The Lesson of Cecil The Lion – Trophy Hunting and The Evolution of Consciousness

The Lesson of Cecil The Lion - The Evolution of Consciousness and the Psychopathy of Trophy Hunting

17th August 2015

By Steve Bromberg (with Michaella Scott)

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

It’s a fact; we humans have it within us to be hunters. Hunting and gathering food is part of our human heritage, and there are still indigenous cultures alive today that survive this way, living from the land in harmonious accord with ancient tradition — ‘the old ways’.

However most of us are no longer living ‘the old ways’. Our humble tribal lives have been thoroughly modernized by the agricultural, commercial and industrial practices of western post-industrial culture. Many of us live in cities, so we don’t have to hunt for our food. Instead we have people producing and transporting our food for us; we simply go and gather it up from corporate food outlets and pay for it as we need it.

During the times of ‘the old ways’, while the men went out and hunted prey, the women and children would gather whatever wild foods and other useful things they could find growing in their area, and take them home to make things and add to the family food supplies.


Nowadays however, shopping (the modern equivalent of gathering) is perhaps the closest many of us ever come to expressing those instinctive old ways, and perhaps this biological imperative is one reason why so many women – the tribal gatherers – love to shop, gathering together items and bargains to take home to their families.

Chasing The High

Today, for the vast majority of us, there is no need for hunting prey, so we use our old programming in ways that would be quite foreign to the remaining indigenous tribes of today. For many of us, the hum-drum of modern ‘matrix’ life is so dissatisfying, so lacking in deeper meaning, that we actively hunt down experiences that will activate our primal instincts and give us those emotional ‘somethings’ we are lacking — an adrenaline rush, a sense of fulfillment or achievement, or a level of personal satisfaction we don’t get from our daily grind. We find that we are at our happiest when we are involved in these pursuits.

We go hunting for that next promotion or that perfect life partner, some of us hunt down knowledge about the true nature of our reality, while others seek the adrenaline rush of hunting through more extreme activities — those ‘one off’ experience (such as climbing Mount Everest) and dangerous self-challenges (like extreme sports) where we must conquer our fears, activate our primal instincts, and even risk death to succeed. We chase the highs, we ‘thrill ourselves silly’ and find in those activities the adrenaline rush that (among other things) keeps hunters hunting.

We look to hobbies, to sports, to music and other entertainments and distractions as outlets for our primal urges, and when our need to escape is desperately strong (often at the end of a busy working week), we will gather and consume alcohol, or we will track down a ‘dealer’ for a herbal high. Many will seek out ‘one night stands’ or chemical substances to get those ‘higher highs’ and rushes they seek. And when we get our fix, we feel good… for a while, at least.

Having little or no impact on others, hobbies such as competitive sports, for example, are considered to be wholesome and healthy outlets for our primal urge, and for the most part they are. It’s not these hobbies that we need to be concerned about. It’s the more self-indulgent, aberrant pursuits that we will focus on here – those ‘highs’ that some hunt down at the expense of other living creatures, and Mother Nature herself.

We are, of course, talking about those who find their solace in killing – the trophy hunter – an extreme substitute for the primal hunting urge which, unfortunately, some spiritually lost individuals insist on pursuing.

The Psychopathy of The Trophy Hunter

When it comes to trophy hunting, there is much more than just emotional doldrums or the pursuit of adrenaline at play. Trophy hunting reveals a severe inability to face oneself or cope with one’s feelings of disempowerment (which are common in our heavily regulated society) in a life-affirming manner. Killing not to eat but for the sake of killing, it is both self-serving and self-indulgent, and makes others suffer for the hunter’s own feelings of inadequacy, boredom, lack or hopelessness in their lives. Falsely touted as a ‘sport’ – which actually requires consent, competition, and a level playing field — trophy hunting is as best extreme cowardice, and at worst, psychopathy. It satisfies nothing but the desire to kill.

With this understanding, it is clear that the trophy hunter is completely devoid of empathy, detached from the interconnection of all things, and places little value in their own spiritual wellbeing let alone the value of other living beings. Operating only from a base, blood-thirsty level of consciousness, they are literally predators, spawned from a sense of spiritual incompleteness and disrespect for the value of life itself.

