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RPGWatch Forums » General Forums » Politics, Religion & other Controversies » Factory-farming of lions - slaughter just for sports

Default Factory-farming of lions - slaughter just for sports

June 4th, 2013, 05:35
It is called canned hunting: keeping a young animal to have it shot by rich tourists (trophy hunters) when it is an adult.

The Guardian paid a visit recently to a lion farm in South Africa that has 50 lions.
According to the British newspaper yesterday there are now more lions held in captivity in the country than live wild, and there are more than 160 such farms legally breeding big cats in South Africa.

Tourists pay to pet the cute cubs, the juveniles and fully-grown are kept out of sight. The cubs are taken away from their mothers just an hour after birth and bottle-fed by humans.
Animal welfare experts say breeders remove the cubs from their mother so that the lioness will quickly become fertile again.
The breeders sell the adults, they'll be shot.

The Guardian:
A fully-grown, captive-bred lion is taken from its pen to an enclosed area where it wanders listlessly for some hours before being shot dead by a man with a shotgun, hand-gun or even a crossbow, standing safely on the back of a truck. For he pays anything from £5,000 to £25,000, and it is all completely legal.
(…)
Breeders argue it is better that hunters shoot a captive-bred lion than further endanger the wild populations, but conservationists and animal welfare groups dispute this. Wild populations of lions have declined by 80% in 20 years, so the rise of lion farms and canned hunting has not protected wild lions. In fact, according to Fiona Miles, director of Lionsrock, a big cat sanctuary in South Africa run by the charity Four Paws, it is fuelling it. The lion farms' creation of a market for canned lion hunts puts a clear price-tag on the head of every wild lion, she says; they create a financial incentive for local people, who collude with poachers or turn a blind eye to illegal lion kills. Trophy-hunters who begin with a captive-bred lion may then graduate to the real, wild thing.
Link to a video (10 minutes) from The Guardian: Lions bred to be shot in South Africa's 'canned hunting' industry

The Guardian journalist Patrick Barkham is not the first that reports about the hunting tourism. Louis Theroux made a documentary (one hour) a while ago.
Here's a scene (6 minutes) from it:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDyLNkM-Dgk

I see little difference between pulling the wings from a fly, blowing air into a frog until it explodes, or shooting a tame lion (that has learned as a cub that people can be trusted) - just for fun, just for ego boosting, just because you can.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) incorporated animal cruelty as a diagnostic criterion for Conduct Disorder (CD) and Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD).
I doubt those trophy-hunters will get any psychiatric label.
Too many people think hurting or killing an animal is no big deal, because it's 'just' an animal.

I think our four legged fellow occupants on this planet deserve to be treated with respect. Just because they do not express themselves the way we do does not mean they are things.
Homo sapiens? Homo arrogans.

What's your opinion in this matter? What do you think of hunting just for sports?

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Last edited by Omega; June 4th, 2013 at 05:50.
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June 4th, 2013, 06:55
I hate animal cruelty but if this is legal in the country they operate in there is not much we can do. I would like to turn the tables on the breeders and the buyers. Lets see how they like it.

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June 4th, 2013, 08:11
Hunting for food is acceptable - within limits of course, not to the extent of near extinction of the American bison or the complete extinction of the passenger pigeon.

Hunting for sport, on the other hand … I find it warped and sick. Especially doing so for tame animals which are bred for "sport". Urgh.
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June 4th, 2013, 09:08
Originally Posted by Omega View Post
What's your opinion in this matter? What do you think of hunting just for sports?
It's outright disgusting, especially because lions are on the verge of becoming an endangered species.
But this is one of those 'where do you even start?' cases. There are sooo many matters where man behaves like a complete asshole with regard to the [or God's if you're religious] creation.

Minks and other animals getting skinned alive for fur production, modern industrial livestock farming in general (billions of chicken, pigs, cattle, lambs etc. are abused and slaughtered each and every single day), fishing for fun and "relaxation" (ya think that trout finds it "relaxing" to choke on a hook?), billions of animals getting killed each day through deforestation in the Amazon and elsewhere, billions of animals suffering and dying in medical/pharmaceutical/cosmetic experiments every year… the list just goes on and on and on and on and on…..

You know, the simple matter of the fact is that all of these animals that are getting abused by mankind don't have a lobby and so the madness will never end. As long as there are people, there will be people taking advantage of this planet's resources with no regard or respect for human and/or animal life. It is man's nature to be a destructive asshole. That's all there is to it, sadly.
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June 4th, 2013, 13:49
This reminds me of bears held captive in china for "traditional chinese medicine" … Disgusting.

