25 April 2019

South Africa: Trophy Hunting, Part One - the Nasty Colonial Sport of Shooting Wild Animals


Trophy hunting has historically been the preserve of colonial, white males. The only thing that has really changed is that the white males are no longer colonials, but come from all over the world to hunt Africa's wild animals. Their weapons are high-powered, precise, and often a product of developments in military technology. Part one of a two-part series.

The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest. - Henry David Thoreau

It's time to take stock of trophy hunting. For most of our existence as Homo sapiens, we have been hunters as well as gatherers. Trophy hunting, however, is something else entirely.

It's not rooted in our deep, instinctive past, as hunters will often claim, but in the relatively recent conquest of foreign lands and the invention of devices that hurl projectiles from a safe distance.

"Sport" hunting is driven, neither by the need for food nor for conservation in a time of the planetary biological collapse, but by money and the desire to hang a reconstructed "conquest" on the wall or walk on its flayed skin in the hallway.

If the membership of hunt clubs is anything to go by, the strange and almost erotic act of...

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