And yet once in a while something happens that unites us all around the globe in joy or grief, though in truth it's more often in grief. And the grief that has most recently transcended our differences and brought us together is over the cruel death of Cecil the lion.
Nor was big game trophy hunting much in the collective consciousness - I myself would have thought that sort of thing had gone the way of the old 1940's Tarzan movies - but it apparently still exists, though mostly as a leisure activity among a select group of super-rich Americans.
But now the killing of Cecil the lion by Walter J. Palmer,
You can see in your mind this beautiful lion, alpha male in his pride and sire to many cubs, safe and well his whole life, as trusting as a child as he follows that dragged animal carcass, innocent of the least suspicion that he is being lured far from safety and help by the worst of bad human strangers.
You can picture the moment Cecil, contentedly eating his food, the bait he'd been lured with, is hit by the crossbow arrow; you can imagine his surprise, his pain, his confusion, his terror as he limps bleeding away from his unfinished meal, alone in a strange fearful place.
We know that Walter J. Palmer and his guides tracked Cecil as he wandered for almost two days, bleeding, hungry, thirsty.
But here's what's not clear: did Cecil wander for 40 hours because Palmer lost him or was the lion intentionally allowed to wander and weaken so that Palmer could enjoy the illusion of a big hunt and then more easily bring down the already dying lion at the end?
We also don't know what was going on in Palmer's mind during the two days that he followed the suffering lion. Was Palmer consumed with excitement, the thrill of anticipation purposely and unnecessarily dragged out for the hunter's maximum enjoyment?
Did Palmer not feel a moment's distress for the lion's suffering?
Apparently he did not, judging from the photo of himself gloating triumphantly over Cecil's dead spiritless body, flattened by Palmer and his assistant into a posture of defeat and sad submission.
And Walter J. Palmer is finally feeling remorse. Not for the life he took, but for the unhappy fate of his own.