Even my father, who is a hunter himself, would find it disgusting not to let animals live free - but instead to hold them for … "trophy hunters".

There is a clear line to be drawn.

And, besides, humans are even able to hold other humans as hostages …

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June 4th, 2013, 17:57
I'm no fan of trophy hunting, but it's not a pur black and white issue. In a perfect world, yeah, there would be no hunting outside of need for food. But, take for example a battle that's been going on in Texas. There is a large ranch there that has been importing and breeding African wildlife for around 20 years.

Most of the species are at least threatened in the wild. This ranch has actually returned some of the bred stock back to reserves in Africa, helping to stabilize the populations there some. Additionally they have spend a fair amount of their profits to help preserves in Africa.

So where do their profits come from? Well, they have to keep their livestock in check, so they offer hunters the ability to comes shoot a certain amount of these animals. Hunters pay big money for this opportunity.

So is that hunting bad? Yes and no. Without the hunting on this ranch, the ranch would not exist, and without it, these animals would be even worse situations in Africa than they are. It's not a perfect solution, but its better than the alternative. Unfortunately, there are several groups trying to shut them down.

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June 4th, 2013, 18:17
I also see this somewhat pragmatic. We live in a world with 7 billion people, going on 8. While we should definitely do whatever is in our power to preserve what little wilderness and wildlife habitat is left, that alone won't do. We must find ways to manage the biodiversity of the planet and integrate it into our own habitat the best we can.
So I would say, if this is a way to keep the population of lions up, then by all means let the trophy hunters have their fun.
BUT - it must be part of a larger strategy and it must be accompanied by scientific advisors etc. I think we CAN use such farms to manage the genetic diversity of lion populations (a huge probelm for the remaining wild populations), and do some good that way - but only if it is properly managed and only if we at the same time do our utmost to protect what is still wild.
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June 4th, 2013, 20:03
Well I think it is rather sick (and disturbing) to gain some pleasure from shooting a tame animal in a pen.
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June 5th, 2013, 06:43
Just for sport? Raising a critter to trust people then "hunting" it is not sport, it's an excuse to go kill stuff. To be a hunt there has to be a real challenge. I would guess this is more about bringing trophies home and lying to people about how you hunted down a lion in Africa.

While the practice offends me greatly as a gamer, ethically it doesn't seem all that big of a deal. Distasteful yes but compared to so many other wrongs being done out there? There are bigger problems to deal with.
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June 5th, 2013, 12:15
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
I'm no fan of trophy hunting, but it's not a pur black and white issue. In a perfect world, yeah, there would be no hunting outside of need for food. But, take for example a battle that's been going on in Texas. There is a large ranch there that has been importing and breeding African wildlife for around 20 years.

Most of the species are at least threatened in the wild. This ranch has actually returned some of the bred stock back to reserves in Africa, helping to stabilize the populations there some. Additionally they have spend a fair amount of their profits to help preserves in Africa.

So where do their profits come from? Well, they have to keep their livestock in check, so they offer hunters the ability to comes shoot a certain amount of these animals. Hunters pay big money for this opportunity.

So is that hunting bad? Yes and no. Without the hunting on this ranch, the ranch would not exist, and without it, these animals would be even worse situations in Africa than they are. It's not a perfect solution, but its better than the alternative. Unfortunately, there are several groups trying to shut them down.
Hmmm interesting scenario…I must say that I still find it an abhorrent practice regardless of the greater good.

I cannot help but mentally substitute the reserve with a typical animal shelter. So I imagine a puppy/kitty shelter which makes ends meet by organizing hunts.

I understand this is not a fair assessment of the situation but the idea of some narcissistic, indulgent gun-toting maniac killing magnificent wild animals as trophies irks me.

On a more humorous note, hunting for sport always reminds me of this little clip from one my favourite TV series, the sadly short-lived The Thin Blue Line

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June 5th, 2013, 13:07
There are many things wrong with how humans treat animals. But I think a more appropriate comparison is maybe with a pig farm, if both are operating for profit and use animals for human use.
Again i think one should get over the immediate emotional reaction (you can't do this to an animal as great and beautiful and free as a Lion!) and should look at the details: Are the animals kept in appropriate conditions? Is the breeding program sustainable, and does it support or undermine genetic diversity in the Lion population? Does it help to reduce poaching or ultimately fuel it? Are the "hunters" at least sufficiently skilled to minimize animal suffering? Etc.
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June 5th, 2013, 23:43
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
Minks and other animals getting skinned alive for fur production, modern industrial livestock farming in general (billions of chicken, pigs, cattle, lambs etc. are abused and slaughtered each and every single day), fishing for fun and "relaxation" (ya think that trout finds it "relaxing" to choke on a hook?), billions of animals getting killed each day through deforestation in the Amazon and elsewhere, billions of animals suffering and dying in medical/pharmaceutical/cosmetic experiments every year… the list just goes on and on and on and on and on…..

