Some companies should be boycotted for various reasons. Jimmy John’s is ABSOLUTELY one of them. And no, this isn’t about many of the issues people are always talking about when it comes to working for Jimmy John’s either. Like the fact that they force their sick employees to work for fear of losing their jobs. And if they get fired or quit, they’re not allowed to work at any sandwich shop or restaurant within a 3 mile radius of a Jimmy John’s either.. Which is pretty infuriating to hear even if you’re not an ex employee sick of making slave wages. (Read about all that here).
No. Today we’re talking about the owner, Jimmy John Liautaud himself, who is a complete a$$hole and psychopath who loves to spend your sandwich money on killing endangered animals in Africa.
Jimmy comes to South Africa (and sometimes Namibia or Botswana) quite frequently. When he does, he easily drops more than a quarter million dollars on a single trophy hunt.
Like on this trip, when he butchered an EXTREMELY ENDANGERED female Black Rhino. She was the very last black rhino in the Mangetti National Park. Buying her just to kill her and take her horn (as a trophy) cost Jimmy over $350,000 dollars. He doesn’t seem to mind spending that much though does he? Just look how happy he is!
Oh look. Here’s another elephant he killed for fun. Are you aware that poachers ALONE kill 94 elephants a day? That’s far more elephants dying before they can even reproduce. Between poachers and jerkoffs like this, Africa is losing its big game very quickly. It is highly likely that elephants and rhinos can (and probably will be) completely extinct in the wild within the next decade.
So how does it work? Well, usually the animals are lured from a national park on to private property. Trophy hunters will leave out bait, play the sounds of other animals to lure them in, or a few other tactics to find their animal victims. Canned hunting is even worse. It is the ‘shooting fish in a barrel’ version of trophy hunting. The animals are often hand raised so they are tame and don’t run away. They leave food out for them one day, then some coward creeps up and shoots them with a high powered bow or rifle. Sometimes they don’t even have to creep. Sometimes they just shoot them from the back of a truck then go back to drinking their Gin & Tonic like it was just a bit of harmless fun.
(I have no idea how people can consider this sickening practice a ‘sport’…)
Part of the infuriating thing about this behavior is the fact that people like Jimmy have the audacity to call themselves ‘Conservationists’ and claim that their trophy hunts benefit conservation and local communities. REAL conservationists give their time and money WITHOUT insisting on killing something in return.
Well, I live in South Africa. I spent more than a year living and working in The Kruger National Park. I know many rangers. I also know professional hunters. I know owners of big game farms, and I know the situation with Africa’s wildlife pretty damn well by now. This is why I can say with absolute confidence that Jimmy is absolutely full of crap when he claims that trophy hunting funds conservation, feeds starving villages or keeps the ecosystem in balance by keeping animal numbers down. Those are 100% lies perpetuated by the trophy hunting industry and they’re easily disproved.
It is well known here that trophy hunting funds less than 2% of our conservation efforts in South Africa. Normal tourism (as in shooting animals with cameras only) raises over 15x more money for conservation than any form of trophy hunting in Africa does. Without brutally killing anything. Most people who do trophy or canned hunting like this, are only fattening the wallets of wealthy game farm owners who only care to protect their own animals from poachers coming on their property. This does nothing to protect animals in the ‘wild’ national parks where most endangered animals live.
As for feeding locals, 9 times out of 10 the meat from a trophy hunt (especially if it’s a large animal) is left in the dirt for the scavengers because they cant be bothered to move the body or process it. Plus, the locals here don’t eat lions, rhinos or elephants anyway. They eat fish, chicken, pork and beef like most people around the world do.
When it comes to animal numbers, I wont deny that there are some species that are breeding out of control. Impala and warthog are often culled for this reason. I know a guy that kills an impala every single day as part of his ranger job. You know why that is? BECAUSE HUNTERS HAVE KILLED MOST OF THEIR NATURAL PREDATORS. Then the prey become outnumbered, they eat up all the food before it has a chance to grow back and then all the animals starve. That’s why Rangers have to shoot so many of them to try to keep the ecosystem in balance. But that’s just it.. Nobody comes here to shoot an impala. They come here to shoot lions, leopards, elephants and other big 5 animals more than anything else, thus making the imbalance in the ecosystem even worse, not better.
Ecosystems need to be better protected. Especially fragile ones that are so out of balance due to over hunting, poaching and habitat loss, like the African bush. A$$HOLES like Jimmy John are part of the problem, and so are you if they give him your money.
In case there is some doubt about what I’ve said about conservation, you can read a much more in depth explanation here: The Myth of Trophy Hunting As Conservation
Written by journalist, activist and researcher, Lara Starr
This article (title, description, and all wording) is original content written by Lara Starr. To reproduce, edit, or redistribute you must obtain prior consent. All rights reserved by The Earth Tribe and Lara Starr.