Hunters are taking matters into their own hands to rid the world of giraffes, the awful creatures that have become a menace to humankind with their herbivorous ways, gentle dispositions, and completely non-threatening existence, but for some reason, Ricky Gervais is being a total buzzkill about it.
Posting several pictures to his Twitter feed in an effort to shame trophy hunters for posing with an animal that was in no way difficult to kill and completely pointless to hunt, Gervais made his opinion crystal clear on the subject by saying in one tweet, “What must’ve happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal & then lie next to it smiling?” and “Well done. You managed to shoot a stationery, 14-foot peaceful creature with a high-velocity rifle. Very sporting,” in another.
For her next trick, she’ll take on a toddler at a spelling bee!
This is an incredibly good question.
The tweets quickly went viral, with outrage pouring in toward the hunters – some even threatening violence. All of the attention caused one of the women depicted, Eye of the Hunter co-host Rebecca Francis, to respond with a statement on HuntingLife.com:
“When I was in Africa five years ago I was of the mindset that I would never shoot a giraffe,” Francis said. “I was approached toward the end of my hunt with a unique circumstance. They showed me this beautiful old bull giraffe that was wandering all alone. He had been kicked out of the herd by a younger and stronger bull. He was past his breeding years and very close to death. They asked me if I would preserve this giraffe by providing all the locals with food and other means of survival. He was inevitably going to die soon and he could either be wasted or utilized by the local people. I chose to honor his life by providing others with his uses and I do not regret it for one second. Once he was down there were people waiting to take his meat. They also took his tail to make jewelry, his bones to make other things, and did not waste a single part of him. I am grateful to be a part of something so good.”
Oh, cool. Our bad, when someone is old we should definitely pop a cap in them if the opportunity to craft is involved. Hey, anybody got a line on where grandma is right now? No big deal, I just want to preserve her by blasting her, posing with her and then making a bracelet out of her.
CEO and founder of HuntingLife.com, Kevin Paulson, agreed with Francis that picking the giraffe off because he was basically gonna die soon-ish anyway was actually a good thing to do. “In Africa, when we go to go hunt there, we’re paying a certain number of dollars for each animal,” Paulson said. “Part of that money is being used to actually provide the conservation for those particular animals.”
But, according to the Giraffe Conservation Fund, more than 140,000 giraffes roamed Africa in 1999. That number is now down to less than 80,000, with poaching ranking highly among the reasons for it. Kinda takes the zing out of the whole, “We hunters are conservationists,” idea, doesn’t it?
Of course, not all of those who saw Gervais’s tweet agreed with his opinion, with one user telling him that he was a disgrace to people and inquiring if maybe someone should just shoot Gervais himself. Not backing down from pointing out the idiocy of hunting a giraffe, Gervais replied, “I’ll make it easier for you,” and then proceeded to post a pic of himself in a giraffe-inspired (very obviously cruelty-free) outfit. Lol, too true Ricky! It takes virtually no skill to hunt a giraffe, so dressing like one would make that easier! (PS. threatening to shoot people is just poor form, people.)
What we love is that he happened to have a photo of himself in a giraffe outfit just for this occasion.
To his credit, Gervais was unswayed by Paulson’s position that paying to trophy hunt is a conservationist act. Saying on the Opie and Anthony show, “Why couldn’t you give the money and not shoot it?” he said. “Let’s put this in context. Imagine someone saying, ‘There’s a guy, he’s going to give $1 million to cancer research, all he wants is to shoot one cancer patient.”
The man has a point. Waving the flag of conservation while doing the exact opposite of conservation (ahem, SeaWorld, ahem) makes absolutely no sense. Want to help local economies? Buy goods and services or participate in initiatives set up to support local people. Want to preserve wildlife? Step one, don’t shoot them. It seems like it should go without saying, but tragically, it doesn’t. It’s like those signs on peanut bags that warn you that the package may contain peanuts. This is where are as a species now.
Thank you for being a voice for animals, Ricky.
Lead image source: LA Times