Wouldn’t it be great if every sport hunter were made to endure the exact same pain and suffering as the animals he kills?

The photos of Donald Trump, Jr. proudly holding the dead carcass of a cheetah, and waving the amputated tail of an elephant he’d killed, should make every civilized person sick.

Over sixty years ago, science-fiction author Arthur C. Clark wrote a brilliant SciFi idea for handling animal cruelty and big-game hunting. It’s from Childhood’s End, in which a benevolent alien “overlord” species arrives with the intent to save humanity from itself. The Overlords mostly leave humans to govern themselves, but they really don’t like animal cruelty, saying, “You may kill one another … but if you slay, except for food or in self-defense, the beasts that share your world with you — then you may be answerable to me.”

Well, humans, being obstinate and such, ignored the Overlord’s warning. A bullfight was schedule, and the stadium was full:

“Then the picadors had taken up their places and the bull had come snorting out into the arena. The skinny horses, nostrils wide with terror, had wheeled in the sunlight as their riders forced them to meet their enemy. The first lance flashed — made contact — and at that moment came a sound that had never been heard on Earth before.

“It was the sound of ten thousand people screaming with the pain of the same wound — ten thousand people who, when they had recovered from the shock, found themselves completely unharmed. But that was the end of that bullfight, and indeed of all bullfighting, for the news spread rapidly.” — Arthur C. Clark, Childhood’s End, copyright © 1953-2001.

Just imagine: a bullet explodes through your chest, piercing your lungs, shattering your ribs, but missing your heart. The supersonic shock wave rips apart your flesh as the bullet passes through you. You’re instantly in agony like nothing you’ve ever felt before … or ever will again since you’re minutes from death. But the bullet missed your heart, which keeps pumping. As blood fills your punctured lungs, you begin to drown in your own blood, suffocating, gasping for air, trying desperately to get a breath, even though each heave of your chest brings even more agony from your broken ribs and shredded muscles. Your lungs finally fill, and mercifully, unconsciousness is only a minute or two away. As your chest continues to heave uselessly, your body finally uses the last of the oxygen in what little blood you have left, your world darkens, and consciousness fades.

Donald Trump, Jr., and all big game hunters, should be made to experience that pain and agony every time they kill an animal. There is no excuse for hunting.

And by the way, it’s one of my all-time favorite books. Clark was truly the master.


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