You’re scaring me internet.
I can not believe I am about to write this, but our collective condemnation of the man who killed #CecilTheLion is going off the rails. Before you grab your pitchfork, let me preface this whole thing with these three things I believe to be true:
1) Cecil and all lions are magnificent creatures that deserve our protection. Furthermore, no animal should be hunted for sport or to the point of extinction.
2) Dr. Palmer is a twisted and sad man to derive pleasure from killing any animal.
3) What happened was a crime and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Initially, I could do nothing but nod in complete agreement with the comments under the #CeciltheLion hashtag. People are angry and rightfully so. We should be pissed that a person could be so heartless. We should be supporting wildlife conservation groups the world over. We should be heartbroken that hunting for sport is still a thing in 2015.
Imagine people this up in arms 30, even 20 years ago over a lion's death. It wouldn’t have happened and so I think it speaks to our collective mindset to see so much anger over Cecil’s death. Despite the tragedy of the whole situation, it shows that those who like to hunt are clearly a minority now.
No matter how many times I see the picture of Dr. Palmer smiling over the dead lion it throws me into a rage. It turns my stomach and makes me want to hurl.
You know what else makes me want to hurl?
"I will sell tickets for $50,000 to anyone who wants to come with me and track down fat, greedy, selfish, murderous businessmen like Dr. Palmer in their natural habit. We would all take a bow and fire a few arrows into his limbs to render him incapable of movement.
"Then we'd calmly walk over, skin him alive, cut his head from his neck, and took a bunch of photos of us all grinning inanely at his quivering flesh."
That’s some scary shit there and these words aren’t coming from a serial killer posting anonymously on Reddit but from Piers Morgan.
You don’t have to point it out to me in the comments; I get what Piers is trying to do here. The "how would he like it argument" is something most kindergartners can come up with. Words matter though, and unfortunately there are people out there who would see this not as hyperbole but a call to action.
Piers is not alone. PETA is calling for the dentist to be hanged, and countless others are threatening his life in comment threads all over the globe. It should not make us smile that this man in now the hunted. It should scare us, because as we all know, the internet is a fickle mistress. Today it’s him, tomorrow it might be you.
This man has a family who love him whether you like it or not. You want to hit him where it hurts? Get him economically, shame him publicly, and continue to fight the good fight for animal rights everywhere. But calling for someone’s murder is just as irresponsible as the killing of Cecil the Lion.
We can do better.
Click here to sign a petition on Change.org to help protect animlas from illegal hunting and enact change to enforce punishments for those who break these laws.
Cecil was a 13 year old lion killed by an American trophy hunter with the help of some locals in Zimbabwe. The key American suspect, Walter James Palmer, reportedly has a history of illegal hunting activity. Please sign my petition asking for full accountability and punishment for all those involved in Cecil’s death.
I've been to Africa to volunteer with these amazing, social and family oriented animals and it worries me that they might disappear in my lifetime. We've lost more than 80-90% of the world's lion population in recent decades due to massive habitat loss, disease, trophy hunters and the exotic animal trade. Most lions killed as trophies end up in the United States.
You can read more and sign the petition here.
Image Source: Twitter
I grew up within striking distance of Ontario’s best beaches. Grand Bend, The Pinery, and Port Stanley were second homes to me in the summer from tot to teenager. Sand between my toes and wind swept hair were a way of life. It wasn’t until I moved away that I realized I took for granted what was so close. I assumed all of Ontario had beaches like those I grew up on. Not so. As much as I love my adopted hometown of Ottawa, it lacks the beauty of the beaches that can only be found in Ontario’s Southwest. I long to share these beaches with my children, since I know that much of my love for the earth and all it’s natural beauty was acquired on those Ontario beaches.
Look a little deeper and you'll realize that the beach is so much more than picnics, frisbee, and swimming. Spending time at the beach is an opportunity to expand horizons and educate our children about our fragile eco-system and history, all slipped in under the guise of beach-y fun.
If you're planning your beach escape right now, here are four "can’t miss" beaches in Ontario’s Southwest that find just the right mix between fun and education.
Located along the shores of Lake Erie, Rock Point is the summer destination for budding paleontologists. After you take the kids to see the latest Hollywood interpretation of dinosaurs, consider heading here afterwards to search for the real deal, fossils are abound on this pebbly beach. Fossils aside, it’s also the perfect place to swim and camp for the weekend. And you won’t even have to worry about hungry velociraptors.
Port Burwell is often times referred to as the jewel of Lake Erie’s north shore and it’s not hard to see why. I remember visiting this gorgeous beach as a child and being mesmerized by the sheer size of the place. 2.5 kilometres of white, sandy beach stretches along the deep blue of one of Canada’s greatest lakes. You’re visiting to slip in some stealth learning though, so you should definitely check out the HMCS Ojibwa, a cold war submarine that served during the Cold War.
