(HUNTING/OP-ED) Photos of 2016 Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump‘s two sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, picture the two men posing with numerous dead animals. In 2011, the Trumps went on a hunting spree in Africa. The animals killed included an elephant, a kudu, a civet cat, a crocodile, and a waterbuck.
As word spread and people voiced their outrage, Donald Trump Jr. and his ego went on Twitter and wrote, “U think that went to waste? Hunters don’t do that Villagers who have no meat enjoyed that for weeks and were very grateful.” And when asked what he hunts, the rich boy replied, “I hunt it all. Just love to be outdoors w a gun or bow.”
Alright, so maybe the meat didn’t go to waste. According to Don Jr. it also “fed a village for weeks.” So, what is our problem?
If Donald Jr. cares about the African villagers so much, perhaps he and his brother should donate some of their family’s millions for food. Or use that money to educate themselves on how setting up non-hunting safaris benefits both the villagers and the wildlife.
Jack Carone of In Defense of Animals said it well:
“Privilege has clearly not bought them the sensitivity or wisdom to view the world as anything but their personal playground, including the imagined entitlement to end the lives of sensitive and social animals for mere amusement.”
Killing wildlife and claiming it’s for a good cause is a ridiculous excuse to justify a vile hobby. Wildlife is precious and should be preserved, not exploited. A luxury hunting vacation just perpetuates the belief that cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, and other wild animals are of no importance.
As Nicole Dao, a spokesman for PETA, puts it:
“If the young Trumps are looking for a thrill, perhaps they should consider skydiving, bungee jumping, or even following in their anti-hunting father’s footsteps and taking down competing businesses – not wild animals.
Like all animals, elephants, buffalo, and crocodiles deserve better than to be killed and hacked apart for two young millionaires’ grisly photo opportunity. If the Trumps want to help villagers, they have plenty of resources at their disposal.”
Donald Jr. also wrote on his Twitter, “If I eat the meat and villagers eat the meat what’s the difference? People benefit from it and I enjoy it.”
The difference is that the animals are being hunted for sport. Whether the meat is used for a good cause afterwards is irrelevant information.
Donald Jr. repeatedly calls himself a “hunter” on his Twitter, and refers to people who oppose his and his brother’s cruel escapade “eco nuts.”
You don’t have to be nuts to think that severing an elephant’s tail or posing next to an alligator hung in a tree is repulsive. Killing animals for sport is not manly or tough, it’s cowardly.
It’s time to put away the machismo and find another hobby, especially when it comes to endangered African animals like elephants who have complex familial relationships.
Given their acts of cruelty, the Trump brothers have certainly earned themselves a place in Global Animal’s Hall of Shame–take a look.
— Sonia Horon, exclusive to Global Animal