Why such a visceral, vitriolic response to the sport killing of “Cecil the lion”?
Hunting is an activity almost exclusively engaged in by the wrong kind of white people. It consequently provides an ideal opportunity to open the floodgates of disdain to allow contempt to flow without inhibition.
Many other SWPL positions indicative of putative moral superiority over the wrong kind of whites quite inconveniently insinuate (by association, never explicitly) superiority over many of the non-SWPL groups that together form the coalition of the fringes. Abortion, same-sex marriage, corporal punishment, environmentalism, and the like find SWPLs on one side lined up against the wrong kind of white people and NAMs on the other.
This isn’t the case when it comes to hunting. It’s a rural, conservative, religious, white, working-class, male thing. Buckshot can be fired all day at hunters without risk of accidentally hitting a protected creature in the process.
The following table shows the percentages of various demographic groups who hunt. The list is meant to be illustrative rather than exhaustive. For contemporary relevance, all responses come from the most recent decade of the GSS:
|Group||% who hunt|
|Rural, working-class, church-attending, conservative white men||54.6|
|Blacks and Hispanics||5.5|
|Big city liberal whites||4.1|
|Atheists and agnostics||13.0|
|Self-described members of the upper class||11.7|
|Self-described members of the lower class||8.2|
Tangentially, this isn’t commentary on the specific trophy hunting expedition in question, something that strikes me as cruel and pathetic. It’s not difficult to kill an old lion lured away from a pride with a projectile propelled by 21st century technology. Knocking out 20 pull ups with a weight vest on is a much more physically difficult feat. Travelling around the world to poach an essentially defenseless creature is an act of vain conspicuous consumption, not a display of personal valor. It doesn’t take skill, it just takes time and money to burn. It is quite different from hunting herbivores for the sake of eating.
GSS variables used: YEAR(2004-2014), RACECEN1(1)(2,15-16), RES16(1-2,6), SEX, ATTEND(4-8), POLVIEWS(1-2)(5-6), GOD(1-2), SEXORNT(1), CLASS(1)(2)(4), HUNT(1,3)(2,4)