Dentists…the pain and agony they inflict on us and we pay for it…Ever seen a film called the Marathon Man…with Dustin Hoffman…? There’s a scene with a dentist…the part played by the late Sir Lawrence Olivier…who wields his dentist tools and inflicts the utmost pain on the character played by Hoffman.
Enter a real life dentist…who has stepped on the world’s stage and for all the wrong reasons…The dentist a man from Minnesota is vilified, verbally crucified, his name dragged around the social media with the utmost contempt. His dentist career seems destined to come to a dramatic halt …This dentist must have made mint, to be able to slaughter big game animals.
On the day he made his kill thousands of animals would have been dispatched in abattoirs, thousands of birds (pheasants) happily flying in the sky, shot for hunter’s pleasure, as well as other animals for the sake of “sport”. On reading the most recent reports on this killing, it turns out this vilified dentist not only killed this beautiful lion, he also inflicted a long and painful death, the lion finally died exhausted and maimed…having being been chased for two days by his pursuers, having been lured from a safe reserve. It has to be said with trophy killing big bucks can be made. Apart from vanity why would any person on this planet want to kill something so beautiful? What is this desire to kill? You often hear the slogan “Man is a hunter”. Since the beginning of time man has had this huge desire to kill animals, as if it is something genetic.
I was brought up in a family in which it was almost a rite of passage that the males took to shooting pheasants. I have never killed a bird…I have caught fish… it’s true, but during my childhood. By the time I had reached eighteen, my ideals concerning animals had been formed.
Hunting pops up in a few of my short stories…particularly “Bugeyes”. Bugeyes is born into an aristocratic family, with a large estate. He is brought up by a gamekeeper, having being rejected by his biological mother, for having…as his name suggests…over-sized eyes. When his curiosity gets the better of him he ventures onto the land of his true parents to try to discover his true origins…having being given some solid hints that he not a gamekeeper’s son. While strolling on the vast estate, he encounters a hunt, led by his brother (this sibling does not have eyes on the same scale as him). His brother is rather cruel and arrogant and for his own amusement sets the dogs on Bugeyes, who give chase…Luckily at the last moment, just before the dogs are about to rip poor Bugeyes apart…he is saved by his gamekeeper “father” .
Human beings don’t value animals and seem intent on destroying many in vast numbers. The number of animals Prince Philip (the man who is found a few steps behind Queen Elizabeth on ceremonial occasions) apparently amounts to 30,000…we are talking deers, rabbits, all types of wild fowl. In two decades his guns have seen to the deaths of 150,000 pheasants. He has been tiger hunting in India and has shot a crocodile. Killing animals is a big part of the British Royals lives…but at the same time they are the figureheads for various wildlife charities…killing yet preserving…
Not everybody seems hell-bent on attacking this “infamous” dentist. You can usually rely on somebody defending the indefensible (apart from the PR company the dentist is paying to put his side of the story across). Ted Nugent (I never really liked his music much anyway) who also happens to be a hunter and gun activist, claims people upset by this lion’s death are in his plain simple words “stupid”. It is the old “hunter’s refrain” of such animals need to be controlled.
If rich people or members of the aristocracy want to pay vast sums of money to go on “space tourist” trips into space… or spend money on yachts the size of football pitches, this is fine… but to go on trophy hunting trips to kill beautiful animals, that is another thing. Killing an animal for your own “pleasure” or gratification is something I really can’t fathom…Sitting next to a lifeless creature, you have managed to place a bullet in…what does it do for the killer…You have to imagine the likes of Prince Philip must be psychologically imbalanced…there must be something psychopathic in his nature…to want to kill such a number of animals.
Next time you visit your dentist…I hope this dentist is not a psychotic animal killer…Sorry if you are a dentist reading this, maybe this man from Minnesota, is far from representative of your profession.
Francis H Powell is the author of Flight of Destiny 22 short stories