Melissa Bachman – what has she done to deserve the public outcry?

Melissa Bachman appears to be only slightly less popular than …. actually right now I think she might be the least popular person in the world.  Well the social media world at any rate.

I can’t imagine the mother in a refugee camp in Somalia has heard of Melissa, and my guess she is probably not that concerned about what Melissa is doing in a bush, with a gun and what the backlash is about.

My guess is this woman really does not care.  At all.

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I have no issue with hunting.  I do not like the idea of it – it is definitely not something I would do.  I can sort of see what the driving force is, and why someone would enjoy it, and I am not going to stand in their way.

Hunting is often about “the hunt” and not always about what the person kills to eat.  We have Woolworths now, so I do not have to go and kill a pig when I want spare ribs – I outsourced that to Woolworths and who ever they have sub contracted that out to.

People have been hunting big cats and other game since time began – and it was never about eating the animal, so I find the argument of “well you should eat the lion” a bit weak.

We are constantly surrounded by images that might not be a person holding a gun with a dead animal at their feet, but by a process of elimination one sort of works out that there must have been some animal killing involved.

Is Zuma wearing faux or do you think these animals worn in this image died of natural causes?

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I have no issue with animals being killed.

Actually I do, but as I like to eat roast chicken, love lamb and will not pass up a beef burger for anything, it is fair to say that I appear to be a consenting adult and accept that animals die so I can eat them.

I try not to think of this as I am sitting down to a meal.  But that is unfortunately the reality.  Because there is a supplier and a few other elements in the chain, I have no need to ever associate an animal and the way it died with my pack of purchased meat.

I do not have to eat meat – there are enough alternate means of nutrition so that I would not have to eat meat, and then maybe the baby lamb does not have to die.

I am rather fond of lamb chops, so I will not be signing a petition any time soon to STOP THE SLAUGHTER OF LAMBS.

I accept that people and animals are not afforded the same rights.  As much as I am emotionally invested in my animals, and I am – you really do not know the half of it – I do realise that animals are animals.  They do reserve respect, to be handled in a humane way, and if they need to die then this needs to be done quickly, effectively and with as little discomfort to the animal as possible.

I am able to separate the emotional side of hunting (I do want to ensure we are clear on legal hunting versus poaching – because right now people are going bezerk and blaming Amanda for the demise of the Panda and the Dodo – her PR company still has not issued a statement on that) from the fact that the reality is that far more animals are being killed through illegal means, than the legal means.  Hunting has been a part of what “mankind” does and it will continue to be so until there are no more animals, or no more people.

If someone has acquired a licence, the licence has been granted, the person has hunted an animal they are permitted by law to hunt and kill, the owner who owns the animal has given permission, and the animal is killed quickly and with as little pain as possible – then why are we attacking Melissa Bachman?

I understand that killing animals is not nice.

I understand that standing next to an animal you have killed, and propping its head up as you smile for the camera is probably not everyone’s idea of a great photograph.

The question I start wondering is – how many hunters with their trophies have we seen, and these images are posted, but no outcry about the shooting of these animals?

What is it about THIS picture that is setting people off and making them want to cause all sorts of bodily harm to Ms Bachman?

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Is it because Melissa is hunting in South Africa?

Is it because Melissa has killed a lion?

Is it because she shot the lion and he was 50 metres away from her – which allowed her to be safe, but was not such a good outcome for the lion?

I can’t quite put my finger on it what about this image that is making people shit in their pants.

I had a quick look around and there are dozens of hunting safaris offered in South Africa.  I have no idea how many hunts are done each day, I have no idea of how many animals are killed – but here are a few:

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I cannot find one outcry group or facebook page about this guy with his big cat.  One would think that this image would make people want to grab their forks and torches and at the very least find this guy and set his jacket on fire.

But, no, not a peep – anywhere on the interweb.

Not one person called him a c&nt – not one!!

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These images are all on Lew Harris Safaris and everyone there really looks happy and it appears to be a well established Safari (one of dozens I saw)

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None of these images appear to have caused much of a stir.

My question is why are none of these “old boys” being targeted for hunting in South Africa, with a licence and through a legal channel?

Is it because they are all wearing khaki?

Could it be because they are almost all wearing hats?

What could it be?

Melissa Bachman is not THE problem.  And neither is the fact that she shot a lion.  This lion was never going to roam the veld and impregnate lionesses, he was bred to be hunted.  A bit like my lamb was so I could eat him or her.

Instead of dealing with this issue in a sane manner, people are attacking her and making derogatory comments about her breasts, and various other parts of her anatomy.  I have seen the “c” word being used quite liberally –  pretty much a “full on hate campaign” is running riot – and it is everywhere.

I am not suggesting that Melissa Backman is my favourite person.  I do not know her, and for  me she is a non-entity, pretty much as I am to her.

She is on par with all these people pictured above with their animal trophies.

