From March 16/2014
What a day for lions! What a very bad day for the trophy hunters! Hunters relied on complacency and their money and political influence to keep putting lion trophies on their walls. Thanks to all of us, they have now encountered what we can do … and we will get even more influential in the future.
We all joined our marches out of compassion for wildlife. And a revulsion that it is still legal to get on a plane with a rifle or bow or pistol to hunt a captive bred lion in South Africa staked out within a fenced area and then kill it for pleasure.
And we are strong. We were united in over 60 cities across the world. Regardless of whether we had 20 or 2,000 people marching, we all marched, and we stood strong.
And I can tell you we were effective. Just from my experience walking at the back of just one of our many routes in London, I could see that people handed the leaflets were reading them with rapt attention. Children and their parents joined in the chants, and we had many additional people spontaneously joining the marches.
Going home on the Underground that night, I saw the leaflets still being talked about by many people on the trains. The message went out!
We did well and people noticed all over the world. This march for lions was the biggest and most effective for any wildlife species ever.
Politicians must pay attention. One of our marchers in London has Prime Minister David Cameron as his local Member of Parliament. Cameron was aware, and was issued a private letter. Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister in the UK supports LionAid. And so do over 60 other Members of Parliament. They will all get letters from us tomorrow to remind them – this is an issue that they had better address as a constituency issue.
Elections for the European Parliament are due in May. Please everyone who votes for an MEP, make sure you evaluate their environmental and conservation voting record. The EU spends billions of euros per year on farming subsidies and development aid. Just 1% or 0.5% of that money could completely change the face of wildlife conservation.
We have never accepted that defeating trophy of lions is “impossible”. But yesterday, all of us realized that that should be spelled as “I’m possible”. We will be heard, we will continue to march, we are in the great majority. In London in ONE DAY we well outnumbered those who went to South Africa in ONE YEAR to kill lions for pleasure. Why should a tiny minority of people be allowed to continue their “sport”?
We will defeat them. And their suppliers the lion breeders who will soon no longer derive income from their innocent allies – the paying “volunteers”, the cub petters and the lion walkers and all manner of other captive lion tourists.
They will soon be legalized out of existence with our political support and also financially starved out of business. We have achieved a multi-pronged approach. The South African Parliament passed a motion in support of the marches and against canned hunting. And abroad, we will get our parliaments to take similar action.
All over the world yesterday we told the hunters and breeders that enough is enough. For far too long hunters had been able to continue this sordid business. You have now been warned, and we will continue to ratchet up all pressure we can bring to bear. Look over your shoulder hunters, because as of yesterday we are gaining, and soon it will be game over for you.
Be the change everyone, take the high ground. Continue to shout as loud as you did in London and across the word. The survival of lions has now been placed in your very good hands.