Moral question-to Steve007 especially

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Oct 30th, 2004, 06:49 AM
  #1
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Moral question-to Steve007 especially

Hi everybody, This question is for all of you , especially for you Steve.
I can't stop thinking about your question posted on Friday.It's regarding the issue of not going to a place where you are not wanted.It is a moral issue I think. It's about considering some Moral aspects while planning your trip. Would everybody for example consider to go to SA during the Apertheide eara? Would you support a country who is pro-hunting versus a country who is against? Why going to a country that your personality is 'against the law', why support their economy with your $$$$
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Oct 30th, 2004, 07:22 AM
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Hamitzer,

If your rationale is applied, then Steve007 should move out of the United States Of America, since it is still illegal in many states for gays to have sexual relations with each other.

The American government's hands, and more specifically the hands of certain state governments, are not much cleaner than the hands of the East African nations in question.
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Oct 30th, 2004, 07:43 AM
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Rocco-The fact that thw world in general is not the prefect place to be, does not mean one has to close his eyes and not deal with thoseissues. I agree about what you wrote about the uS, I really hope Steve will use his limited power and vote on Nov s2th,No, you can't change the world but you CAN use your ability to think while planning vacation!!Rocco I think it was you who delt with safari companies and hunting issues!
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Oct 30th, 2004, 08:47 AM
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You folks can be sure it's an issue we've struggled with. Generally, we end up with something like a modified version of Rocco's view. We went to Burma- but took Thai air, spent NOT ONE CENT in any non-locally owned establishment, etc. Even here in the US, perhaps 50% (+or- a couple %, or so the polls tell us) feel disenfranchised and disaffiliated from their govt. I think that's even more true in the more tyrannical areas of the world...probably more so in dictatorsips, but often quite evident in even democratic-like spots. Do we deprive the village folks of much needed USDs when they are at least as oppressed as any other non-indigenous group? We have, for example, already begun a pen/pad/etc. drive, and expect to fly in with a suitcase full of school supplies. I think one problem is, if we boycott the anti-American, anti-gay, antisemitic, child-labor-lawless countries, those with official state religions (another issue in our buddhist-baptist-jewish home) etc. where's left to go? Do we do more harm visiting, with our piles of national magazines, etc. or by boycotting?

Wish life were easier! But ya know, I would have to boycott 1/4 of the US for homophobia, 30% for racism, etc.... and I HATE staying home!
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Oct 30th, 2004, 08:48 AM
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Interesting question.

To a certain extent I do allow the situation in a country to dictate whether or not I will visit.

I generally avoid countries where I am very strongly against the current government and/ or policies imposed by them (such as SA during apartheid), countries that continue to commit human rights crimes, war zones or countries where fighting can and does break out often and without notice, locations where crime rates are exceptionally high.

That said, I will visit countries where there is an aspect of their policy that I disagree with provided it's not something I feel very very strongly about since to limit my trips only to countries where I agree with every policy and law would stop me travelling at all and would preclude my own country too.

I think one can also differentiate between things that don't directly affect us as travellers but that we take issue with and things that will affect us directly.

For example, I'm sad that there are countries which do not have laws that require men and women to be treated equally including issues such as salaries, opportunities etc but understand that every single country in the wide world cannot be expected to reach the same point at the same time in these areas. It won't affect me when I'm there as a traveller. But I would be affected by laws which required all woman to cover their head and face in public, laws that made interracial relationships illegal, overt racism against Asians/ Indians and many other such things. This kind of issue would indeed impact on my desire to travel to that place.

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Oct 30th, 2004, 09:14 AM
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Hamitzer, you asked a thought provoking question. I think Steve and Kavey both gave good answers.

I would add another factor in judging a country and that is its wealth.

My husband and I spent September 2004 in Hungary, Serbia, Austria and the Czech Republic. It was evident that Austria was by far the wealthiest of the lot, Hungary and the Czech Republic had made great strides in emerging from decades of Communism and, while there were parts of those countries that still looked down-at-heel, they had significant pockets of prosperity, and Serbia still was considerably poorer than the rest.

On our first evening in Vienna, while we were strolling along a pedestrian mall in the Innere Stadt, we encountered an anti-fur demonstration. I sympathised with the demonstrators' sentiments, but I simultaneously realised it was an issue to which they could afford to turn their attention just because they lived in a prosperous society. There was no way that the people in Serbia, whom we had left behind a week previously, could possibly have had the spare capacity to contemplate the ethics of fur.