What good will come out of attacking her?  If you have an issue with the fact that animals are hunted in South Africa, then take this up with your government or your representative – or which ever department is issuing licences.  Will joining a facebook group really do anything of value?

Possibly have a  investigation about why hunting is permitted, what are the benefits, what are the risks, and so on.

Driving Melissa and her ilk away from our shores, is not going to save one lion, not one wildebeest, and not one cheetah.  Not one.

Based on what we as South Africans are putting out there into the world of “people who may be interested in visiting South Africa as a tourist”  the general consensus is South Africans are brutal, and we feel it is okay to behave like animals when someone legally shoots an animal.

We seem to be okay with a rape-scenario to sort out Melissa, have indicated she should maybe take AIDS with her instead of a trophy and various other pleasantries.  It is like common sense has gone out the window, and people are frothing at the mouth and recalling Bambi flashback moments.

If you think that all this social media “tarring and feathering” of Melissa Bachman is going to do one thing towards animal conservation or shut down one legal game farm, then you are seriously deluded.

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I have been reading various blogger’s posts on the issue around Melissa Bachman.

Some of them have had some brilliant insights.  Some have been tasteless and stupid.

Then there are a few that make me sit and go “hey, I hadn’t thought of that” – I saw this post by Jani Allan at My Grilling Life and this section that made for an interesting take on this rather well worn, and beaten subject:

Trophy hunting is an obscenity beyond the obvious one. Trophy hunting for lion is killing healthy members of an imperiled species.

Do you know or even care that when an adult male lion is killed, the destabilization of that lion’s pride can lead to more lion deaths as outside males compete to take over the pride? Read National Geographic and learn a few things. I know I did.

Once a new male is in the dominant position, he will often kill the cubs sired by the pride’s previous leader, resulting in the loss of an entire lion generation within the pride.

Trophy hunting by definition is counter-evolutionary. It is based on selectively taking the large, robust, and healthy males from a population for a hunter’s trophy room.

These are the same crucial individuals that in a natural system would live long, full lives, protecting their mates and cubs and contributing their genes to future generations.

I am hesitant to suggest that the image of Melissa Bachman as a hunter who is hunting in South Africa and killed a lion, has incensed people because she is a woman.

I am hesitant to make that jump.

Why are all these images I have posted above here – which are all taken in South Africa on a variety of hunting safaris – why have none of these been targeted with such venom and loathing as this one of Melissa Bachman?

Why have smear campaigns not been set up to “name and shame” these men – or is there something that Melissa has done that is different that has upset people?

Nominate Reluctant Mom for SA’s Best Mommy Blogger 2013

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17 Comments

  1. I find those pictures grotesque 😦 All of them, posing with a dead animal… ick!

    Reply
  2. melissa bachman has her own tv show, everybody can watch her since she broadcasts her hunts . The people you’re talking about in your article are all unknown, release their name, their website and spread out the information on the whole web and I’m sure people will make petitions to stop them .

    Reply
  3. d wester

     /  November 21, 2013

    While it’s a thoughtful post you seemed to have completely missed Bob Parson (founder of Godaddy) getting shredded and eventually removed from his company over the shooting of an African Elephant or Dan Richards (Head of California Fish and Game) being removed from office just this year over a legal Mountain lion hunt in a different state. In addition to many local and state officials be outed from offices over hunts. There is barely a week that someone does not loose a job over a hunting post that is at least regionally viral.
    This person is a target because like a public official she can be made one. Private citizens are hard to make a target, but as the number of hunters in the world continues to decline (roughly 1.5% of the U.S. population hold hunting lic). it’s going to get harder and harder for hunters to publicly boast something that large segments of society find detestable.

    Reply
  4. Pat

     /  November 21, 2013

    Well, I think the problem is she wants to be famous of doing the bad and trying to make it look as something good, like if she graduated with honours from university or if she has helped to make the world a better place, I dont care much about her, or her life, i just know that if my daughter turned out to be like that, it would mean I did a terrible job as a mother.

    Reply
  5. PS..Just wanted to add that Melissa is not new to controversy….she has been banned from certain events in the past due to her celebrity status and hunting ideas

    Reply
  6. I think the reason people targeted Melissa is because of her celebrity status. An arb person on a hunting site gets overlooked…but Melissa flaunts her hunts on national TV..so naturally, she needs to take the “sh!t” that comes her ways. I do not believe it is her status as a woman (because looking at the hunting sites, there are plenty of women). I have had a look at her facebook page…and as an animal lover, my heart was very sore. I understand the need for food…(We were given permission to eat Gods animals). However, to hunt something as a sport, not out of necessity. To take aim and kill for pleasure, I just don’t get it! To want to hang an animal on your wall…seriously, how sick is that. I will never understand! I believe that people who can kill like that lack a “sympathy” portion in their hearts. They would probably be able to watch dogs fights and all those atrocious things without being affected because “they are just animals”. If Melissa Bachman is what it takes to get our country in action to try and stop legal pouching, then I am right behind them (Ps My Mom always taught us…”watching how a man treats his animals is a good indication on how he treats you.”…we know it is not always that way, lotsa sickos out there)

    Reply
  7. clueless

     /  November 20, 2013

    Very well written post. I cannot agree more and I find it puzzling and, to a degree, upsetting that this woman is being attacked in this manner, whereas other trophy hunters hardly merit a raised eyebrow. I am a woman and also own a number of firearms, and I frequently take part in target shooting competitions. I therefore receive frequent emails and communications regarding, inter alia, hunting in SA, fire arm legislation etc.