Let’s all just absorb this little fact for a moment—Point Pelee is Canada’s most southern point. It’s further south than some points in America and it’s all ours. I am hoping all you winter haters are doing a happy dance right now.
Of course, it’s only fitting that something so much closer to the equator than the rest of us has over 20 kilometres of amazing beaches. Point Pelee will always be about the B’s for me though—birds and butterflies. 370 types of birds pass through the park during migration as does the annual migration of Monarch butterflies. You’ll want to make sure you have your binoculars on hand when visiting this location. See? B words.
Oh Rondeau; you complete me. Another Lake Erie gem, you simply can’t go wrong with a day or weekend visit to Rondeau Beach. Claiming eleven kilometres of Ontario’s Southwest best beach front, this beach is a definite can’t miss for your summer travels. Bring your binoculars to catch some of the amazing birds inhabiting this place, but make sure you get on the water to truly appreciate the space. Kayak, canoe or paddleboard, just get out there.
I’ve had the distinct pleasure of visiting all 13 beaches listed on Ontario’s Southwest website and each has its own amazing cheat sheet that share helpful tips like distance from major city centres, accommodations, and things to do while visiting. Don't miss the opportunity this summer to have fun on the beach with your kids - we'll keep the whole added bonus of "learning" our little secret.
This summer, instead of getting steamed up in cottage country traffic, chill out on some of the province's best beaches in Ontario's Southwest.
Don’t miss out on the “Best Beach Adventure” contest. One lucky family will enjoy a four-day beach adventure for four on Lake Erie, featuring amazing outdoor adventures—a prize valued at $2,500!
Check out more great stories and information about beaches in Ontario’s Southwest:
I love Andrea Nair, I do. She’s the child whisperer and how can you not have a crazy amount of respect for someone who not only talks the talk, but walks it too. I mean hello, the woman just started homeschooling her children ON TOP of everything else she does. I am, simply put, in awe.
With all that being said, Andrea recently wrote an article about the top 15 things you’ll miss about your child’s toddler years. It’s a seriously cute article and even I will admit that I miss pudgy little fingers occasionally. Life always needs a little balance though, so I’d like to present 10 things you definitely won’t miss about your child’s toddler years.
I can barely write this without my gag reflex kicking in but if you’ve ever turned around to see your child obliviously looking at you with a big stream of green running out of their nose you know exactly what I mean.
It’s not the child’s fault when this happens and obviously you’d never get angry, but sweet baby jeezus, there’s nothing worse than changing wet sheets and a child in the middle of the night. Unless of course, you’re sleeping with that child when they wet the bed. Oh yeah, been there, done that, don’t miss it.
My kids are 10 and 12 now and while the tween years are no picnic, at least they don’t fall into limp-bodied protest position at the mall anymore when I don’t give into their demands. A ragey toddler is the scariest thing on earth.
Mamas of older kids are nodding their heads right now in silent approval. Mmmmhmmm. Years of sleep deprivation are why snotty tweens can make comments like “Oh, look how young you are in that picture, Mom.” Wait child, just wait. Your turn is coming.
Toddlers are fascinated with it. If they’re not walking around calling everyone a poopy-head, they’re carrying it around in their drawers while they’re being potty trained. Changing a diaper on a baby can be dealt with, changing a toddler who shipped their drawers, not so much. It’s literally the shittiest time of your life and you won’t miss it.
Honestly, there should be medals of valour for coming out the other side of a Canadian winter with toddlers. Boots, hats, snowpants, jackets, mittens, and scarves are not just pieces of clothing, they’re certified torture devices.
Of course they keep your child safe and of course you should always use one, but if you’ve ever tried to strap a crying child with a arched back into one, you’ll know why we took a match to ours when we were done. Good riddance.
“Do you know why the poopy-head pooped in the bathroom?” *Sigh* "No, why?" “Because he ate poopsicles from the poopy store.” While your kid is no doubt on the ground in hysterics, mindless conversation may be the number one reason moms start to drink. Toddlers should come with a warning; may kill brain cells.
Believe me when I say that I have rarely caved to my children’s demands at the dinner table but that doesn’t mean that feeding them was easy. It’s too green, it’s too mushy, it’s too hard, and wait for it, it looks like poop, were thrown about daily through the toddler years. It can beat a person’s confidence in the kitchen down. Now when they make comments, they can get up and make their own dinner.
If there’s a virus or bacteria within one square kilometer of your child, they will get it and pass it on to your entire household. Some less than stellar maladies we’ve had roar through our house have been strep throat, Rotavirus and the Norwalk. Oh yay, MORE poop. Toddlers less than diligent emphasis on hygiene means your household is open to every pathogen known to man because you know I speak the truth here mom, how can you not kiss a sick kid? Guess who’s down for the count in 3, 2….