A few months ago a poster came onto the Fodors Canada board and asked travellers to boycot Canada because of the resumption of the seal hunt. I sympathised with the poster's sentiments. I believe that Canada, being a wealthy country, should be held to a high standard.
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Oct 30th, 2004, 05:19 PM
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Hamitzer,

In response to your question...

>>>Would you support a country who is pro-hunting versus a country who is against?

Please let me know which country is against hunting, and if your answer is Kenya I beg of you to come up with a better answer than a country that has outlawed trophy hunting but allowed poaching to ravage the country 10 times more than hunting ever would.

Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania all allow trophy hunting, and these countries are generally accepted as the best gameviewing countries in Southern and Eastern Africa.

There are few people more opposed to hunting than I am, but I am logical enough to realize the benefits of trophy hunting. Take away the trophy hunting and it creates more problems than it solves. Either poachers move in and completely decimate the area, or the area becomes overrun with cheap tourism that damages the environment far more than a hunting camp ever would.

I think that the wealthy individuals that fly in to kill animals in the practice of trophy hunting are deplorable, but I have a hard time blaming the actual governments or locals when they have few, if any, other options to support themselves.

I may very likely choose to spend half of my 18 day Southern African holiday in Zimbabwe next year. Does that mean that I support Mugabe??? No. It means that I think it would be tragic if Wilderness Safaris and CCAfrica pulled out of Zimbabwe completely and if this did, in fact, happen, that poaching would run rampant in Matetsi, Hwange and Mana Pools in the areas vacated by CCAfrica and Wilderness Safaris.

A person going to South Africa does not necessarily agree with Mbeki's support of Mugabe, or his refusal to recognize that the HIV virus causes AIDS, further stalling progress in combating the disease.

While I appreciate the point you are trying to make in your original thread, you need to apply the same principles to the USA and other wealthy nations, as well. Ultimately, you will find that very few nation's hands are clean from some injustice or another.
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Oct 30th, 2004, 05:26 PM
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Also, for the record, although it was evident in prior threads that Steve007 was likely gay, I do commend him for having the courage to post about this subject.
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Oct 30th, 2004, 05:41 PM
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Likely? I thought I was pretty explicit that I've been in a longterm relationship with another man. I think it's far more courageous for those less fortunate than I. I'm a doc, with solid credentials and a job where freedom is protected.... glad to be so, and incredibly grateful for the sensitivity, respect and comfort I've found when doing things like sitting with my partner on the dais at Harvard Med School events, or dancing with him at national psychiatric conventions. I have far more admiration for those with marginal jobs in tenuous positions who take what are far greater risks then self disclosure on a bulletin board!!

NOW, if someone would just let me know about internet access in Africa (so my mother, who considers John her favorite 'child-in-law' would not be concerned that she'll not be able to reach me for the time I'm gone!

Steve
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Oct 31st, 2004, 03:50 AM
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Steve - You shouldn't have any problem finding Internet access while in Nairobi or Arusha. While out on safari the situation will vary - some accommodations have access but not for guests' use (such as, connecting your own laptop), but can send an email advising that you've arrived safely, and for a fee.

A friend who is currently in Kenya and Tanzania and another who recently returned indicated the same - Nairobi and Arusha yes, otherwise, it will vary depending on where you are staying.
 
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Oct 31st, 2004, 06:26 AM
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-Please let me know which country is against hunting, and if your answer is Kenya I beg of you to come up with a better answer than a country that has outlawed trophy hunting but allowed poaching to ravage the country 10 times more than hunting ever would.-
SORRY-this is exactly my answer!- Kenya, or China(although with China I have other problems like human rights).It's not perfect but there official Anti - hunting atitude is better than pro hunting.Sorry can't agree with the your logic behind the 'profit of trophy hunting' cause you can apply same arguments for any other crimes- lets permit 'small crimes' to avoid 'heavy crimes'.The criminals will be satisfied and won't have to go for bigger staff,,, I don't think so. As enviromental expert I can assure you it's better for the environment without the hunting. The world did exsist milions of years with animals vs animals, and animals vs local humans who needed the hunting for food and other self needs, nothing good happened to the nature while 'modern' systems entered the game-machine guns for whales, automatic guns against elephants.I still insist that I rateher spent my money in a place where the government try to educate agains hunting, human rights abuse,homofobia etc, and I agree with Kavey and Judy in Calgary!
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Oct 31st, 2004, 06:32 AM
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Rocco-Also, for the record, although it was evident in prior threads that Steve007 was likely gay, I do commend him for having the courage to post about this subject. -
AGREE 100%!!

