Time Blogger Condemns CEO for Shooting Elephant That Destroyed African Villagers' Crops

The great thing about being a enviro-evangelist blogger in the United States is the moral high ground it gives you from which to condemn people who fall short of your ecological credentials.

Take Bryan Walsh, the blogger behind Time magazine's Ecocentric blog. Walsh took GoDaddy.com CEO Bob Parsons for hunting down an elephant in Zimbabwe that was a threat to a village's crops.

In an April 4 post, Walsh set out to convince readers that hunting elephants, even when done as a defensive measure to save a village's crops, is illegitimate.

Of course, that's easy to say from the climate-controlled comfort of a New York magazine office, so Walsh reserved the bulk of his ire not for the villagers or the Zimbabwean government but for Parsons, who apparently made a politically incorrect choice with his own money:


Parsons told me he spent $60,000 to $70,000 for his elephant safari. That's obviously money that could have gone to any number of organizations that deal with human-wildlife conflict, like WWF, the Wildlife Conservation Society or Conservation International. Or, if Parsons wanted to directly help the people of Zimbabwe, he could have donated money to an NGO like Operation Bootstrap Africa, which has a five-star rating from the watchdog Charity Navigator.

Walsh went on to note in fairness that Walsh had given $1 million to Haiti earthquake reliefs efforts, but continued to rail against Parsons for seeing the controversy over his elephant kill as a "net positive" for GoDaddy.com:

America, it's up to you. If a CEO posting a video of oneself shooting and killing an elephant—an elephant that is a vulnerable species, one step away from being considered endangered—ends up paying off for his business, well, then punch my ticket for Canada.

Maybe instead Walsh should attempt a year living in a Zimbabwean village trying to eke out a living between the perils of the natural environment, the hectoring of Western environmentalists, and the madness of the corrupt dictatorial Mugabe regime.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters