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EHS

“Respecting” Remains


If you’re wondering why I talk so much about the laws and ethics surrounding human and animal remains, but don’t really comment much on the concept of “respecting” remains, there are two reasons:

One, I think the concept of respecting dead body parts is just sort of a matter of personal and cultural opinion and people could go on all day about what they feel in their hearts and signaling their virtues.
Two, because I think that it can sometimes distract from more pressing concerns of animal and human welfare.

People got really upset about this Wildlife Official after he posted photos of him smiling with a family of baboons that he had killed, so he had to resign. 

He killed 14 animals on a trophy hunting trip, but, in spite of the very good arguments as to why trophy hunting is good and why it’s bad, the only concern people apparently had was they were upset at the photos, that the pics weren’t “respectful.” 

Remember, a lot of trophy hunters say that the photo shoot is part of HONORING the dead. That’s their interpretation of respect. Just like some people think it’s respectful to incinerate, eat, or display the dead. The animal sure doesn’t care!

From the opposite side, it seems to me that people think they can get away with not considering whether their actions are harmful or helpful, as long as they abide by their own personal definition of respect. Just say a prayer or whatever, and you don’t have to consider if the an animal’s death was necessary or humane, or whether purchasing remains supports a good or bad industry. 

I don’t mind people talking about the concept of respect and sportsmanship, even if there are bigger fish to fry, it’s good to ask questions when something offends you. (just maybe read the notes in the post first…that question may have been answered 500 times.) However, keep in mind that just because YOU find something weird or gross doesn’t mean you’re actually arguing on behalf of the dead. You’re just virtue signalling if you can’t actually call up reasons that the action was harmful to the alleged victim.

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