    I love animals and I am against trophy hunting, especially one of the Big 5. But my personal feelings aside, this woman did nothing different from all the men pictured above, and hundreds more I see in hunting magazines (available and on display to the general public at most check-outs in supermarkets). This was not a hunt that was set-up for her as a clueless thrill-seeking tourist, with a lion in a cage and all she had to do was “pull the trigger”. According to media statements she is a Proffessional Hunter, a status that at the very least implies skill with a firearm and in the bush. Exactly as the men pictured above.

    So this was not an unethical or irresponsible act according to the standards of the various hunting associations in South Africa, or, for that matter, other countries where hunting is an accepted sport such as USA or Canada. And please note, little as the public may like it, it IS an accepted sport in SA. Little as South Africans may like it, this woman, and other men and women like her, contributes hugely in monetary value to our “tourism” sector for which SA is such a favourite destination, contributing to the Economy that WE keep worrying about.

    So at the very least, people should stop being hypocrites and direct the remarks where it can make a difference. If they so wish. And stop being abusive. As posted in one of the replies, it gives a very bad impression of South Africans.

    Reply
  8. Alexandra

     /  November 20, 2013

    A well balanced post that reflected most of my thoughts on the subject. There seems to be a lot of anger at specifically american hunters but no mention is made of the large number of south african hunters living right here among us.

    Reply
  9. jenny

     /  November 20, 2013

    Ps I totally stole your pic of Zuma for FB cos he should be banned too. LOL.

    Reply
  10. As a matter of interest, I did not see a single suggestion of what to do with the 5,000 lion existing on private farms in South Africa. Source of income? Numbers control? During the early 1900’s over 1000 lion were killed by game rangers by order in the Kruger National Park to allow the numbers of other game to grow. There are 3,000 lion left in the wild in SA, do we delete the 5,000 on private ranches, because read my lips, if they are farmed legally there WILL BE HUNTING!

    Reply
  11. I would like to appologise to the lady for the staggering rude remarks on her as a person. I was a game farmer and still is a trophy hunter supporting the industry. You acted ethically within the code of good conduct. Very good article only one correction on the qualified input regarding structural distortion of hierarchy when a large lion is taken out. These lions are bred in captivity and managed totally differently to lions in the wild where the mortality rate is cumbersome due to large lion killing the youngvrelentlessly.

    Reply
  12. i must say, all of those pictures upset me a lot. I have always hated this organised hunting thing. Look how proud these people are of having a living creature hand reared so that they can shoot it, all in the name of supporting our economy? I just hate it. It is the weirdest ego-stroking activity I have ever heard of. However I cannot understand people writing such awful things about this woman. Thousands of other people have done this legal activity and no-one ever went mad before and tried to petition them to banned from the country. Personally I have felt upset in the past, I remember when members of the Trump family came out to shoot stuff and it angered me.

    It could be because of her silly, arrogant careless social media update. Or it could be that she is a woman – I just can’t understand it.

    Reply
  13. jenny

     /  November 19, 2013

    I just hope the next time a baby is raped the rapist takes a picture of himself smiling over the little battered and bruised body and maybe SA will fucking do something about that.

    Reply
    • Now that for me would be well placed anger – and with this amount of public support would make something happen or at least it would start to really upset and revolt people.

      Reply
  14. The Blessed Barrenness

     /  November 19, 2013

    This is a highly emotive topic and to be honest, I’m feeling quite conflicted about it. I abhor hunting, anything that involves the killing of an animal in the name of sport just does not sit well with me. Having said that, like you, I enjoy eating meat and don’t agree with the argument that hunting for trophies or killing for food are the same.
    Having said that, I, like you, have come to a similar conclusion that somehow this is related to the fact that Melissa is a woman.

    Reply
  15. Some the backlash I think might come from the fact that the picture was posted on social media. I am glad that people are enraged, perhaps we can do something about cutting down canned hunting. It shouldn’t be about her being a woman, or the size of her breasts, it’s about patently not caring at all about the damage she is inflicting on a wider scale. As for this woman, I couldn’t care less. I do care about the fact that Namibia is granting a license to hunt one of the 1500 odd black rhino left in their country to the Dallas Hunters Club who plant to auction the license next year. That is abhorrent and no-one seems to give a damn. They’ll wait until that rhino is dead and then get all up in arms when the photo is put up on Facebook. Then it is too late.

    Reply

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