This is the same psychology as those people who become the ‘They’ in our society; the controlling dictators, serial killers, sadists, rapists and pedophiles. Much like the pedophile in search of his next innocent child victim and the rush that results from his sadistic conquest, there are some who can only get high when they hunt down and kill something living – the thrill of the chase, the smells, the sounds, the power over a victim, the photo boast with their prey, the take-home trophy mounted proudly on the wall – it all adds to the thrill and the rush of the kill. Like many activities used to fulfill a void, that thrill becomes addictive, and with every ‘kill’, the trophy hunter reinforces their blood-addiction — and, like a soldier who kills his fellow man, he kills a little piece of his own soul each time.

And yet, there are many trophy hunters who still try to justify their “right to kill”. “It’s only natural” they say, “it’s part of who we are”. Unable to grasp the difference between the need for survival and gun-toting blood lust, these individuals see no problem with taking the life of a living being simply because they feel a desire to kill. And as we have seen following the recent killing of Zimbabwe’s famous lion, Cecil, it makes no difference to trophy hunters if the animals they kill are endangered. Inexplicably, some even argue that trophy hunting is somehow good for endangered species!

Steve Blomberg - The Lesson of Cecil The Lion: The Evolution of Consciousness vs. The Psychopathy of Trophy Hunting
Photograph © Steve Blomberg

In reality, there is little difference between a trophy hunter and a serial killer. They simply do as they please, feeling no empathy, conscience, or any kind of connection to the natural world. Their psychological desire to kill animals overwhelms any such pesky things as the morality, the inherent rights of their victim, or animal protection laws. Like all true psychopaths, nothing stands between a trophy hunter and their ‘fix’, rather, the more abhorrent the death, the more pleasure they seem to derive. Killing the largest, most powerful and most endangered of animals — the big cat or the 5-ton elephant — only serves to sharpen the pleasure of the trophy hunter.

This is not the old tribal way.

The Hunter Gatherer vs. The Trophy Hunter

Neither our hunter-gatherer ancestors nor indigenous tribes today ever killed simply for the thrill of the kill. The tribesmen and women who hunt do so as a matter of survival. Providing food for the tribe, their methods of hunting require patience, skill, quick wits, with all senses fully engaged. Understanding their delicate place in nature and their reliance on the long-term survival of the species they hunted, they respected the environment they were a part of, never taking more than they could carry, more than their tribe needed, or more than nature could sustain. They revered the animal that was to serve them, and wasted no part of the carcass, ensuring the animal’s life – and death – was duly honored.

Moreover, unlike today’s trophy hunters, there was obvious risk and danger for the tribesmen and women, whose only weapons were primitive compared with our modern hunting weaponry, especially considering the size and demeanor of many of the animals they hunted. They risked their lives to hunt for their survival, not for the thrill of the kill.

Compare that with modern day “trophy hunters” and you will see that ‘never the twain shall meet’! For a start, the big game hunter today is not meeting his survival needs. He picks a country of choice, connects with a hunting/tour company (usually online) who organizes his entire trip — known as a “canned hunt”. He pays a fee, books and pays for his tickets and accommodation, and hires a ride to the airport. When he arrives at his country of choice, he is picked up and driven to his comfortable hotel to rest his travel-weary bones and mentally prepares for the thrill that is to follow. He is picked up again, and driven to where he will make his kill. Unlike the tribal hunter, he uses no survival instincts and faces no risks, whether he succeeds of fails. There is no tracking involved, no patience, and no real use of the senses required — because these days, GPS tracking does all that for him, locating hunting areas from the air. Instead, he ‘locks-in’ the co-ordinates and drives there, then, using weapons unheard of by tribal hunters, the animal is shot down from a distance. No matter its speed, size or ferocity, it never stood a chance. And lacking the reverence of the tribal hunter, the animal’s death is celebrated by the trophy hunter — a ‘proud’ achievement of his psychopathy. What a hero!

Trophy hunting is the ultimate expression of inadequacy. Driven by ego and discontent, the trophy hunter lacks the honor of the true hunter, not providing for his family, only for his own blood-lust. Like any serial-killer, it is the ultimate in violent outward expression of a broken man. Unable to face himself, he takes the life of an innocent for fun.