You know, the simple matter of the fact is that all of these animals that are getting abused by mankind don't have a lobby and so the madness will never end. As long as there are people, there will be people taking advantage of this planet's resources with no regard or respect for human and/or animal life. It is man's nature to be a destructive asshole. That's all there is to it, sadly.
I agree - apart from the last two sentences.
Yes, I believe it’s impossible to completely eradicate the violence and abuse towards human and animal life, there will always be loonies. But I am not a fatalist when it comes to human kind.

To me it seems a large part of the destructive tendencies is due to ignorance and/or cultural elements. Thanks to a better understanding of himself and the world surrounding him, thanks to science and education, I think man has evolved to a kinder species. Though I admit that thanks to that same science man has gotten the ability to do harm on a much larger scale.
Nonetheless, society nowadays does not approve, in some cases even forbids, certain behavior that is harmful to animals or groups of people, behavior that was not even questioned two centuries or two thousand years ago.
Therefore I have hope things may change in future.

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June 5th, 2013, 23:52
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
I'm no fan of trophy hunting, but it's not a pur black and white issue. In a perfect world, yeah, there would be no hunting outside of need for food. But, take for example a battle that's been going on in Texas. There is a large ranch there that has been importing and breeding African wildlife for around 20 years.

Most of the species are at least threatened in the wild. This ranch has actually returned some of the bred stock back to reserves in Africa, helping to stabilize the populations there some. Additionally they have spend a fair amount of their profits to help preserves in Africa.

So where do their profits come from? Well, they have to keep their livestock in check, so they offer hunters the ability to comes shoot a certain amount of these animals. Hunters pay big money for this opportunity.

So is that hunting bad? Yes and no. Without the hunting on this ranch, the ranch would not exist, and without it, these animals would be even worse situations in Africa than they are. It's not a perfect solution, but its better than the alternative. Unfortunately, there are several groups trying to shut them down.
One thing I learned from reading the comments at the end of the article of The Guardian is that there’s more to it, so yes, I agree with you, blatantninja, it's not a pure black and white issue - that is, when focusing on the suppliers, the ones offering hunters a chance to indulge themselves.

I know it’s easy for me to judge, living in the wealthy western part of Europe. I am not up to date with all the ins and outs of the situation, a situation which may also differ depending on the part of Africa you’re looking at. I have read, for instance, that in certain parts of Africa elephants are a real pest to the local population.

One of the breeders says that without them there would be no wildlife left, within a very short time. Yes, I fear they’re right, that is when you accept hunters as a given - without hunters many of those breeders will go bankrupt.
I think that when a hunter won’t be welcomed by praise or awe when they return to their homeland, but is certain he’ll be exposed to naming and shaming, the numbers of hunters will soon decline.

It used to be okay to hit your child or kick your dog not so long ago, but the majority of people does not look the other way anymore and the few people still abusing their child/animal know that all too well.

It would be nice if one day the same thing could be achieved when it comes to hunters hunting for sports. It would make a difference, I’m sure, if it is not considered to be a manly thing to do anymore.

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June 6th, 2013, 00:05
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
I also see this somewhat pragmatic. We live in a world with 7 billion people, going on 8. While we should definitely do whatever is in our power to preserve what little wilderness and wildlife habitat is left, that alone won't do. We must find ways to manage the biodiversity of the planet and integrate it into our own habitat the best we can.
So I would say, if this is a way to keep the population of lions up, then by all means let the trophy hunters have their fun.
BUT - it must be part of a larger strategy and it must be accompanied by scientific advisors etc. I think we CAN use such farms to manage the genetic diversity of lion populations (a huge probelm for the remaining wild populations), and do some good that way - but only if it is properly managed and only if we at the same time do our utmost to protect what is still wild.
Do I understand correctly that for you the focus is on achieving a specific number of lions? After having achieved a number of x animals, the rest may serve for … whatever?
I have to object, sir: IMO animals are not numbers, not things - lions are no toys. And I truly believe this planet is not our playground.

