Something Troubling

by david on July 7, 2014

Due to what is happening currently, I am going to take a break from my safari preparation and talk current events.  Almost everyone in or out of the hunting community has heard of Ms. Kendall Jones and the uproar of her hunting pictures of Facebook.  If not, Ms. Jones is a cheerleader for Texas Tech who is also a first-rate hunter.  She stated safari hunting at an early age and has already collected her African big five.  The uproar started over her trophy pictures on FB and has grown exponentially from there.  While she has received hate mail (there is even a “Hate Kendall Jones” FB page) and plenty of rude and lewd comments, she has shown the rest of the world what a first-class act she truly is by continuing to smile and make the best of a bad situation by trying to educate others about safari hunting and conservation by hunters.  Me, never being one to miss an opportunity to educate anyone about hunting Africa, and how hunters dollars do so much for conservation there, I decided to add my two cents worth.  I chose to do so on the “Hate Kendall Jones” page because I figured my words would reach the most people with opposing views there.

I decided I had to get people reading and interested quickly so I sort of baited the post a little bit with a slightly loaded opening comment.  It evidently worked.  I got one comment question before the FB page administrator removed the post.  I decided to re-post. and here is what I wrote.

“Since rational discussion is probably not an option here, I will ask only two questions.  How many of you anti-hunters have spent more than $1000 on conservation?  Ms. Jones has most likely spent over $100,000 providing jobs & food for the local populations, animal research to better the species and to make sure the animals are around for future generations, hired anti-poaching  game rangers, which means  more jobs in the form of trophy care and shipping. The money she and her family has spent hunting in Africa has provided all of this.  Can any among you claim the same in aid to conservation or sustenance and employment for any group of people?  It is time to put your money where your mouth is.  Actions speak volumes,  and words are only lip service.”

The first question I received was from Ashley.  This is what she wrote:  “What about donating and not killing animals?  I’m not an anti-hunter.  I hunt but I don’t support the killing of endangered species

This to me is a very legitimate question and I had to think a few moments to compose an adequate response.  Here is my reply:

It has been tried and to date has not worked.  Kenya, for example, has banned hunting since the 1970’s and as a result of the loss of hunting funds translates to no money to hire park rangers and anti-poaching guards.  The result of that is Kenya has lost some 80%-90% of its wildlife.  (Please do not take my word for this.  Look it up for yourself.  A simple Google search should suffice).

It has to do with value.  The more value something has, the better care it is given.  An elephant with a $25,000 trophy fee where hunting is allowed is taken better care of than one with only a $250 park entrance photography permit.  It is the same across the whole spectrum of animals in Africa.  If the animal has no value, it becomes poached for food or, even worse, the illegal ivory or rhino horn trade.

            As far as the endangered part of the argument goes, legal hunting is NOT allowed for a species where it is endangered.  Africa is a big place and all animals are not everywhere.  If you were to look in New York City, white-tail deer would seem to be endangered.  In actuality. white-tailed deer populations  are at an all-time high.  In certain areas, game listed as endangered in some areas is so overpopulated a mass starve off is the most likely outcome.  Botswana, for example, has a carrying  capacity of .4 elephants per so km. with an actual population of 6.41 elephants per sq. km.  Once again. look this up for yourself.  Here is the Google link I came up with: http://commonwealth-opinion.blogs.sas.ac.uk/2013/botswanas-jumbo-dilemma-the-expanding-elephant-population-and-the-environment-by-keith-somerville/ .

Thanks again for a reasonable/rational comment.  Any more questions or comments out there?”

Not bad for a first question from a hate page, I thought, and I figured maybe things were looking up.  Then the people with the more radical thought processes started in.  The bad language, inability to string a group of coherent thoughts into a sentence got my attention, but it was the hate and venom in those words that took me by complete surprise.

I tried responding with courtesy and facts, but that seemed to only further infuriate these posters.  Then I tried responding to specific comments made, and do so once again with courtesy and no snide remarks (that last one was pretty tough).  It must have helped a little bit because the next round of comments had all the passion of previous comments, but with less hate and venom.  By the fourth or fifth round, things had settled down to the point of a simple exchange of ideas and thoughts.  Much better now – we are getting somewhere.  I have not checked back to FB for any further posts lately, but I am a little encouraged at the possibility of a conversation rather than an argument.

I love passionate debate with people who see things differently than I do.  I think it is the best way to learn new things.  After all, if someone is passionate about a topic they will do their best to give useful information to try and change the mind of the person across the table.  What I cannot abide is hateful comments based on nothing but emotion, intended to do nothing more than hurt or malign someone.  Those type of comments make me want to bow up and start fighting back with same weapons being used against me.  Hopefully, I can be better than said opponents and remain calm and courteous, responding respond with logic and facts.  It is good to respond to these type of people by being nice and informative but equally passionate in your presentation.

On an interesting note, I notified Facebook about the “hate” page and reported it as offensive and harassing.  This is their response.

We reviewed your report of Kendall Jones Hate Page.
Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the Page you reported for harassment and found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.

 

I guess hate speech is ok with Facebook

PS. The Kendall “hate page” took  my post down again.  I guess I’ll just have to put it back up.

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