Yet, despite all the support crews, tour guides and others who make such a cowardly act possible, the act of the kill is a very private ritual for the trophy hunter. Typically left alone to finalize his cowardly act, the hunter’s need for solitude in that moment signifies his own self-hatred; it is an outer reflection of his inner pathology, all stamped in a pool of blood. Then, when it’s all over, his ego has once again ‘conquered’ the natural world that makes him feel so small, and he smiles at his own brilliance. For now, he feels good, he is in control again, he feels manly. He has temporarily overcome his own perceived lack as a human being.

Trophy Hunting and the Evolution of Consciousness

It is from this same level of consciousness that we find ourselves well beyond the brink of the 6th great extinction event here on planet Earth.

How can this be? How has this happened? As humanity’s consciousness evolves, what are we to learn from such people?

The fact is, we have allowed those with blood lust and a thirst for power to dominate humanity. This penchant for predatory destruction comes from the same low-level of consciousness that is indicative of all predators; like Big Pharma who pray on our trust and our health, Big Banking who prays on our gullibility and our needs, and Big Oil who prays on our pockets and our planet, Big Business who pray on our rights, and of course the world Governments who work to protect the predators and not their citizens. Just like the pedophile who preys upon our most innocent, or the rapist who preys upon women, these predators won’t stop because they can’t stop. Like the trophy hunter, they are hopelessly addicted to their blood-lust and their never-ending need for ‘more’ – and they won’t stop doing their worst until we make them stop. They rule our governments, control our populations, create our money, engage in profitable wars, and kill animals for fun. And it’s our job to deal with them… if we still want an inhabitable planet 25 years from now.

Steve Blomberg - The Lesson of Cecil The Lion: The Evolution of Consciousness vs. The Psychopathy of Trophy Hunting
Photograph © Steve Blomberg

Some of these types are born into such psychopathy; others are spiritual cowards who learn to find comfort in the death and domination of other living beings — the ‘yes men’ the ‘order takers’ who cannot even face themselves, let alone stand up for what is morally ‘right action’. With no regard for themselves and others, or the planet that gives us life, they naturally find themselves embedded in hierarchy, being both dominated and dominating others, in an endless display of their true lack of spiritual sovereignty.

But, whatever the reason for their aberrant behaviors, people are finally stirring from their apathetic slumber and saying ‘no more’, to trophy hunters and all psychopaths alike. And it is through embracing these opportunities — through people beginning to take ‘right action’ in the face of such horrors — that we may finally begin to correct the energetic imbalance not just of trophy hunting, but of the broader psychopathy it represents.

How do we know this?

The Sacrifice of Cecil The Lion

If you’ve been anywhere near Facebook in recent times, you can’t not have noticed how many news feeds were full of indignation at the deliberate and illegal killing of Cecil, Zimbabwe’s beloved lion. Cecil’s untimely and needless death, and the topic of trophy hunting or “sport” killing in general, has become a searingly hot topic on social media, and even (surprisingly) in mainstream media. Even journalist Piers Morgan stated “I’d love to go hunting one day with Dr. Walter Palmer the killer dentist… so I can stuff and mount him for my office wall.”

On July 6th, a proud Dr. Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota, posted pictures of his hunt on Facebook. But instead of the awe and adulation he was looking for (all part of the ‘high’), Dr. Palmer’s seedy, self-satisfied butchery was greeted with anger and revulsion. As the news went viral on social media, it was revealed that Dr. Palmer paid “legal guides” in Zimbabwe $55,000 to lure poor Cecil out of his protected habitat in Hwange National Park, so that he could be “legally” killed. This in itself is evidence enough that people are taking note, that we don’t like what we’re seeing — and people started taking action. But outrage grew further when it was learned that at first, Dr. Palmer did not kill but only wounded Cecil with his illegal crossbow, causing incredible suffering to the animal. The lion stumbled off wounded and bloody, and Dr. Palmer and his crew tracked the animal for over forty hours. When his group finally caught up with Cecil, Dr. Palmer took him down with a bullet. They they decapitated Cecil and tried to destroy his tracking collar to cover their guilty tracks.