Animals happen to live on the same planet as we do, and humans happen to have invented some tools which allow them to be stronger than any other living creature (save some micro organisms), but that surely doesn’t mean we may use (and abuse) animals any way we want to? Shouldn’t we use our power to take care of the weak instead?
Shouldn't we educate people instead of giving in to their pleasures?

Science is beginning to see animals and humans have much in common.
Animals have different personalities.
Animals have emotions, like grief and empathy. Speaking of magpies, there have been several articles about the intelligence of crows, ravens and magpies. For example research has shown crows can recognize human faces, they inform other crows about which humans they dislike, they pass it on to the next generation. They can use tools. Crows have the ability to be patient, not acting on the first impulse, they seem to know the concept of past, present and future.

If people assume animals are robots, they’ll find robots.
These people will only consider something to be as intelligent or sensitive as they are when it acts and reacts exactly like they (think they) do:
‘When it’s angry, there is no fear.’
‘When it can’t cry, there’s no distress.’
‘When it’s mute, it does not think.’

I never really understood why man, thinking he is smarter than the rest, tried to teach his language to animals (‘come here’, ‘sit’, ‘go’, ‘halt’, etc.) instead of trying to learn the language(s) of the animals. There seems to be a recent change for the better though.

Long time ago at a time I was not familiar with so called whisperers, I had a cat. I never trained her, just observed her and tried to figure out the point of view of the cute animal - and I guess she did the same with me.
Anyway, people that visited me were amazed by how she reacted to me: she came running to me when I whistled using my teeth, she stopped doing whatever she was doing when I hissed, when I was pointing to something she looked at the thing I was pointing at, not at my finger as so many cats/dogs do, she followed my movements in the large mirror instead of looking at me directly - she knew perfectly what a mirror was, she provoked me in chasing her when it was time to go to bed and always knew when I got enough of the game: she left the room to the place where she had to stay the night.

I do applaud your wish to protect the wild, GhanBuriGhan, don’t get me wrong. But not by all means, not by giving loonies their fun.

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June 6th, 2013, 00:07
Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
I cannot help but mentally substitute the reserve with a typical animal shelter. So I imagine a puppy/kitty shelter which makes ends meet by organizing hunts.
I like the association!
And I very much enjoyed the clip. Thank you very much, Dr A.

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June 6th, 2013, 00:15
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
There are many things wrong with how humans treat animals. But I think a more appropriate comparison is maybe with a pig farm, if both are operating for profit and use animals for human use.
To me there’s a difference between killing for meat and killing for fun. If you ask me: killing for fun, be it human, lion, pig or ant, qualifies for a shrink.

About pigs: the meat is too cheap, I think. The animals deserve a proper life, where they can play and dig with their snout in the mud.

I’m not a vegetarian. I like meat. Organic meat. But of course it is impossible to feed the whole world organic meat. I’m willing to try insects.
They seem to be good, nutritious and many prefer to live in high densities, so there's less animal suffering:
Eating insects: good for you, good for the environment
Let’s Eat Insects!

A quiche or risotto with mealworms, fried grasshoppers, bee larvae sandwich, waxworm tacos, banana worm bread, chocolate chirpie chip cookies (insect recipes see Google).
One of these days I’ll visit a restaurant that serves insects: restaurants serving insects

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Last edited by Omega; June 6th, 2013 at 01:20.
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June 6th, 2013, 04:49
Originally Posted by Omega View Post
For example research has shown crows can recognize human faces, they inform other crows about which humans they dislike, they pass it on to the next generation.
Whatever supposed scientist came up with this nonsense should be stripped of any and all degrees and banned from watching Heckel and Jeckel cartoons since he/she clearly can't differentiate animation from reality. There's absolutely no way this silliness can be properly proven.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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June 6th, 2013, 05:30
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Whatever supposed scientist came up with this nonsense should be stripped of any and all degrees and banned from watching Heckel and Jeckel cartoons since he/she clearly can't differentiate animation from reality. There's absolutely no way this silliness can be properly proven.
His name is John Marzluff. I have read a Dutch article that referred to these two articles:
If you think a crow is giving you the evil eye
Crows tell the world whose bad
But there could be more out there. So maybe, dteowner, who knows, if you'd want to, you'll find better research to prove this than me - or one that refute this one of course.

