Remember Cecil the lion? Of course you do.
Everyone does. Because when Cecil, a 13-year-old old African lion who lived in a national park in Zimbabwe, was shot and killed by Walter Palmer, an American dentist and part-time big game hunter, the story made headlines for days, spawning countless articles and news reports, spurring demands for hunting reform, launching entire investigations into how something so horrendous could have possibly happened to such a majestic creature.
Politicians and celebrities piled on to demand greater restrictions on big game hunting. Jimmy Kimmel raised $150,000 in less than 24 hours for Oxford's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit in Cecil’s name. U.K Prime Minister David Cameron publicly condemned the killing.
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez introduced the Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large (CECIL) Animal Trophies Act. A few months later, lions were added to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s endangered species list.
Remember Harambe? Of course you do.
Everyone does. Because when the 17-year-old gorilla was shot after dragging around a three-year-old boy who’d fallen into his enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, the entire world lost its collective mind. The zoo was immediately investigated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the USDA.
Nearly 3,500 people showed up to a candlelight vigil In Harambe’s memory at Hyde Park in London. British talking head Piers Morgan rushed to condemn the shooting. Rappers wrote songs about him.
Harambe’s death launched a worldwide discussion as to whether gorillas should even be kept in zoos in the first place. Zoos across the nation changed their gorilla enclosures to prevent similar situations. Harambe became an overnight internet sensation.
Remember Alfie Evans?
He’s a British toddler currently being allowed to starve to death in Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool because some judges decided his life isn’t worth fighting for. His parents, who naturally do think their son is worth fighting for, want to take Alfie to a hospital in Italy for further treatment for his degenerative brain condition and save his life. Italy has agreed, and has even conferred Italian citizenship to the toddler so he can get the help he needs.
Alfie’s parents said they have medical transportation standing by ready to airlift Alfie to Italy at a moment’s notice, at exactly zero cost to the United Kingdom. All the hospital has to do is let him go.
And they won’t.
Alfie’s story isn’t trending on Twitter, despite the best efforts of his thousands of supporters. There are no sweeping hashtags currently blowing up the internet. His story isn’t anywhere on the Drudge Report, much less splashed across the top of the page in bold red block letters as it should be. Only after Alfie had stunned doctors by surviving a full 36 hours after being taken off his feeding tube did his story make the bottom of Facebook’s trending topics.
The agonizingly slow, state-sanctioned murder of this innocent little boy isn’t garnering primetime headlines, much less the 24-hour news coverage it deserves. As far as anyone knows, Trump hasn’t made any calls to the British government to increase international pressure. The Queen of England hasn’t made a peep. Anyone heard from David Cameron?
No lawmakers have rushed to demand policies to prevent children from being murdered at the hands of the almighty government.
Late night talk show hosts aren’t launching GoFundMe campaigns for Alfie’s parents.
Piers Morgan isn’t sparking discussions over whether or not government-run health care might not be such a great idea, all things considered.
By and large, the world literally cares more about a dead lion and a gorilla than they do a little boy who is being starved to death because a government mandated it be so.
God help us.