Unless you're in the midst of a social media blackout, you will have no doubt heard the heart-wrenching tale of Cecil, the beloved 13-year-old lion who was lured away from the safety of Zimbabwe's protected Hwange National Park, murdered, skinned, and beheaded by some fucking psycho of a dentist (sorry, non-sadistic dentists — that stereotype is staying with you forever now) who paid $50,000 to go feel like a big man in Africa.
As the news broke, celebrities across the board lost their minds over it. Mia Farrow Tweeted the address of the dentist, Walter Palmer, and Jimmy Kimmel had a hard time fighting back tears while appealing for people to donate money to wildcru.org, so something positive could come from Cecil's death.
[jump] The way Cecil died was unnecessary, senseless, horrific and illegal. The two men who aided Walter have already been arrested, and the good dentist (who has been taking happy snaps next to slaughtered, beautiful animals for years now) has been forced to close his practice and go into hiding. (Somebody extradite that dick please.)
However, the widespread outcry over this single lion has been surprisingly vehement, considering that poaching has been such a gigantic, ongoing problem for years now. Surely, if the world is this incensed about the loss of Cecil, they should be freaking the fuck out on a constant basis about all the other Cecils getting murdered by dumbasses for fun. This lion is not the first and he certainly won't be the last.
Many of the musicians voicing their objections do have a history of speaking about animal rights, thankfully. It wasn't surprising when Miley Cyrus — an outspoken animal lover and recent convert to veganism — gave this nod to Cecil on her Instagram account:
Neither was the (glorious) Twitter rant that dog-rescuer extraordinaire, Sharon Osbourne, went on:
Then there was vegetarian Ricky Martin — who has done Peta campaigns before:
Ariana Grande also has a history of animal-supporting. The singer told a British newspaper late last year that she loved animals more than “most people” and is (supposed to be) vegan (despite that whole donut licking thing that happened a couple of weeks back…):
It was more surprising to hear Juliette Lewis joining in. Sure, Juliette's got charisma for days and we like her band and her movies, but she's a carnivore, and a Peta-critic.
Then there's Cher, who has been wearing fur since the 1960s… But Cecil apparently reminds her of her pet cat, so…
And — look — we're not going to even pretend to know what his deal is these days, but MC Hammer is kind of the last person we expected to see here…
Perhaps the most positive thing that can come from all this is if musicians actually keep speaking up and trying to constructively help all poached animals — not just the famous lions. According to Scientific American, one of the reasons that African lions were added to the 'threatened' list last year was because “the number of lion trophies imported back into the U.S. by American hunters doubled between 1999 and 2008.”
Other animals targeted by numb-skulled, so-called “sport” hunters include rhinos, elephants, a variety of other big cats, giraffes and — oh yeah — bears (just like the ones James Hetfield is so into murdering for fun). If concerned musicians shouted as loud for all those animals as they have been doing for Cecil the last couple of days, it might really make some fundraising difference and benefit those that work tirelessly to protect animals from the dunderheads who get off on shooting sentient creatures for shits and giggles.
We'll leave the last word on the subject to Questlove, however, who made a very valid point yesterday about the level of vocal concern for Cecil this last couple of days, versus the level of celebrity protest directed at the fact that American police officers are still murdering African American civilians.