Domicile, not dominion

Domination is the vocabulary of the weak and powerless.

As human beings, we were gifted by the divine with the highest powers of understanding and reasoning on the planet. And we were given a guidebook in the form of the New Testament, a manual for the modern age that began two thousand years ago, the Piscean age whose symbol is Christ, as to how to treat all life on earth. We were to give it domicile, not subject it to dominion. We were to use our powers to tame and foster, not destroy. We know how to do this, and have refined these means to the place they are today.  If we choose to employ the lesser life forms on the earth in the hopes of maximizing all the world has to offer, we are to do no harm and strive to do good — to them and to each other.

For a time, we needed to control those forms in such a way as to ensure our own survival and evolution as a species.  But that was hundreds of thousands of years ago.  From the 1st century CE, human beings have had other means to feed and shelter, advanced, sophisticated and humane means, in the form of scientific and intelligent farming, as well as gathering and exchanging food and other products for enjoyment, perpetuation of our kind, and development of the earth’s resources.

One holdover from our more chaotic, bewildering and unconscious past is the tendency to resort to violence and weaponry when we are too lax or confused or misled to use other, more elegant means.  Part of this is the indiscriminate use of firearms.

I don’t want to dwell on this too much this weekend as I am in the midst of hosting my visitors, and I did not post this on a Friday morning, as year three of this blog is dedicated to exploring beauty in our lives and all around me here in this abundant and progressive place called California. The very word conjures up cheer, happiness, sharing, progress, enlightenment, success.

But I have to comment on the wanton murder of a beloved lion this weekend.  A lion who was treasured by his countryman, one of a dwindling number of his kind in the wild. A magnificent creature cut down, painfully, by an ignorant, violent, cowardly American, I am desolate to admit.

When you hand a toy weapon to a child, this is the logical outcome.  When you organize shooting parties of fox or deer or antelope or pheasants or any other living creature, this is the logical result.  Some day down the road, a depraved individual will shoot an endangered species for no other reason than they can.  They have the ability to fly to the area.  They have the money to pay a poor resident of that nation so he will take them to where the animals live, many of them protected, loved, befriended and therefore trusting of human beings.  They have the most sophisticated rifles with instrumentation that enable zeroing in on the innocent, unsuspecting target and killing it brutally. For what? To eat lion meat? To take the skin or head or tusk or tail or teeth back as macabre trophies for an equally benighted audience?

What is the reason you hunt? It is no sport.  There is nothing in it any more that gives man any real disadvantage.  It is even more despicable than two men pommeling each other until they bleed, and eventually lose their minds and die young, simply because they are poor and the masses want to see them hurt each other for a craven entertainment.

I would as soon shoot a baby as I would an animal.  I know there are people who think this heresy and that human beings are in a different category altogether.  Really? Those are often the very same people who condemn abortion in America (a practice I consider murder, as well) but who think nothing of drones or bombs killing thousands of Iraqi babies and children.   People who are now lobbying for war against Iran so we can kill thousands of Iranian babies.

And they think of hunting as brave and masculine and entertaining and natural.

Don’t fool yourselves.  You just don’t understand killing.  If you did, you would not keep pets and then look the other way when weak, disempowered, mindless people who don’t know what else to do with their money and time, of a truly magnificent and productive nature, practice marksmanship in the best case, and release their pent up frustrations and misery by inflicting it on others, especially helpless animals.

I base this analysis on 40 years of thinking about this topic, and studying the issues and facts related to it.  This is not something I say just because I am an East Coast Progressive with a soft heart.

If you still can’t grasp the dimension and gravity of this crime, just imagine what you would think if you were to go to the zoo with your children and see someone with a crossbow or a rifle shooting animals in their cages.  I see no difference whatsoever between that and what this deeply selfish, unconscious, ignorant man did to Cecil.

You would never pick up a gun if you had studied and analyzed and thought about this as I have, because you would recognize where this action ultimately leads and you would be too ashamed.


35 Comments on “Domicile, not dominion”

  1. Unbelievable. Even if this American dentist didn’t know the lion was part of a national preserve, the animal was still “taken” and set up for him to shoot with a crossbow. This was not “hunting.” This was not “sport.” This was the sick destruction of a living thing, and not the first time, according to photos and court documents.

    My insides are turning.

    While I pray no harm comes to him, I hope Dr. Walter Palmer is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Susan, I agree with you. It reminds me of when Dick Cheney and his friends went to the home of a woman who raises pheasants to be shot in a penned area. The very birds that trusted her, ran up to the shooters to be slaughtered.

