A permit for murder; an open letter

Day 110

Today, I saw a piece about this on the nightly news:

“Texas ‘Save the rhino’ fundraiser auctions off chance to shoot endangered black rhino dead”


And I thought, “you’ve got to be kidding me, these amazing creatures are almost gone and they’re going to hunt one for sport!”

A hunter’s club in Texas intends to auction off 1 permit

that will allow the lucky winner to murder 1 critically endangered Black Rhino

in its’ homeland of Namibia

for fun and sport,

under the guise of a fundraiser to save the species. Everyone in the organization is very excited because the permit is expected to fetch upwards of 250,000 dollars. Maybe even a million. The price has been set on their heads.

Even though there are only 1,795 Black Rhinos left in the whole world and experts say this is a very bad idea, that with such low numbers, the population cannot tolerate any more losses. And even though another subspecies of Black Rhino is now extinct, gone forever.

It just got me thinking about all the people who have murdered other endangered ones, wiped out whole species just because they could. For the pleasure, for the rush.

And it all just made me so mad that my blood is boiling.

And I wrote this but it’s not enough.

Not enough at all.

You motherfuckers.

What sick pleasure do you get from wiping out whole worlds?

Does it please you? Bring you joy? To see a body. still.

drained of life,


The body of the endangered ones,

broken and bleeding.

Explain it to me, try to make me see.

I can’t understand

this sickness.

This rabid madness.

You, Ohio farm boy,

only 14 years old,

when you saw the last wild passenger pigeon eating your corn,

in the farm fields your parents worked all their lives,

were you angry?

Were you consumed with rage, seeing red?

Did you grab your shotgun with shaking hands, load the bullets, and pull the trigger in a fit of rage?

Or did you stalk, quietly, calculated, pull the trigger in cold blood with a clinical click,

watch the feathers flying?

Did you know he was the last one? You must have realized there were not many left, that they no longer blacked out the sky.

Or were you proud of your trophy,

the last of its’ kind.

Small head, curved beak,

bullet to the chest.

Were you pleased with yourself? Your name is forgotten to history, and now they’re…


Did you know what you did? Your heinous crime?


Maybe you can explain it to me Wilf Batty,

farmer responsible for putting a bullet in the flank of the last Tasmanian Tiger,

accused of stealing chickens.

Is it because you were scared? Did it frighten you when you saw the shadowy shape of that striped night hunter slinking past the edge of the fence?

Were you scared it would steal your chickens, eat them at midnight under the full moon?

Were you scared you would go hungry? That your children would starve?

Or was it more than that?

I think that beautiful marsupial wolf,

with it’s warm pouch for carrying its’ tiny babies,

frightened you because it was wild,

and you were not.

Because it roamed the forests and meadows while you slept in your bed at night,

Because it lived without chains,

a free creature,

who ate, and slept, and made love as it pleased,

not like you,

back broken, burned from working in the sun,

to land that kept you tethered.

Did you know it was the last one?

Could you see the loneliness in her eyes?

I want to believe it was a mercy killing,

but your smile tells me it was not.

And you,

you rich ranchers, millionaires

hunters for sport,

with your fat stuffed pockets and beady little eyes.

Do you hope shooting an endangered black rhino,

on the plains of Africa,

will make you a bigger man?

Will lift you up above the rest,

Bring you power,



Or do you love to see others suffer for sport,

enjoy the quickened pace of your heart as they run for cover,

hooves pounding the earth.

Will it make you happy,

seeing a great beast fall,

at your knees,

blood running red?

Will you pose for a photo next to the dead, grinning,

and think, “this is it, I’ve done it, I’ve done my part to save this dwindling species.

We must sacrifice one for many,

you know, crack some eggs to make an omelet and all that.”

Do you mean well,

or are you sick, poisoned,

a maniac for murder,

made sweeter by its’ rarity?

I’m so sorry Black Rhinos. That my people won’t listen, won’t stop killing until you’re all dead and gone. I don’t know how to explain to you that some people have a bloodlust so strong they are blinded by it, will consume whole worlds to satisfy it and then, even then they cannot rest. Like zombie monsters they must feed, feed, feed, for fun and sport, for money, for power, prestige.

Please forgive me for being part of this, part of the madness that is eating the world, that is murdering your loved ones one by one. I can’t figure out how to get separated from the killing culture, how to start again, and destroy that which is broken. But I am trying to figure some things out. I know that doesn’t really help.

Thank you for living according to the Old Ways,  for following your original instructions, even though there is pain and suffering all around you.

I love you. And all the other wild ones who are hunted mercilessly by mad men and women with murder in their eyes.

The culture of destruction can’t allow the wild ones to live. They are a constant threat to a civilization built on oppression, confinement, and domestication.

Over and over we see violence, murder, genocide perpetrated on those humans, animals, and landscapes that live in a different way, one perceived as threatening to the monster that is civilization.

There are those who are beyond help, whose hearts have grown cold and blackened by madness. Who wish to make living things into money, who wish to make living things dead.

But the rest of us, we must

turn to the earth before its’ too late,

before our eyes close to the beauty that surrounds us,

to the wild ways written in dust,

and the messages hung in the stars.

We fight for what we love.

Make the connection.

It’s our only hope.

Thank you for listening,






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