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June 6th, 2013, 10:11
Originally Posted by Omega View Post
Do I understand correctly that for you the focus is on achieving a specific number of lions? After having achieved a number of x animals, the rest may serve for … whatever?
Not at all - but in the case of a severly endangered species like Lions, ensuring the survival of the species is the top priority, wouldn't you agree? Generally, (especially, but not only) in developing countries, protection works only if you can win the local population to support it, and it helps enormously if you can demonstrate that protection and economic benefit can go hand in hand. I am not saying that this canned hunting thing isn't distatesteful (it is, to me), but I would recommend to think twice before calling to shut it down based on emotional reasons. Where will the Lions go if you shut it down? What will happen on the land they occupied? Etc.

Sout Africa and Namibia have a lot of hunting farms (or at least used to have when we visited there a few decades ago). I know because my dad went hunting there. The ones we visited were not actively breeding wildlife, they just offered hunting trips on their land. I myself always rejected hunting, but nevertheless: If it wouldn't be profitable to have these hunting farms, the farmers would be breeding cattle, sheep or goat there, and drive the wildlife off their land as competiton for food or predators. So the hunting is ultimately protecting wildlife on private land.

I have to object, sir: IMO animals are not numbers, not things - lions are no toys. And I truly believe this planet is not our playground.imals happen to live on the same planet as we do, and humans happen to have invented some tools which allow them to be stronger than any other living creature (save some micro organisms), but that surely doesn’t mean we may use (and abuse) animals any way we want to? Shouldn’t we use our power to take care of the weak instead?
Shouldn't we educate people instead of giving in to their pleasures?
Oh I agree. That is why I mentioned that looking at the actual living conditions is important. Good treatment of animals is an ethical imperative, imho. However, we have long decided to use other living things, from plants over farm animals to wildlife for out own benefit. And it's a simple fact that the pressure of our population, even under best practice (which we are currently far from) is enormous. It's no use pining for what should be - we have to make the best out of what we can do.

Science is beginning to see animals and humans have much in common.
Animals have different personalities.
Animals have emotions, like grief and empathy. Speaking of magpies, there have been several articles about the intelligence of crows, ravens and magpies. For example research has shown crows can recognize human faces, they inform other crows about which humans they dislike, they pass it on to the next generation. They can use tools. Crows have the ability to be patient, not acting on the first impulse, they seem to know the concept of past, present and future.

If people assume animals are robots, they’ll find robots.
These people will only consider something to be as intelligent or sensitive as they are when it acts and reacts exactly like they (think they) do:
‘When it’s angry, there is no fear.’
‘When it can’t cry, there’s no distress.’
‘When it’s mute, it does not think.’

I never really understood why man, thinking he is smarter than the rest, tried to teach his language to animals (‘come here’, ‘sit’, ‘go’, ‘halt’, etc.) instead of trying to learn the language(s) of the animals. There seems to be a recent change for the better though.
I have absolutely no doubts that animals have their own intelligence and emotions. But that is true for pigs and cows as much as Lions (that wouldn't mind eating said pigs and cows either). Ultimately I think there are a few questions we need to ask if we use animals in a way that kills them: Have we done our best to give them a good life? Do we do our best to avoid suffering when we kill them? Does the killing serve an ethically defensible purpose?
If meat production is the goal, the purpose is at least clear (although vegans have lots of good arguments against this use). But hunting, even sport hunting may also have such a purpose, as I tried to show above.

Long time ago at a time I was not familiar with so called whisperers, I had a cat. I never trained her, just observed her and tried to figure out the point of view of the cute animal - and I guess she did the same with me.
Anyway, people that visited me were amazed by how she reacted to me: she came running to me when I whistled using my teeth, she stopped doing whatever she was doing when I hissed, when I was pointing to something she looked at the thing I was pointing at, not at my finger as so many cats/dogs do, she followed my movements in the large mirror instead of looking at me directly - she knew perfectly what a mirror was, she provoked me in chasing her when it was time to go to bed and always knew when I got enough of the game: she left the room to the place where she had to stay the night.

I do applaud your wish to protect the wild, GhanBuriGhan, don’t get me wrong. But not by all means, not by giving loonies their fun.
I have a dog, I know absolutely what you are speaking of. But as much as I love him, isn't it the truth that the dog is there because I wanted him, and not because he chose to come to me?
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June 6th, 2013, 14:02
Wild life is to be found in the wild. Tamed lions or lions brought up on a farm are no longer wildlife. It also appears that the lions are subjected to human selection. Therefore, diversity is over.

Very hard to see how these farms preserve wildlife and diversity.

They do it the same way wild life cows were preserved by farming.


Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Without the hunting on this ranch, the ranch would not exist, and without it, these animals would be even worse situations in Africa than they are. It's not a perfect solution, but its better than the alternative.
What is the alternative? These animals would be even worse situations in Africa? How comes?
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