Does GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons have any believable excuses for shooting an elephant in a village in Zibabwe, Africa a few weeks ago?
In early March, Parsons killed an elephant and later posted the video footage on his website. Outrage was swift and explosive as the news went viral, leading to widespread condemnation and prompting some of GoDaddy's biggest customers to switch to other web hosts (I am currently a GoDaddy customer but am in the process of switching the Big Green Purse domain to a different host).
Parsons told ABC News he shot the "problem" elephant at the request of local villagers who were trying to prevent the animal from crushing their crops. Parsons also claimed that the elephant, which he shot in the middle of the night, provided needed food for the hundreds of people who showed up in the morning to butcher it. The way he talked, he implied that he has killed elephants and other big wildlife in previous years as a favor he bestows on demand.
Here's my problem with his rationale:
First, who is Parsons to decide that he should shoot elephants (or any wild animal) just because villagers want them gone? Yes, elephants can destroy crops; the reality is, they're encroaching on more human settlements as their own territory gets squeezed into smaller and smaller tracts. But is killing them the answer? Parsons claims his company hosts half the websites in the U.S., which if true, makes him a very wealthy man. Surely, if he has the money to fly to Africa and go hunting, he has the money to fund wildlife managers who can work with villagers to both keep elephants alive and protect vulnerable crops.
Second, if Parsons is so concerned about helping to provide food for a hungry village, why not donate funds to dig wells to irrigate crop land, or support efforts to educate villagers in ways to increase self-sufficiency? The money he spent on his killing trip could probably have bought hundreds of bags of seed, fertilizer, agricultural tools, and training to help feed the people Parsons uses to justify his hunting.
Third, Parsons claimed he shot a problem "bull" elephant – a male that would not have a big impact on the entire herd. Not so. ""The 'bull' that GoDaddy CEO, Mr. Bob Parsons, brags about appears to be a young female," Joyce Poole, an elephant researcher and conservationist who has studied the animals for over 30 years, told Discovery.com. "Was Mr. Parsons so ignorant that he was not able to sex the elephant he killed, or was his claim that the elephant was a bull just one more example of his macho arrogance and misjudgment?"
"The fact that he put out his video for the whole world to see shows both," she added.
"It has been well established that elephants are capable of experiencing emotions, including joy, anger, grief, and sympathy. They play with each other and can reason and use tools; they have exceptional memories and form enduring bonds with other elephants. They work together and comfort and protect each other. Elephant offspring stay with their mothers for many years—males for up to 15 years and females for their entire lives. Killing a single elephant can devastate a family, and their mourning ritual over the death of a family member rivals any that we humans have developed.
Parsons is hiding behind the lame claim that killing elephants helps farmers in Africa whose crops are damaged by the animals. In fact, there are ample effective and nonlethal methods to deter elephants from crops, including using chili-infused string and beehives on poles to create low-cost “fences.” Instead of coming up with flimsy excuses for killing these highly intelligent and social animals, Parsons should use his wealth to fund humane solutions to human/elephant conflicts."
All that aside, I hate the way Parsons uses boobs and babes to market GoDaddy. I wish race car celebrity and "GoDaddy Girl" Danica Patrick would give the guy the finger and find someone else's car to drive.
You can send a message to Bob Parsons on PETA's website.
If you currently use godaddy.com to host your site and want to move it, here are some alternatives:
- Venovix Through the end of April, Venovix is offering offering GoDaddy users free domain migrations for donating $2 per domain migration to the International Elephant Foundation. In addition, GoDaddy users who switch their web hosting to Venovix will receive their first six months of hosting (a $60 value) free with a one-year commitment. Venovix is also donating 20% of all hosting revenues generated from its NoDaddy promotion to the International Elephant Foundation.