JSUK Opinion- ‘Caring’ about Cecil with materialistic goods

We’ve all heard about Cecil the lion by now. Forget the millions of animals poached before him, or indeed the millions that will follow. The media has had a field day with hunting down the hunter who killed Cecil and now you can get anything you want gold plated with an image of Cecil.

As an article in Gizmodo reports-


It is, to give it its full title, the Limited Edition Cecil the Lion 24k Gold HTC ONE M9, a phone that combines sincere feelings about the wellbeing of animals you’ve never met and are now dead with one of today’s most popular smartphones. Just £1,580 gets you the phone, of which £159 goes to the Friends of Hwange charity, one of the groups that tries to stop madmen killing animals for a laugh in Zimbabwe.

With such a small percentage of the price of the phone going to the cause, call me cynical but the image of Cecil The Lion is now nothing more than a ‘hipster’ poser image. ( That’s before you factor in David Cameron pledging to help.) The millions of people around the globe who have been and continue to try and stop hunters and poachers are the real unsung heroes of the situation.

Heck, even my vegan animal activist friend does more for animals than buying a gold plated overpriced phone. Imagine if the same media exposure had been given to the genuine impact of welfare reform, or even showing the people the reality of what their local butcher  or farmer actually does for a living.

You could argue that it’s good that some small amount of money is going to charity instead of all going to the company like gold plated I Phones, but the bastardization of the killing of a lion into making profit from it leaves a sour taste, even if a small portion of that profit does go to helping the charity.  

If you really cared so much, why not donate the full amount to charity? Cecil is vastly becoming another Banksy, everyone wants some of the art work because it features their favorite social commentary without absorbing the message.

I’m sure some office worker in a suit somewhere will parade his gold plated Cecil phone around the office showing how much he ‘cares’ and will probably never donate to the charity again. The world needs to get its priorities straight.


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