We're right to be shocked by Melissa Bachman's photo with a hunted lion

To pretend that hunting somehow helps animal populations is as laughable as saying that killing people is a solution to world hunger

Share
Related Topics

Melissa Bachman's sickening grin photographed behind the corpse of a slain lion is an image that you might have a hard time putting out of your mind, and you'd be forgiven for thinking that behind those unnaturally white teeth is a person without moral fibre. Maybe she lacked love as a child, but for whatever reason, there appears to be a deep-seated insecurity underlying what Bachman does for a living and what others who shoot animals and then pose next to their lifeless bodies do for “pleasure”.

Hunting is cruel and completely devoid of sportsmanship. It takes no courage or character to stalk and kill trapped animals. In their natural Savannah home, lions roam many miles of territory, hunt, raise their young and avoid all contact with people. But on hunting ranches, they can easily be cornered. They stand no chance of escaping, fighting back or surviving. Many of these animals are hand-raised on game ranches and are accustomed to the presence of humans. It's common for them to trot trustingly in front of hunters for a handout of food. Instead, what they get is a merciless death.

Many of these ironically named "conservancies" operate according to a "no-kill, no-pay" policy, so it's often in an owner's financial interests to ensure that clients get what they came for. Owners offer guides who are familiar with the animals' locations and habits. They also permit the use of dogs and supply feeding stations that lure unsuspecting animals to food while hunters lie in wait. The animals are practically led right to the person with the gun.

It's clear from Bachman's boasting and photographs that she has no qualms about assassinating her way through a virtual litany of species, including zebras, alligators, bears and other animals. But believe it or not, many self-proclaimed hunters – including the two millionaire sons of Donald Trump and the CEO of Go Daddy, Bob Parsons – try to justify their pathetic pastimes on the grounds of conservation. To pretend that hunting somehow helps animal populations is as laughable as saying that killing people is a solution to world hunger. The fact is that hunters are responsible for wiping out populations of animals, such as the Tasmanian tiger.

Left alone, animal populations regulate their own numbers based on the availability of food and secure habitat. The enormous sums of money often spent on African hunting trips would be better spent if they were applied toward building a new school or hospital or planting an orchard. Any of these things would have a lasting positive effect on the surrounding African villages and would be far preferable to patronising locals by relegating them to the role of hunting guide to spoiled, bored Western tourists.

Maybe the public backlash against her revolting photos will help Bachman realise that dressing up like a Laura Croft wannabe, slaughtering wildlife and then posing for photos does not make her a strong and powerful woman but, in fact, quite the opposite. Real strength lies in protecting those who are weaker than oneself. As Thomas Edison stated more than a hundred years ago, "Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages".

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A strong currency isn't everything  

A strong pound is a great tonic, but it's not an end in itself

Hamish McRae
Left in limbo: Refugee children in a processing centre in Brownsville, Texas  

Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Rupert Cornwell
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?