My Dentist Killed A Lion

I hope the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the Lion in Africa comes out of hiding soon. I have an appointment on Thursday and my left molar feels a little loose.

It's not so hard to explain. Some people simply want to kill lions. Since I was a young child, I've wanted nothing more than to stab a wooly mammoth with a pocket knife. Damn extinction.

Big game hunting doesn't make one a horrible person, necessarily. On the other hand, let's say two men see a majestic giraffe. One guy looks at the animal in awe, admires it, takes an unobtrusive photograph. The other guy pays twenty-grand to shoot a bow and arrow through its neck. Now- which of these men is more likely to be the asshole dad who screams and curses like a lunatic at his kid's Little League game?

Who is more likely to aggressively cut you off in traffic in a fit of road rage- a vegan or the guy with a mounted rhino head in his living room?

I've heard people compare the insignificance of the lion story with some of the other fake outrage flooding cyberspace, like that TV Land took The Dukes of Hazzard off the air because a Confederate flag was painted on the car. But there's a big difference. The problem with most of these other nonsense stories is that symbolism takes precedence over reality. The real issue is not a flag; rather, it's racism. The reason that Confederate symbols exist in the first place is because racism exists, not vice-versa. Taking down the flag isn't tackling the actual problem. But there is no "bigger picture" to the lion story. It's a neatly contained story about a meathead with a tiny dick who shot a lion. Of utmost importance? Not really. But it's not taking away from more serious stuff, either.

Oh, but other people say that stories such as the lion-killing dentist are a distraction from the more important issues. One popular Internet photograph shows a man sitting with a sign: 23 American Veterans Commit Suicide Everyday. No One Cares. 1 Lion Gets Killed And The Country Is In An Uproar. Well, in fairness, nobody cares about lion suicides. Nevertheless, while I hesitate to ever disagree with a sign, I care about our military veterans. Soldiers who bravely fought for our country deserve the finest mental healthcare available. So now can I feel bad for the lion?

Yes, of course some things are more important than other things. That doesn't mean we're stupid or naïve for having an emotional response to a human interest story... or a feline interest story. As intelligent adults, we can educate ourselves about the Iran nuclear deal while simultaneously watching The Bachelorette. Well, not literally simultaneously. God I'm glad Kaitlyn didn't pick that weasel Nick. I couldn't stand him. I have absolutely no evidence to prove this, but I'm pretty sure Nick kills lions.

Some people have suggested that the lion-killing was justified because, given the chance, a lion would kill a human being. True, but I would never give a lion that chance. I don't hang out with lions. My apartment building has a strict no-pets policy. Basically, if you stay away from where the wild animals roam, you'll be safe. Lions don't want to murder you; they want you to leave them alone.

Besides, a lion would only kill a person for food. And even then only as a last resort. I mean, have you ever tasted human? The meat is gamey and bland- very similar to roasted Panda. But lions don't kill people for fun. Do you know why? Because killing living creatures for fun is sociopathic.

Other people feel it's okay that the dentist killed the lion, because lions are naturally violent creatures that kill their own kind... unlike, say, human multi-billion dollar weapons industry war-obsessed death penalty giant corporations dumping toxic cancer-causing waste freakin' beings.

Nevertheless, the fact that lions kill lions does not give us the right to kill lions. So the moral standard we're now striving for is lion culture? We're satisfied with being the ethical equivalent of jungle cats?

Personally, I still believe in a higher moral ground- one of compassion, tolerance, and kindness. Hence, outraged lion-lovers need to leave the dentist alone. Yes, he's a jerk. Lots of people are jerks. But you can't threaten the man or harass him at home or ruin his livelihood or give out his private information. It's a crass and undignified way to respond to stupidity. Lions don't write troll reviews and personal attacks on Yelp. Neither should human beings.

Nevertheless, I'm sure the Minnesota dentist has learned a valuable lesson. He has learned that he's a douche. And in turn, we've all learned a valuable lesson. We've learned that dentists make a shitload of money.