DOT 1 // Language Argument Analysis
Opinion: Why are we still hunting lions?
Written by Jeff Flocken, Analysed by Lachlan Tranter
The editorial titled Opinion: Why are we still hunting lions? and subtitled How can we save lions when Americans are
killing them for sport? written by Jeff Flocken, National Geographic, August 4th, 2013, is written in response to the
United States government’s consideration of including lions on the Endangered Species Act, if such bill was passed, it
would prohibit both the trophy hunting and importation of lion-related trophy items. Flocken writes passionately and
has even included an image related to the subject and hopes that the lions will be added to the ESA, only then will the
lion population raise back up, past the currently dwindling thirty-two-thousand left in the wild.
In the first argument, Flocken begins by listing a few of the reasons why trophy hunting should be
outlawed, one of which, is the most detailed of the reasons currently presented; the reason being based on how an
adult male lion’s pride is affected after its death. The author describes how the pride deteriorates after the lion has
passed. He starts by stating that male lions outside of the pride begin to fight over leadership and once a new lion has
taken over, it will usually start by killing all the cubs sired by the previous leader. This argument presents a technique
that appeals to family values and emotion by using the example of the cubs. In the paragraph he uses the phrases
“wealthy foreign hunters” and “imperilled species”; his use of “wealthy foreign hunters” implies that the hunters are
both rolling in hundred-dollar bills, and complete outsiders, only in Africa to do their hunting, get their trophies and
go home. The use of “imperilled species” infers that the lions as a whole are in danger of being wiped off the face of
the earth. The employment of these techniques tries to position the audience by making them feel either outrage or
despair, maybe even both.
Flocken’s second argument commences with the quote “Trophy hunting is also counter-evolutionary”.
Flocken expands on this idea by stating that taking healthy male lions from the population, takes away the possibility
of contributing their genes to the gene pool of future cubs, therefore losing all genes the survived many generations,
to “wealthy foreign hunters”. This argument employs the technique of appealing to reason, presenting his audience
with factual evidence and common sense. Another part that is added to this argument is the explanation that
organisations have attempted to introduce more sustainable hunting methods, one of which involves targeting older