In a matter of days though, news of Cecil’s brutal murder was everywhere — I shared it on Facebook several times myself — including the grim photograph of Dr. Palmer’s shit-eating grin as he propped up Cecil’s head for an obligatory ego-shot. Ironically, it was Dr. Palmer’s vanity and that pesky tracking collar that were to be his undoing. Had he not boasted about his kill on Facebook and not tried to destroy the animal’s protective tracking collar, few people would have been aware of the planned addition to his “trophy room.” Few people would have even cared. But he did what he did, and as a result, the people have stirred their own ‘lion spirit’ and risen to the occasion. And this is no accident.

This is how things happens when the timing is right. At this time of our collective evolution, the light is being shone into shadows many of us never knew existed. And in the age of social media, where the power of information no longer lies in the hands of the controlled mainstream media, one person with 200 friends shares a post from which someone with 200 friends shares the post with his 200 friends — and in a matter of hours, the entire world had the opportunity to view Dr. Palmer’s pathological handiwork. Within days, news of this despicable killing saturated the media. And make no mistake; exposing the doctor for his unspeakable ‘thrill kill’ would not have been possible without the internet. Everyday people made it known, in no uncertain terms, they do NOT accept this situation.

The Trophy Room ‘Hero’ Who Fell From Grace

Other than venting our anger, has our collective outcry about Dr. Palmer achieved anything of value we can take away from this experience?

Yes; this is a very strong sign the people are ‘lifting their act’. They’re waking up to what they hadn’t noticed or given any depth of thought to before, let alone their time, their actions and their energy. They didn’t like the way it made them feel when they heard of Cecil’s death, so they worked from sense of ‘knowing’ that these senseless killings are indicative of an unacceptable pathology, and need to end. They voted with their fingers on petitions and anywhere else they could vent their anger. And what they are saying is very clear: we’re not going to stand for this senseless brutality, and we’re going to shut you down.

And with the full steam of their intentions, they are doing just that!

Steve Blomberg - The Lesson of Cecil The Lion: The Evolution of Consciousness vs. The Psychopathy of Trophy Hunting
Photograph © Steve Blomberg

For a start, Dr. Palmer has had to close down his dentistry business, and is currently on the run from authorities. Fortunately, Cecil’s head won’t make it to Dr. Palmer’s trophy room wall, and Dr. Palmer will not revel in the ongoing pleasure of his kill; he will not have the self-important satisfaction of retiring to the sanctity of his personal trophy room to ritually look that dead animal in his lifeless eyes and dwell in the horrific energy of his conquest. Instead, Cecil will be remembered by millions of people as a symbol of animal rights, and the energetic trigger that made millions of people say “enough”.

The sad fact is, there are more animals just like Cecil — every day animals are poached, beaten and abused as they’re hunted to near extinction by serial trophy killers. And for what?

I have walked into a trophy room before. The sight is grim. A hundred kills. A hundred pointless assassinations. To sit among the dead gives one pause. All I could think was “What, in the name of Mother Nature are we doing to her? Who are we really that we could have allowed this to happen to our planet? ” And as I stood there looking round at a hundred lifeless heads in a circle round the walls, it was as if they were anxiously waiting me to speak for them. If only the animals could talk, they would probably tell us the answer. Animals all over the world have shown humanity just how loving and kind they can be towards their own species, and other species too, including our own. They show humanity more than many humans do.

Staring into those cold glass eyes, touching these lifeless bodies, their eyes, their fur, it is obvious they are simply a symbol of man’s manufactured madness. A man’s trophy room is a striking example – a symbol if you like – of the amazing ability a certain type of person has to destroy life and all that is good, without empathy or regard. Such types will continue to do so as long as we allow it — and many of them don’t kill only wildlife, they prey on the goodness in humans too. It’s the same level of consciousness that takes from the poor and powerless to fill the bank accounts of the already-rich and powerful, and the same level of consciousness that uses our children as ‘cannon-fodder’ in its endless global wars, for profit.

Now that the people know of Cecil, it won’t be long before they will know of all this too, and rise up again, and say “no more!”

The Message? We Do Not Consent!

To the big game hunter, their conquests make them some kind of a hero, symbolizing their externalized sense of power and bravery. Modern transportation and technology has given almost anyone with a spare $50 grand and an inferiority complex the ability to experience a ‘kill thrill’, and AK47s are now the weapon of choice for poachers. A euphoric narcotic for the cowardly bully, the speed at which these hunts take place is mind-boggling. The people working to protect these often endangered animals simply can’t keep up.

