I am sure I will get angry missives from animal lovers, including PETA and people who never connect with human beings and are found dead in their homes with 27 kittens.
Symbolism has gone haywire and the killing of the lion in Africa confirms that.
Last week, Gov. Mike Huckabee got in trouble for what many, including myself, felt was a blatantly wrong reference to the Holocaust and trivial use of one of the most horrendous events in mankind's history.
There was a time when a ribbon symbolized our support for a cause. Maybe it began with Tony Orlando and Dawn ('Tie a Yellow Ribbon") and then advanced with breast cancer awareness. Now, everybody has a ribbon.
There was a great little movie produced by Ted Turner called "Amazing Grace and Chuck," about a young Midwestern boy who refused to speak unless the major powers disarmed and was soon joined by kids around the world. Again, symbolism at its best.
Well, this week, after a Minnesota dentist was crucified on the Internet for the killing of a beloved lion, the people misusing true symbolism came out of the darkness. Now the circumstances are murky as to whether his guides operated legally or not but this man's life and career are in a shambles. Ah. The power of social media. It can cure..or kill.
Back to symbolism. People have been picketing the dentist's office with sign saying "Je Suis Cecil" and "Cat Lives Matter." Really?
Comparing the killings in Paris of the editors of Charlie Hebdo or the recent deaths is cities across the United States to the death of a lion?
Now don't get me wrong. I love dogs. I don't love cats but that doesn't matter. I love going to the zoo but I'm sure these same Cecil lovers would say I'm a barbarian if enjoy seeing animals in captivity. To them I quote the great William Shatner at a Star Trek convention two decades ago: Get a life.
What I really mean is get a perspective. Comparing two very important examples of symbolic protest in the past year -- of journalists and black citizens dying -- to a lion, trivializes the real movement of injustice by co-opting its slogans. Someone who kind of agrees with me may say: If only we cared about poverty and shootings the way we care about this tragedy." To them I would say, let's not discount anyone's passion for a cause close to their hearts but while doing that, let's not minimize what I consider true tragedies. That's just me.
What's next: Buying a sweater at Macy's and chanting "Je Suis Cashmere"? Or going out for seafood and saying "Clam Lives Matter"?
What happened in Africa was very tragic and people who protest animal cruelty and hunting are on the side of right.
But I remember, shortly after my daughter died, my wife and I went to Starbucks with our cockapoos and a couple outside said: "We had cockapoos but we lost them. It's like losing a child."
No. It is not. We need to think when we use words or symbols and keep them in perspective. Causes are good. Very good but let's not use symbols of past events and think they can apply to every situation. They just don't.