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Oct 31st, 2004, 08:10 AM
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Hamitzer,

Well, although you may already be aware of this, both George W. Bush and John Kerry are hunters, and while either of them is President, there will continue to be outrageous occurences such as "canned hunts", where the prey is let loose in small entrapped areas allowing the hideous hunters a guaranteed kill.

And with China, don't even mention China. Despite human rights abuses, there have been terrible animal rights abuses, with animals from zoos being subjected to the worst imaginable things (I have read about events where they have fights until the death between lions and tigers, and other such atrocities, in order to increase patronage to the zoos). Besides that, many of the zoos in China have starving animals and I don't exactly see the Chinese government stepping in to do anything to help.

China and the United States hands are just as dirty as the others and I disagree with you wholeheartedly about Kenya. While it is noble that they have outlawed hunting, they have only made matters worse in Kenya with this action by, thus, allowing the poachers to move in and absolutely decimate the wildlife far more than hunting would have ever done.

I have complete contempt for hunters but if it keeps the poachers away and helps the local communities, then I grudgingly now accept the practice of trophy hunting, although I pray for hunting accidents to these hunters whenever possible.
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Oct 31st, 2004, 10:27 PM
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do you subscribe to conde naste traveller? if so the november issue has a whole long giant article on exactly this topic. (the cover is black with writing). it includes burma, which, sorry to say, it seems gets money whether you think it does or not. very interesting.
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Nov 11th, 2004, 11:13 PM
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Hamitzer,

Just do yourself a favor and don't eat the "beef" or "lamb" in Nairobi:

http://allafrica.com/stories/200411110195.html

30% likelihood that you will be eating poached wildlife. Gee, sounds a lot more destructive than hunting would be, which would likely keep the poachers away.
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Nov 12th, 2004, 04:42 PM
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Rocco- I'm vegeterian , don't use lather , use only not tested on animals cosmetics etc.
when i came to Africa first time I was amazed by the variety of food I can have in the lodges, good vegeterian food .!!! I'ts a vegeterian haeven!
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Nov 12th, 2004, 07:53 PM
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Hamitzer,

If you read between the lines of my post, you will see that this has nothing to do you with your personal diet, but rather one of the side effects that outlawed hunting may carry...very high amounts of poaching. But, I think you already knew that.
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Nov 13th, 2004, 04:32 AM
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Rocco,
With all due respect, I think hamitzer has made his stance on hunting known. Why continually argue the point or tell him to read between the lines?

There are many people on both sides of the fence on this issue and just because you seem to feel that hunting in "controlled" situations benefits the countries, many of us still disagree. With controlled hunting comes uncontrolled hunting.

We all know it's not all on the up and up. If it was, many of these animals would not be listed as endangered or at risk.

"Oops, I accidentally shot the young black maned lion instead of the older male I was pointing the gun at." That happens more often than not. And whose to say it wasn't a mistake. The outfitter won't punish the client. He would lose business if he did.

Interestingly enough, there was a report on msnbc.com about how the overfishing off the coast of Ghana has resulted in land animals now being over-hunted because of the shortage of food foraged from the oceans. It all ties in together. When humans decimate one food supply, then another is sought after until it's wiped out and the chain is never broken.

I could sit here and list numerous reasons why hunting in any shape or form is not benefiting anyone except the outfitters and trophy hunters and those "lovely" walls the heads are put upon or the floors the skins are covering. But I think this issue has been beaten to death.

The wildife of Africa and every other country is not expendable. Humans have to wake up and realize that.

You are not going to convince us otherwise that hunting is beneficial no matter how hard you try so I would suggest just to let it go and try not to flame the situation.

You have made your stance known. Others have made their stance known.
For now, let's just say we agree to disagree on the subject.
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Nov 13th, 2004, 05:50 AM
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Divewop,

This will be my last post on the subject.

Countries that allow hunting, such as Tanzania, South Africa and Namibia have not had nearly the poaching problems that have Kenya.

Yes, there are abuses with the hunting operators, but they are not nearly as devastating as what poaching does to the wildlife. Other than cheap game meat, poaching contributes nothing to the local economies, while hunting and photo safaris contribute a significant amount to the local economies.

I find hunting as detestable as you do, but I am also able to see past my anger at the hunters to recognize the fact that without the presence of these trophy hunting operators, the area would be left wide open for poachers. This is the conclusion that I have reached after a significant amount of research on the subject.
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