      What is wrong with people who do this? I want no one in my world who could be so cruel and, in my opinion, evil.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve had to avoid the television and most social media this week. The inevitable pictures hurt my heart so strongly, I can’t stand it. I have never and will never understand the claim to ‘sport’ in cases like this.

    Abuse of power/money at its worst.


    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with you Cole. My husband knows to mute the TV and turn to a different channel when stories come on like this. I ache about it for weeks and weeks.

      No one who does this can pretend to be a loving, caring human being. And what’s worse, they teach their children to be just like them.



      Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree, harming Dr. Palmer would be just as big a mistake as he made killing the lion. I do believe however that it would be great to take away his resources so he may never repeat this action. I also believe that this will never happen. He will probably only receive a stiff fine and a slap on the wrist.
    Beth, I agree with you in respect to men fighting each other for either monetary or power reasons. But this is not new. We can go back to Roman times when as we were taught in school, Christian men were thrown into pits to fight lions, etc. Of course, when I went to Rome and visited the Coliseum I found that the truth had been bent a little. Animals fought animals to death and men fought other men, solely for the entertainment of the upper class.
    Anyway, great blog Beth. Love your writings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Rebecca, so much for saying this.

      Oh no, this is not new. That is part of my point. This is a throwback to a primitive juncture in our development. A time when we didn’t know any better as a species. When the next cave over was seen as frightening and to be eliminated. When people enjoyed torturing slaves for entertainment.

      We ought to be better than this in the 21st century. A dentist, no less. I wouldn’t let him near any creature I cared about. There is no ostracism too great for that man.

      I hated to talk about this here as I want to be positive but it was weighing on me, especially while Anna is here and we don’t let her near the TV.

      😥 ❤


  4. Very fine. People getting shot all the time too. I never understood the lure of hunting. In the gun control debate, hunting weapons and the right to hunt various animals is sacrosanct.


    • Stephen, it is beyond me, really. I don’t know what kind of person enjoys killing an animal. I can understand cultures that have no other way to get food, like the Inuit or Sami people, but no American is in this situation. Appalling ignorance and selfishness. Thank you!


  5. Hunting for sport is a barbaric outdated practice that should banned, but more importantly we need to raise consciousness and awareness about animal abuse.
    Thanks for sharing an important post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had not heard the story of this guy who shot the lion…until now. I simply have no words for someone who thinks this is something he can be proud of. Sure, we’re all animals, and the planet is full of killing, but mostly it is for survival. Humans take it one step further…into what they like to call “fun.” Some of us call it “sick.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! Can you imagine? Honestly, I cannot fathom the heart, if he has one, of this dentist. This is so backward, so primitive and heartless it is beyond my comprehension in this day and age.

      This morning Zimbabwe is trying to have him extradited. I hope that b*st*rd lands in jail there and suffers for what he has done.

      I loathe hunters, but this one is more depraved then most.

      Thank you BF, we are once again, of a similar mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with all that has been said about this unconscionable act of cruelty. How can we (humans) progress so much in some areas (medicine, technology) while reverting to savagery and barbarism in other ways? Case in point, Dr. Ignoramus-with-money-and-a-gun. I’m with SIF and hope he is fully prosecuted!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are really in sync with me and all of us here, Vera. I have been mulling this man over and over and cannot understand it. It is as is he had heart-blindness. What a thoroughly horrible type of person. Glad I don’t know him personally because I would be screaming at him right now.

      The world would be better off without him and others like him. I hope he pays severely both to teach him the lesson his mother never taught him, obviously, and to be a clear message to other hateful people who think this is fun.

      xo Vera!


  8. I was horrified when I heard of this “slaughter” and I ate less meat all week pondering whether I need meat to survive wear and tear of body. Making better choices and becoming more aware of the negative aspects of this eating habit, Beth.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hunting beautiful animals and not eating them is so wrong. I am okay with ducks, deer, fish and other wild animals which are often over-populating. The only reason I get concerned about meat and needing 70 grams of protein is my job tears my body up and brains need protein. I realize fush, eggs and other solutions are possible, Beth. Some magazines like Prevention support vegetarian or vegan diets. My youngest daughter follows as much as possible what you eat, Beth. Unfortunately, doctors while she was in an OSU research study think her not eating red meat is causing her white blood cells to best her red ones and there is a real concern for athletes and people who have arthritis, too. I do need to know something how to eat enough legumes to maintain my body and I do eat vegetable meals a lot. Cheaper and easier.


  9. The photo of child looks like Annabelle’s size last summer. Also reminds me of a much younger you, Beth. We are caretakers and wish we were not destroyers of our world. Great essay and lovely, supportive comments here. xo ♡ Robin

    Liked by 1 person

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