How Disney is hurting wildlife

“Oh no, you can’t shoot Bambi!”

Everyone who has ever done so much as intimated an interest in deer hunting has probably heard that phrase. Thanks to the classic Disney film, the name Bambi is functionally synonymous with all deer, regardless of whether it’s a huge red deer in Europe or a white-tailed corn rat in Indiana. Bambi is just the tip of the iceberg, as many other Disney films portray game animals as noble, majestic creatures while simultaneously portraying all hunters as cruel, evil monsters interested only in killing.

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You don’t have to look any further than the recent incident with professional hunter and conservationist Melissa Bachman. She has been thoroughly excoriated on the internet for killing a “pretty lion”; reading some of the comments I’ve also seen multiple mentions of characters from, you guessed it, The Lion King. Now, I’m not saying that The Lion King, Bambi, The Fox and the Hound, or any of the Disney “animal” movies are bad films, but rather I want to talk about the culture it creates. What we end up as a direct result of mass media portrayals of certain animals as majestic and noble is the mindset of Disney Conservation, where people are only concerned about the plight and well-being of pretty animals.

This leads to unbalanced conservation efforts which are detrimental to animal populations everywhere. We’ll stick to lions as an example. In every African country where it is illegal to hunt lions, their population numbers are in danger and dwindling. In every African nation where it is legal to hunt lions, their population numbers are strong and not at all in danger. White tail deer are another great example. There are approximately 30 million white tail deer in the country, so many in fact that in some areas their numbers exceed the land’s ability to support them. The simple fact is that to support a healthy deer population, many deer must die each year. A .308 bullet through the lungs is a far more humane death than being torn apart by coyotes or starving to death during the winter. But Disney Conservationists don’t care about that, because movies don’t show you the unrelenting horror-machine that nature really is.

Really, the problem isn’t that people want to protect animals. The problem is that many people’s understanding of how nature works comes from pop culture. In pop culture, the biggest threat to pretty deer or noble elephants are evil hunters with their guns. There’s no mention of chronic wasting disease, predation by other animals, starvation, or any of the many awful ways that “mother nature” likes to brutally kill all her little forest children. And let’s not even worry about protecting animals that aren’t pretty, because if it wasn’t in a talking Disney movie, no one cares about it.

This article is largely preaching to the choir, as many of our readers here at Gun Nuts are avid hunters and conservationists; however hopefully some of you will read it, share it with your non-hunting friends, and help them understand the importance of human hunting in conservation.

25 thoughts on “How Disney is hurting wildlife”

  1. Hi there 🙂
    The situation is obviously worse in Europe, where hunters are a small minority and, worse yet, aging. Media & Co. have been pounding so much (for the last 40 years now) on this, that if you are into shooting you are half-seriously considered as “the mad guy waiting to go off in the office”… but if you dare say “hunting”, you’ll really see those eyes gaping like they had realized Jack the Ripper was the one talking to them. All beef-eaters, of course.

    I can be very persuasive on who’s right and who’s wrong. I can remind them they pay for animal lagers – and Hitler was as much guilty as the lowest-grade executioner in Auschwitz. Actually more, I’d say. I can remind them thay their beloved fish recipe comes from mass hunting (called “fishing”), like they packed 1000s of Bambis in a net and dragged them to drown underwater.

    They just won’t listen. Their point is, I (the hunter) am not killing and slaughtering animals to make a living. Instead, I’m paying big money and time, “for the lust of killing”. I have an abnormal, fearful pulse (“lust for killing”) and it’s so strong that I’d like to pay to satisfy it. Immediate secondary thought: If it wasn’t for the fear of law and punishment, I’d be probably going around, shooting up people.

    They know nothing about the ancestral emotions of hunting. And they don’t get it, that if you do not feel or like something, that’s just their taste, not a moral standard, even less the law of the land. What they think is:

    “Whatever is not in my interest and might anyday give me any displeasure, is evil and should be banned. If I like it, instead, it is morally sound that we all live with it.”

    So, take the mass animal extermination and dire livestock life… and leave hunting. They “think”.

    1. Remember that unlike the USA, hunting in most of the world is restricted to the wealthy and arristocrats. Hunting, not horse racing is the traditional “Sport of Kings”.

      1. Hi ethan,
        well I agree partially, in that I could go hunting if I made this my main sport. An average guy has to select priority – go hunting, then cut on other expenses. It is an “aristocrat” thing in that (luckily for us here) it is still favored by lots of high-society folks. Just as with firearms, this does help getting some relief with gun laws. If it was not for the elites covering our side, firearms enthusiasts being so much in minority, we’d be wiped off right now 🙁

  2. Ah by the way… I hunted maaany years ago as a kid, in Africa (no big game). In Italy, not yet. Too much money and red tape and hassles for that. I’d still rather ride power bikes 😉

  3. Well said. When my extended family started to actively manage our land for a healthier deer population, the first thing the ag agent recommended was to cull more deer.

  4. Having spent a substantial part of my life hunting I respect and strongly support responsible hunting. And regarding your comments on White Tail deer, we couldn’t agree more.

    Having spent time in Africa, I do believe your comments on African Lions don’t tell a complete story. Lion populations have been in significant decline for decades with current total for the continent estimated to be no more than 32,000 down from more than 100,000 fifty years ago. By far, most of that decline is due to habitat loss to farming and human interaction (poisoning and traps). The true scientific studies are not definitive regarding the overall impact of trophy hunting.

    We do know that the only countries where lion populations are relatively stable are countries with large areas free from both hunting and “human interaction” such as Tanzania with the Serengeti and South Africa with Kruger.
    Those protected areas provide a substantial base population and allow managed hunts to take place in other parks without major changes in overall country numbers.

