A time to reflect and rethink upon the archaic words “Big 5” and “game”
I think it is time we start to rethink and stop using the archaic words “Big 5” and “game”. I know that I have used them in the past, but I hope this is the last time.
It was an eye opener for me when I read these words from the famous filmmaker and conservationist Dereck Joubert.
Great Plains does not believe in the Big 5. We are, at our core, against hunting and the entire philosophy and ethos of hunting. And Big 5 is an archaic term referring to the five most dangerous animals to shoot and kill to increase the perceived risk and because hunting is what it is, to increase the fun in killing those animals. We also do not use the term ‘game’ for the same reasons. Game is an offshoot of the sport of hunting, and killing, which in our culture at Great Plains, is an unethical and irresponsible way to interact with the planet and its living organisms.
This is wise words from a man that have made many great documentaries together with his wife Beverly. If you don´t know the Joubert then have a look at this 17 minute clip from their TED talk in 2010.
Now I have made my mind up and I hope more will follow. The archaic words “Big 5” and “game” has nothing to do with me as a photographer and safari tourist. They belong to the trophy hunting industry in Africa, an industry I never truly will understand, and their marketing of “innocent” animals as dangerous just for the sport of it.
They can continue to talk about their conservation efforts, but I won’t buy it during the current circumstances as they put strain on depleted gene pools for example. It is pure and simple profit that drive most companies and a minimal part of the revenues come back to the local communities. I have seen a plausible figure of 3% from a IFAW report made in 2013 and it wouldn´t surprise me if this figure actually is high.
I know I will have to bite my tongue during the trip to Africa next month and I really hope I will be able to not use these two archaic words from the hunting industry.