses natural selection, since trophy hunters seek out, and often pay huge sums of money to bag the largest creature, or the one with the biggest horns or antlers or tusks. When carried out over many generations, like say with African elephants, this has resulted in a "positive" trait of tuskless elephants, which now make up 30-40% of many elephant populations. Elephants without tusks are more susceptible to death via infighting and inability to defend their young from predators. So it's not just that these trophy hunters are eliminating prime examples of a species, it is that their actions are transforming the species into a sub-prime version that, while protected from ivory-trophy seekers, makes them much less protected from everything else.

And those sums of cash, which trophy hunters like to trumpet as a valuable conservation tool, aren't. The vast majority of the cash paid to kill animals goes to the safari companies that sponsor the executions, and fees to the local governments that allow them. On average less than 3% of all monies spent decorating homes with animal parts, goes to any part of local or national conservation efforts.

Circle of Life [The Searcher/Flickr]

(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

See also: Lion-killing dentist emails his patients, shows little remorse