The social media revolution has certainly united netizens and given them a platform to voice their collective opinions, but it hasn't been without a cost.
Knee-jerk reactions and the tendency to instantly form negative opinions on certain issues are some of the byproducts of social media. This mass penchant for drama has never been more evident than it is in the circulating story of an American hunter named Kendall Jones.
This 19-year-old Texas Tech cheerleader caused massive online outrage when she started posting images of her posing with wild animals, which were all presumed dead by the viewers.
In came hordes of animal rights activists ready to shoot down Jones' Facebook page and even get her deported from South Africa, where she currently is.
Yes, she is a big game hunter but what her critics ignore is that she also is a wildlife conservationist. Some of the images of the animals in her photos aren't dead – just heavily tranquilized so that they could be examined later.
Even the ones that she has hunted were done in completely legal hunts, which are paid for generously by the hunters. The money raised from these hunts is spent for the betterment of local wildlife, meaning that these extremely expensive hobby ends up saving wildlife instead of killing it.
As she herself explained: "This is a conservation effort to assure [sic] that they never do become extinct."
The animals chosen for these legal hunts usually are old, sick or rogue in nature that pose a threat either to humans or others of their kind. Instead of being put down, they are sold to privately owned, fenced farms for exorbitant price. The money fetched from these transactions is spent on nurturing the overall herd of a particular animal clan.
"Controlling the male lion population is important within large fenced areas like these," Jones wrote in a Facebook post. "Funds from a hunt like this goes partially to the government for permits but also to the farm owner as an incentive to keep and raise lions on their property."
The practice is widely acceptable and has resulted in the revival of several animals that are on the verge of extinction. For example, at the turn of 20th century, there were less than 50 white rhinoceros left in the world. Thanks to game preservationists, that number has now gone up to thousands.
Jones is a law-abiding citizen who did nothing wrong. Unfortunately, the Internet these days is full of trolls who are up in arms about things which they usually don’t know much about. In Jones’ case, the solution to save and conserve animals is a little out of the box.
Moral of the story is:
"Don't hate what you don't understand!"