Mad, sad and dumbstruck

I offer an alternative title for the well-written yet disturbingly informative tell-all by Kent Priestley [“Practically Alive,” Feb. 13] describing the morbid and Dr. Mengala-tinged “art” of taxidermy: “Firmly Dead.” … The article left me hopping mad, decidedly sad and, lastly, dumbstruck.

Gone are the days of the occasional road-kill bobcat stuffed and mounted—it’s dead anyway, have at it. [Bill and Linda Fuchs] boast of organizing between 30 and 40 safaris in a single given year, noting: “All that work comes back to us.” In black-and-white terms: “All that ‘blood money’ comes back to us” may be closer to the heart-wrenching truth. If not a flat-out sin, it is certainly a crime against nature—slaughtering beautiful, breathing and defenseless animals of the wild, caught up in the day-to-day struggle to simply try to feed and protect [their] young and stay alive themselves. …

From the text: “In a typical, year Wilderness Taxidermy & Outfitters mounts 400 African trophy animals … 25 whole bears” (and a long roster of other animals cursed to have crossed Bill’s path, of which I have both never heard of and find it a challenge to pronounce …). It appears to me that this loathsome couple runs around the world (yours and mine) slaughtering willy-nilly/carte-blanche … the Earth’s precious and coveted wild animals hovering on extinction. … Then there is the mention of all those elephant skins “curing” in the bins of salt … the sad cadavers hanging on the wall. But … some of these lovely stiffs acquire a certain utility factor: “Monkeys, bears, alligators mounted erect with card holders … holding matches, candles.” I wanna puke. It all makes such an undeniable mockery of “civilization.” Yet I thank author Priestley for [putting] the ugly truth out on the table.

What really topped this braggadocio [and] hubris was Mr. Fuchs proudly relating how he spent $40K to travel halfway around the world to end the life (in a most tortuous manner) of the king of the jungle—a lion, the fifth-largest ever recorded—that presently graces the hallway of their Franklin business.

These treasured (national/planet) species face enough poachers and the like, never mind Americans like Fuchs … running around the world slaughtering for the dollars to be made—and all unchecked. It’s plain disgusting, especially in recent light of the growing “green” movement—simply trying to make a concerted worldwide effort to all be better stewards of Mother Nature’s world.

— Jack Marston

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One thought on “Mad, sad and dumbstruck

  1. quotequeen

    The discovery of America was the occasion of the greatest outburst of cruelty and reckless greed known in history.
    Joseph Conrad (1857 – 1924)

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