Trophy Hunting: an enhancement to foreign wildlife conservation and survival.

Cecil the lion gained fame after he was killed by Safari Club International member Walter Palmer during an illegal hunt in Zimbabwe. Paula French/ZUMA.

Cecil the lion gained fame after he was killed by Safari Club International member Walter Palmer during an illegal hunt in Zimbabwe. Paula French/ZUMA.

Just the other day, I posted about Amerikka doing its best to reach shithole country status. Naturally, no matter how great a country truly is, there’s always the fucking idiot contingent who moans that they have higher taxes, so bad. I would be more than happy to pay taxes which went to the common good, that’s the point of taxes. Here in Ustates, taxes rarely go to the common good. They certainly don’t under the current regime. Taxes end up in the pockets of the obscenely wealthy and corrupt. Today brings you a fine example of where tax dollars in this shithole go.

The Trump administration has launched a commission at the Interior Department to promote big-game trophy hunting and the “economic benefits that result from US citizens traveling to foreign nations to engage in hunting.” The council, which will cost taxpayers $250,000 a year, is charged with making recommendations to Secretary Ryan Zinke about removing barriers to importing trophy hunting animals—such as the recently overturned ban on elephant and lion trophies from some countries—and relaxing legal restrictions on hunting and importing endangered species.

Anyone impressed by this? Anyone happy about having their pocket picked for this utterly immoral, corrupt bullshit? Wait, it gets worse.

The members of the International Wildlife Conservation Council, which is holding its first meeting Friday, include a reality-TV safari hunting guide, a former beauty queen, gun industry representatives, members and affiliates of a controversial trophy hunting group, and a veterinarian associated with an exotic animal breeding facility in Florida that sells endangered animals to roadside zoos.

“It’s really embarrassing,” says Masha Kalinina, the international trade policy specialist for the wildlife department at the Humane Society International. “I just question the qualifications of each and every one of these people. Notably missing from this trophy hunting council are legitimate representatives of the conservation community with proper scientific credentials and a record of successful conservation programs, along with wildlife law enforcement experts and biologists who have no financial stake in promoting trophy hunting.”

The council’s charter calls hunting “an enhancement to foreign wildlife conservation and survival.” Along with pushing to relax imports of trophy animals, it will also review the way the US complies with an international treaty designed to protect endangered plants and animals that guides regulation of the exotic animal trade. But the membership of the council seems heavily weighted toward people who think the best way to conserve wildlife is to kill it.

Indeed, the country’s largest trophy-hunting lobby seems to have an outsized role on the council. Of the 16 IWCC members, at least 10 have an affiliation with Safari Club International, which represents wealthy big-game hunters who often tangle with the Fish and Wildlife Service over permits to import of game trophies from overseas, particularly for endangered species. The advocacy group, with 50,000 members, frequently lobbies Congress and federal agencies to fight environmental regulations. It sued to overturn the Obama-era ban on importing elephant and lion trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Trump administration ended the ban earlier this month, despite the president’s earlier objections and comments that elephant hunting is a “horror show.”

Those members include Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist and asshole extraordinaire who killed Cecil the Lion.

The principal deputy director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Greg Sheehan, who is effectively running the agency in the absence of a congressionally confirmed director, oversees the IWCC. He is an SCI member and attended the group’s convention in Las Vegas last month when it awarded its “professional hunter of the year” honors to a South African man who has been fined for leading hunts of endangered black rhinos.

It gets much worse from there. It’s a sickening read, and its symptomatic of the rot spreading out like gangrene from the current regime to poison everything. Those people who want to point to higher taxes in other countries, countries which provide healthcare, free education, and many other benefits to their citizens, you need to shut the fuck up when tax dollars here go to such evil, corrupt enterprise.

Mother Jones has the full story, with all the relevant links, and you can read about all the members of this “council”.


  1. brucegee1962 says

    I think I saw a poll recently that something like 70% of Americans think that sport hunting is morally wrong. Couldn’t find that one with a quick Google, but did see that 82% think importing lion trophies should be banned and 8% support banning elephant trophies.

  2. says

    It’s 60%, and yes, I’m aware. Obviously, that doesn’t matter much, especially when things like this are conveniently buried under a fucktonne of other evil bullshit. The ban on importing trophies has been lifted, and it’s going to get much worse.

  3. says


    People who enjoy killing beautiful things animals need to be examined by psychiatrists; there is something wrong with them.

    Amended, I agree. I refuse to think of animals, including humans, as things, that’s the beginning of all wrong. Our fellow animals may not be up to our particular standard of sentience, but they are certainly not inert, unfeeling, unthinking beings.

    Killing just because you can? There aren’t words enough for just how wrong that happens to be.

  4. says

    I only ever had one conversation with a man who was trophy hunting. It was in Idaho, in 1999. We were just chatting over a pint of beer when the conversation strayed to bows and arrows, a topic in which I had some interest and therefore more than average knowledge.

    There was a glint in his eyes when he got all excited and asked “are you too a hunter?” As it turns out, he did not meet many people who would share his excitement about that hobby, and he was disappointed when I turned to not be different in this regard.

    Then, as well as now, I maintained that killing animals for food is not morally wrong, but torturing them or killing them just for fun is. I tried to ask him what is actually “fun” about taking a rifle and killing a beautiful deer or an antelope from a few hunderd feet distance. His response was “the hike, the expectaion, the adrenaline rush”.

    In that case, why not take camera and make some exciting pictures of the beast? There is still the stalking, the expectaion and the adrenaline rush whether the shot was any good. There is even the trophy.

    The only thing missing is the carcass.

  5. says

    the adrenaline rush

    The psychopaths like that part.

    In Rhodes Why They Kill he cites psychopaths as seeking the emotional arousal of killing.

  6. says

    #std disclaimers
    I am unconvinced by social science studies in general, in particular with methodologies that purport top measure phenomena such as sociopathy. Perhaps I am biased: as an undergrad I took the MMPI several times and a faculty member said, “you must be a psychopath” -- which led to a long-term interest in the epistemology of psychology on my part.

  7. DonDueed says

    I can hardly believe this, even from the Trump administration. We truly are living in Bizarro USA.

  8. says

    @Giliell -- to be clear, the hunter with whom I spoke did not hunt with bow and arrows, he only assumed that havint an interest in projectile weapons is indicative of being a hunter.

  9. says

    From my very German point of view that’s odd, because here archery is purely regarded as sport. Bows are classified as sports goods, not weapons (crossbows are weapons). But I’ve heard of assholes who think they’re extra great for hunting with bows.

    We could maybe get something like the Hunger Games set up.

  10. says


    In that case, why not take camera and make some exciting pictures of the beast? There is still the stalking, the expectaion and the adrenaline rush whether the shot was any good. There is even the trophy.

    Yep. Being where I am, I have people ask if I hunt, and I always reply “yes, with a camera.”

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