Maybe public interest in protecting African wildlife will hold strong for a while, particularly in light of recent public scrutiny, but you can be sure these killers will soon be looking for something to kill, somewhere. They kill for the thrill, and they can’t seem help themselves. They have already shown us that much.

So when you hear those murmurings in support of trophy killing, or those short-sighted comments like “Are you still going on about that Cecil thing in Africa?”, or the contrived duality of “What about all the other problems in the world? Aren’t people’s lives more important than animals?”… just remind them:

“Cecil is just the start of this consciousness rising, and as a fully conscious human, like many others, I am quite capable of focusing my attention on more than one pressing global issue at a time. My attention goes wherever it is needed, and I use my intuition to guide me in this regard. I will continue to care about all the issues I feel passionate about in my heart – including trophy hunting – despite what you may feel or where your limited focus may lie. This situation is real, and it’s happening now. Are you going to be a part of the solution? Or a hindrance, a part of the problem? Whatever you decide, this issue needs our attention and I won’t stop until the job is done!”

I haven’t heard the proverbial ‘fat lady sing’ yet, have you? Sure, we’ve made a good start on highlighting the insanity of animal trophy hunting, but as we have learnt from Cecil’s death, there are entire industries built around trophy hunting tours, and a great many institutions in which this kind of psychopathy currently rules. We have a long way to go before they are stopped.

Steve Blomberg - The Lesson of Cecil The Lion: The Evolution of Consciousness vs. The Psychopathy of Trophy Hunting
Photograph © Steve Blomberg

Thanks to all those who took the time to start petitions against trophy hunting, and all those who signed and shared them: I say ‘more power to you’! Collectively, we have been successful in forcing many international airlines to no longer carry dead trophy animals and ‘trophy parts’. We have been successful in getting certain States and Governments to ban trophy hunting altogether, and this is a huge thumbs up to people power! We can do so much more when we have the numbers and the determination to say “no, we will not tolerate this”. Keeping the pressure and momentum up for the sake of all endangered species is crucial – the elephants who are hunted mercilessly for their ivory, as well as rhinos, hippos and big cats, just to name a few.

As humans we no longer have the luxury of time, and can no longer ignore the many pressing problems we face. Now that so many of us are awake and aware about trophy hunting and the threat it poses even to protected species, it is our responsibility to keep saying we do not consent! until we are successful in shutting down all psychopathic controllers globally. It has to be done, it has to be done now. This is the time, and we’ve already made a great start, so let’s keep working until we have achieved out goal.

They control the newspapers, radio TV and movies. We control the internet and the streets. ~ Anonymous

And let’s do it all! Let’s expose the ‘thrill killers’ for what they are, and expose the pedophiles who hide within the highest levels of the establishment, the geoengineers who are spraying system-altering heavy metals into our skies, the pharmaceutical companies that poison our sick for profit and inject our children and our elderly with toxic vaccines, the chemicals companies that have poisoned our food supply with toxic GMOs and DNA-altering pesticides, the war-mongers who invade countries for profit, the media establishments who sell manipulative propaganda as “news”, and take down the governments that work on behalf of corporations not people.

We can no longer accept the false belief of mainstream spirituality that says nothing positive can achieved by confronting evil where we find it. In truth, everything can be achieved by exposing and confronting evil. It is by doing nothing that we find ourselves in this mess. If the story of Cecil has taught us anything it is that positive change happens when informed and diligent people take action.

After all, if we are fully conscious of the world around us then really have no choice. If we don’t do all these things, then who will? There are no saviours ‘out there’ and there will be no future generations if we don’t. It is we whom we’ve been waiting for, and we’d better get used to it and step up to the plate, and fast — unless we want to become part of the 6th great extinction in less than 3 decades.

Ultimately, the story of Cecil is not a distraction as so many have claimed. Cecil woke up millions of us to the rampant psychopathy in our world, and showed us beyond a doubt that we too can have the ‘heart of a lion’. So, on behalf of all endangered wildlife around the world, raise your voice and roar: WE DO NOT CONSENT!

