I was so very disappointed to see female trophy hunter, Shannon Lansdowne, glorified by a reality show competition, naming her their “Extreme Huntress” (The NEWS, Jan. 14).
At a time when the people of B.C. are trying to stand up to our provincial government and demand an end to senseless slaughtering of wildlife by trophy hunters in this province, we now have an animal killer being touted as a celebrity.
Lansdowne calls herself a conservationist and states that she “gives respect to the animal for giving its life to her.” Giving its life to her? No animal wants to be killed or ‘give’ their life to you. That is a ridiculous statement.
The truth is that some people get a thrill from killing animals. It’s described as a ‘rush.’ When children kill animals, their mental health is questioned, but when adults do it, apparently it becomes ‘sport.’ I sincerely question the character of any person that gets a rush from pulling the trigger of a deadly weapon to end an innocent life.
To suggest that one is a conservationist while they are hunting and killing the very thing they are supposed to be conserving makes no sense. It’s a very twisted perception that hunters have of themselves that dates back to the 19th century when frontier wildlife was being slaughtered at unprecedented rates for the trade in their pelts. Licensing was brought into law and hunters had to pay. While it went under the guise of conservation, it really was to avoid extinctions from over-hunting.
Wildlife is declining everywhere in the world including B.C. In 2016, we can no longer accept the killing of our wildlife under the guise of a word it actually contradicts. We live in a global society where people will travel the world to come to B.C. to view our iconic wildlife and that is what we should be celebrating. A new conservation model called “compassionate conservation” has emerged. Compassionate conservation respects animal species as communities of individuals rather than population units and harvestable surpluses. A conservation model that engages our humanity and our empathy to manage and restore our remaining wildlife is what is needed, not glamorized killing just for the sake of a head, a hide and bragging rights.