The peta people never send me anything, and I’m getting sick and tired of it. You’d think, sooner or later, I’d get a letter or something from them, telling me what a horrible person I am, or offering to whack me with a stick, or say bad things about me on their website, or something. But no.
They seem to be ignoring me, and I don’t understand why. I don’t ignore them. I write scathing articles about their silly campaigns and ridiculous demonstrations, and the way they have no idea what they’re talking about. You’d think it wouldn’t be too much trouble for them, just out of common courtesy, to acknowledge my efforts.
The Greenpeace people have been far nicer. I once wrote a column about their boat, the Rainbow or whatever, hitting a reef while protesting about boats hitting reefs, and I got a nice letter from their president. He even sent me a Greenpeace calendar. He thought the incident was pretty funny, himself.
But peta seems to be a tough nut to crack. I’m beginning to wonder if they’re afraid of me. I’ve tried to get them riled up, and offered to debate one or several of them, and called them names. I’ve even stuck my thumb on my nose and wiggled my fingers and given them the raspberry. Still they do nothing. About the only thing I haven’t tried is to go to Africa and shoot an elephant. As it turns out, that may have done it.
I say that because Bob Parsons recently went to Zimbabwe and shot an elephant, and peta is all over him like a cheap suit. Bob is the CEO of some internet thing called GoDaddy.com. Being computer illiterate, I have no idea what GoDaddy.com does, and when I tried to care, I failed. All I know is that Bob evidently has lots of money, and he managed to get peta’s nose all out of joint, just because he shot an elephant.
Now, let me point out here that people have been shooting elephants for a long time. Not here in Mason County, of course. You won’t find many pachyderms purpling the majesties and fruiting the plains of Central Texas. But in places where elephants fruit, people shoot them. That’s what God put them there for.
So shooting an elephant is no heinous crime, except in those places where hunting them is illegal, but Zimbabwe is not one of those places. And Zimbabwe is where Bob shot the elephant. So as far as doing something wrong or illegal, Bob is totally innocent.
To make matters better, Zimbabwe has so many elephants they’re destroying crops, and causing more damage than you can shake a GoDaddy at. According to the World Wildlife Fund, itself a peta-type group, elephants eat up to 450 kilograms of food a day, and destroy that much more, what with their large feet and all. I have no idea how much a kilogram is, but 450 of them sounds like a lot.
Now, there are a great many of these elephants, so they’re doing an awful lot of damage. And this is happening in an area where the folks can’t afford that kind of devastation. They’re pretty short of food there already, so the elephants are decidedly unwelcome.
So they asked Bob to shoot one of these elephants, and he went out at night and shot one, which is perfectly legal. And the next day the local villagers came and butchered the carcass and took the meat home to eat. Some came from up to 20 miles away. None of the meat was wasted.
But Bob made a video of the whole affair, and put it on the internet, thinking, I guess, that folks would appreciate his humanitarian efforts. Which was a big mistake. Plenty of people took offense, especially at the part where the villagers are butchering the elephant. As if plenty worse hasn’t been shown on National Geographic for years.
I took offense, too. I’m not happy about Bob going over there to shoot problem elephants without inviting me to come along. And I’m going to send him a copy of this column, so if he decides to go again he won’t be able to say, "Oh, I’m sorry Kendal. Did you want to go? I just didn’t think to ask you." Yes, Bob, I want to go next time. And I don’t know when you’re going, but I’m free that week.
The bottom line is that Bob did a very nice thing for some folks who needed it done. He killed two elephants with one shot, so to speak. Not only did that elephant quit destroying crops, it also fed a good many people who badly needed a meal.
There is a campaign to get people to quit doing business with GoDaddy because of this. Me, I’m thinking the opposite should be happening. I still don’t know what a GoDaddy is, and I still don’t care. I’m thinking of getting one for my office, as long as it comes in a nice camouflage pattern.
Maybe then I can get a rise out of peta . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist who never shot an elephant in his pajamas. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or firstname.lastname@example.org