96 Elephants | Take A Stand

96 Elephants | Take A Stand from Wildlife Conservation Society.

 Related links:

About Steve Blomberg:

“I am an award winning international photographer. Since 2009 I continue to live and work in SE Asia. As a photojournalist, I have traveled extensively in China, and Vietnam. My work mainly focuses on documenting the working class, their triumphs and their struggles. However, since visiting Borneo in 2011 and witnessing the unbridled destruction of the rain forest for palm oil and the killing of the orangutan and their habitat, I have become an animal rights activist. My eyes have opened. Time is precious and we have run out of time condoning the wanton destruction of our world and the extinction of all animals. To create a sustainable world we must change the way we see it and live in it. I hope through my photography I can open your eyes as well.”

Steve’s work can be seen on Instagram at www.instagram.com/stevebrombergphotography and his website www.stevebromberg.com.

 


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  • Merrken

    One of the best, most thought-provoking things I have read on the topic of Cecil the lion. I think it’s a good thing to continue to expose these blood-thirsty morons who kill these majestic creatures as the heartless neanderthals that they are. Wake up, world indeed! I am posting this on my Facebook wall and encourage others to do the same.

  • sally rowberry

    Dearest Steve … and I mean that whole heartedly! Thank you from the bottom of my lion’s heart for such an intelligent, ‘real’ as in practical, and consciously well integrated perspective on trophy hunters … from the global down to the intimate personal – and the ‘core’ of dysfunction masked therein. What a fabulous article !… one of the more conscious articles on WUW of late! I have zero interest in hearing ways of either becoming, or knowing I am on, or off, the road to enlightenment (stop all seeking and you will find!!) but I am passionate in hearing from those who speak to the now desperate need to integrate our humanity into our spirituality, as a ‘demonstrable’ offering of our life. In other words the ‘walkers’ amongst the talkers! The days of sitting around contemplating our guru’s and our self obsessed ‘fertile voids’ are over – thank God (blame the 60’s and the beetles?!), and have clearly shown their flaws, particularly amongst the self made guru’s themselves. ‘Active’ spirituality’, as you speak to here, being both ruthless self inquiry, personal responsibility and full accountability for the world that lives both within us, and surrounds us, that ‘I’ created, is the order of the day. Living with a ‘lions heart’!

  • IsaBella Angel

    Thank you so much for writing this, I love it. I am a devout animal advocate and I shared this on Facebook, your a great writer thanks again. Animals are NOT trophies!!!!

  • Georgia

    What a brilliant article, thank you. As a person who values all living creatures I found your article articulated very clearly the pathological cognition and behaviours of those who kill animals for self-gratification. The phrase narcissistic coward comes to mind. We know that, dichotomous as it may seem, narcissists operate from a very deep level of insecurity and desperately seek to be seen and accepted, therefore being seen as more powerful than others is essential to their self-perception. Whilst we could see these trophy hunters as pathetic creatures to be pitied, there exists no place in my world for those who actively seek to be gratified by the killing of any animal.

  • Kelly

    Well written, but you honestly need to spend time with a hunter. I am a gatherer type hunter who one day dreams to hunt Africa. In no way shape or form am I a psychopath. I am not unfeeling nor cruel, I know where you can only guess what hunting is. And I know that it may seem counter intuitive but putting a price on an animals life (that is highly regulated) is the only way to make sure they are around for generations to come. It is MY money and the money of fellow HUNTERS who have supported the protection of these animals and their land. Your article is filled with alluring words but they hold no weight as I can tell you are long detached from the wilderness you claim to know so much about. Trophy hunting or any kind of hunting for that matter is not how you explain it to be, ruthless and one sided. It is much the opposite; but I don’t expect you to find out for yourself, simply because I know you would not be able to.

    • Doug Stevens

      Target shooting at animals and birds remains on of the most depraved, degenerate and reprehensible forms of self gratification.

      Target shooting at animals is a repugnant, mindless “sport” and has absolutely nothing to with a primal requirement for sustenance since humans have established a very effective, mature and nutritionally comprehensive food production system.

      Mindless, trigger happy haters of Nature are primarily responsible for decimating the world’s animal and bird populations.

      Against high performance technological devices and steel cutting instruments nature is soft and utterly defenceless.
      To use such powerful and expensive equipment and personal gear to stamp human dominance on ……beautiful, uncomprehending nature is nothing less than a display of arrogance and ignoble depravity.