Early this January, the government of Namibia authorized the Dallas Safari Club to auction a hunt for one black rhinoceros.
The animal was aged, dangerous, and unable to reproduce. The considerable funds from the auction would support wildlife habitat, anti-poaching forces and breeding younger stronger rhinos. The story made headlines, and the details are widely available.
Angela Antonisse Oxley of Dallas, an organizer opposed to the auction and the hunt, stated that it is barbaric to hunt and kill an animal merely for those reasons. She understood the facts but rejected their implications.
Yet, the injury and killing of younger rhinos, the destruction of habitat, the diminished game management and anti-poaching programs, the reduction of employment and wealth brought into the tiny village — none of that was barbaric to Oxley. She accepted those consequences as the cost of her belief. She has that luxury. Unfortunately, the locals of that tiny village and the endangered animals, face stark realities every day that Oxley cannot fathom.
By curtailing employment, food, and resource development, she restrains the engines of liberation for people and animals. Beliefs have consequences, and, thus, ultimately, she and her anti-hunting colleagues are cowards, for they refuse to acknowledge the destructive consequences of their beliefs.
Michael Sabbeth is a lawyer in Denver, Colo. He lectures on ethics and rhetoric and is the author of "The Good, The Bad & The Difference: How to Talk with Children About Values." His next book a work in progress, is "Making the Case for Hunting and the Shooting Sports: Essays in Persuasion, Confidence and Character." Please visit his website at www.kidsethicsbook.com
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