    So from my perspective, unless a country can demonstrate they have set aside sufficient protected areas to permit a substantial population to thrive, we as hunters have a responsibility to not abet the decline of such a truly magnificent animal. No trophy is worth that loss.

    1. Actually, properly regulated hunting has helped animal conservation everywhere it’s tried. It engages and employs the local population in ways that ‘camera’ hunting does not.

  5. “The simple fact is that to support a healthy deer population, many deer must die each year. ”

    One could say the same things about humans.

    Resource scarcity aside, none of our social institutions ( communism, capitalism, democracy, etc. ) scale up very well. “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money”. “The problem with capitalism is that it needs more consumers and fewer workers”. Yada yada yada.

    As the saying goes, “Something that can’t go on forever, won’t”. And all of our existing economic systems and theories are ponzi schemes to one extent or another.

    Maybe totalitarianism works with large populations, but that’s only because it regards human life as a cheap fuel to keep its engines running.

    1. “Maybe totalitarianism works with large populations, but that’s only because it regards human life as a cheap fuel to keep its engines running.”

      Do those tree-hugging hippies believe that Simba was a vegetarian? Are they unaware that the Lion King feasted upon his subjects?

      Since I have never seen the movie, how did the writers deal with that subject?

  6. Bambi was made accessible to Disney by Whitaker Chambers who translated it from German. Thus doing more damage to America than he ever did during his years as a Communist spy.

  7. For more detail on Walt Disney’s prejudice in this regard check out “A View to a Death in the Morning” by Matt Carmill

    1. First off, it’s spelled Melissa. Secondly, no we’re not talking about Congresswoman Bachman. If I’d wanted to reference Congresswoman Bachman, I would have said so.

      1. First of all, I made a typo. I’m not a secretary and sometimes don’t get my spelling right. This should be a non-issue. Anyway, so then once again I ask, “Who is MElissa Bachman. And why should anybody care what she does or what she shoots? There are many hunters out there and I just don’t see anybody making a big deal about it.

          1. Caleb, you are a total ass. Why should I go to Google when all you have to do is answer my question. You think you are so righteous, when you are just a gun nut and a jerk. I was asking a simple question. Apparently you don’t know who this bitch is or she is just a nobody who nobody else knows who she is either. Obviously you don’t know any more about her than I do. I really don’t want to know her life story, but since she is not a famous person (like Congresswoman Bachman, who at least is trying to help our society, even if you don’t agree with her politics), you just want to continue this to inflate your own pathetic position in life.

            So she is a hunter. Big deal. She is on some TV station somewhere. Another big deal. Apparently not on my TV or I’d have known who she is. All I’ve come to learn so far is she likes to hunt and isn’t bad looking. If the big deal is she is a woman that hunts, then somebody is a sexist. Women can be just a deadly as men. And they can shoot as well as men. My girlfriend shots every as well as I do (and I seldom miss) I don’t waste my time (and ammo) on shooting animals (if and when grocery stores close, I’ll take up hunting). If you’ve ever had to shoot a person, as I, you wouldn’t want to be killing anything either My dad was a deer hunter. Where I grew up, most people hunted. What’s the big deal. People have been hunting since pre-history. I don’t see why this is a big deal. People hunt lions and lions hunt people. It’s just the way things go.

            If and when you have done as much in life as I, then you can pontificate. Until then F Off. I was asking an honest question. You need not attempt to degrade me for not knowing who someone is. There are over a billion people on the planet. I don’t find it necessary to know all of them.

          2. Don, I’m sure that your girlfriend “shots” very well, and that you’re a big tough man as you implied in your comment.

            All I really know is that yesterday was Thanksgiving, and I had better things to do than comment on blogs. Apparently you didn’t. Maybe that’s why you’re so mad.

  8. Well yes! Back when I was at DNR in the 2001-2004 range (both internships and part time after college) we had the same issue. Look sadly you hit the nail on the head with “many people’s understanding of how nature works comes from pop culture”.

  9. Have you done any actual research into the actual conservation efforts that Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund is involved in? Or are you just writing a sexy article about how 70 and 20 year old children’s cartoons are bad without considering that maybe getting SOME children interested in conservation by SOME method is good.

  10. Miles — ” Or are you just writing a sexy article about how 70 and 20 year old children’s cartoons are bad without. . . ”

    You really should READ articles before criticizing them. . . SECOND paragraph:

    “Now, I’m not saying that The Lion King, Bambi, The Fox and the Hound, or any of the Disney ‘animal’ movies are bad films, but rather I want to talk about the culture it creates. What we end up as a direct result of mass media portrayals of certain animals as majestic and noble is the mindset of Disney Conservation, where people are only concerned about the plight and well-being of pretty animals.”

    1. The entire Hollywood culture denegrates not only hunters, but anyone not military or law enforcement who owns a gun. Nice people “don’t believe” in guns! It’s not just the left either. Jack Webbs Dragnet, Adam 12 and Emergency often had anti gun owner messages. Today they are too numerous to mention. Have you ever seen a gunstore owner interacting with ‘law enforcement’? I have. In several states. (NJ, Del, Vt, and Ca) These interactions were always friendly and usually on a first name basis, indicating long familiarity. If you’ve seen it on serial TV or movies, you would think that they hate each other, no decent law officer would have anything to do with the gunshop people and the gunshop owner can’t wait to sell “assault weapons” to right wing anarchists.* Back to hunting. Hunters are all ignorant brutes on TV. Gun collectors are wannabe terrorists. Where’s John Milius when we need him?

      * And have you noticed how often the “terrorists” are now right wing/Tea Party/ white types?

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