Donald Trump's sons are no chip off the old block, as The Donald, who helped get the diving horse off the Atlantic City pier, is against hunting on ethical grounds. But Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are the targets of more media scrutiny than Barack Obama's birth certificate after pictures surfaced online of the pair posing with wild animals they had killed and big fat grins on their silly faces. The photos were taken while they were on a pay-as-you-go "canned hunting" safari in Zimbabwe. Each "trophy" was procured for a fee -- how macho is that?
Dressed as if to play extras in Rambo, the brothers posed for photographs, including one sick enough to make a grown man, other than a Go Daddy CEO, lose his lunch: Don holds his knife in one hand and the severed trunk of an elephant he's shot in the other. An elephant! In another photo, Eric sits atop a Cape buffalo, using the animal's corpse as a gun and hat rack. Another photo shows both brothers standing next to a massive crocodile whom the Great White Bwana Boys no doubt had "the help" hang up by a noose from a tree branch. In a joint statement, the brothers said, "We have the utmost respect for nature and have always hunted in accordance with local laws and regulations." If this conduct constitutes respect, I really don't want to know what their contempt looks like.
Attempting to defend their behavior, the brothers further declared, "As hunters, we eat everything we kill." Well, now, if they ate the whole cheetah, I'll eat my hat. And if they did, my hat won't kill me, but chances are the cheetah liver contains enough vitamin A to kill them, which might just improve the gene pool. "In addition," say the brothers, "all meat was donated to local villagers who were incredibly grateful." Of course, when millionaires breeze in, even to blow away the local fauna, most poor villagers hope for some crumbs from the table. However, if the Baby Trumps' selfless interest is to feed Zimbabweans, they could have spared themselves the grueling plane ride and just donated the money, including for the airfare and fees, to the hunt organizers so that the villagers could plant crops that would have continued to grow and provide food for years.
I shouldn't call it a "hunt," as they barely had to walk from their jeep to the photo opp. In fact, they paid at least a $2,795 trophy fee to kill a deer-like kudu and another $1,997 to kill a waterbuck, and who knows how many thousands more for the other living targets. Imagine how "incredibly grateful" any world hunger relief organization would have been to get a donation of that size. But, Anton Chekhov wrote, "while two idiots went home and sat down to dinner, there was one beautiful... creature less in the world." Well, a lot fewer in this case.
The Trump brothers' destructive little joyride to Africa is something that they should apologize for. It won't bring back the lives they took or redeem America's image among Africans and others, but it would show something they need desperately: some humility.
The privileged apples have fallen far from the tree. Donald Trump Sr., who has worked with PETA in the past, prefers to hunt for new entrepreneurial opportunities, not animals to kill. While The Donald is a dignified-enough dad not to blast his own progeny, he did say, "I am not a believer in hunting and I'm surprised they like it."
Hunters are often thought to be lacking in self-esteem and perhaps more, and writer Allison Blaney of CelebDirtyLaundry.com summed it up best: "One particularly grotesque picture shows Eric Trump holding up a severed elephant tail -- perhaps as a size comparison for what he is NOT packing in the pants."
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