I’m having to take a coffee break from work to publish this blog cause I am blown away by this story. I’ll remind everyone again this blog has no connection to my job.
With the amount of social media I partake in, it’s no surprise that I occasionally catch a blog post soon after it appears. That was the case today with a post to Mashable that included a video. Please note THIS VIDEO IS GRAPHIC ABOUT HUNTING, ANIMAL SLAUGHTER and the desperation of hunger. It evokes a number of emotions.
The blog post from Mashable says:
GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons may have achieved a new social media equivalent of jumping the shark. Call it “shooting the elephant.”
A video of Parsons shooting an elephant in Zimbabwe is making the rounds Thursday, causing the domain registry company to become a Google Hot Topic and the subject of criticism. Leading the charge is PETA, the animal rights group, which has closed its account with GoDaddy and is asking others to follow suit. Parsons, a Vietnam vet known for his brash image, brought on the publicity by himself by posting the video on his blog.
The video shows the damage elephants caused by trampling a farmer’s sorghum field. Parsons and his fellow hunters then waited at night for the elephants to return and Parsons shoots and kills one of the elephants. Dozens of villagers then come to pick off the elephant’s meat.
Now, I assume the hunt was all legal and that elephants are not endangered. I also can’t imagine having to deal with something like that trampling down crops! Suddenly a herd of deer or group of wild hogs moving through seem inconsequential almost. But I also am astounded by the reaction. The fact that the only response that was being seen when Mashable posted this was criticism for the hunt. (Please note, Mashable is not criticizing, merely reporting the backlash.)
Here’s what I think:
- Maybe this wasn’t the brightest use of GoDaddy’s head honcho’s vacation video, etc unless there was a goal of raising attention in hunting and drawing criticism from animal rights groups. But I think it’s a hunting video like many I’ve seen involving other animals that became dinner for someone.
- I picture elephants as beautiful, majestic animals. They are also work animals in some places. But I can’t imagine elephants just ripping through fields. Obviously, my picture and the reality of others don’t match up.
- The farmers in other parts of the world face unbelievably difficult issues and most do it without any sort of insurance, etc. And significant numbers of farmers are close to starvation. They need help from a variety of areas.
- When you live at subsistence levels, my guess is you can’t afford the sort of guns you’d need to take down an elephant so I’m sure there is a demand for this to be done.
- Maybe the ball caps GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons are out of place. It looks like its meant as an ad. But in reality, I have been to places in the world where the poverty is significant and handed out all sorts of things, including the clothes I had been wearing on the trip. I have to give the guy the benefit of the doubt.
- The fact that the hunt produced food for people who are so hungry they are willing to fight their neighbors for it tears me up. That sense of desperation is something I have never known and hope none of my family and friends do.
- I also hope solutions to the issue hunger are in the works well beyond this one elephant bull hunt. These people deserve food.
- I will be leaving my blog, domains, etc where they are and there is no way I would want to move them to a place so opportunistically viewing the video that shows such utter poverty and hunger.
What do you think?