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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