Olympic Athlete Cory Cogdell

Animal Rights Crazies Attack US Olympic Athlete

           Animal rights advocates launched a vicious social media attack on US Olympic trap shooter Corey Cogdell, just days before the 24-year old Alaska native’s effort to best her 2008 Bronze Medal performance in Women’s International Trap.  Her Facebook page and Twitter accounts were inundated with comments calling the beautiful young athlete a bitch, psychopath, and murderer, and suggesting that she should shoot herself, be used as a target, or be physically assaulted.  Some of the commenter’s went so far as to directly threaten physical violence on Corey, while others stuck to name calling and expressing their hope that she would fail in her Olympic efforts.

The reason for the nasty assaults is that along with being a world-class trap shooter, Corey Cogdell is an avid hunter and outdoorswoman.  Photographs of Cogdell with game she had taken were spread among animal rights networks along with outrageous claims of animal cruelty and waste.  As the photo’s and lies spread, the threats and viciousness escalated and the lies grew bigger. 

Along with direct attacks on Cogdell, the anti-hunting extremists began lobbying the International Olympic Committee to have Cogdell – and any other athlete who engages in the lawful, and long-honored tradition of hunting – banned from Olympic competition.  While the idea of banning hunters from the Olympics may seem a bit far-fetched, there is a strong anti-gun / anti-hunting sentiment among the elites who run the IOC.  Just look at the outrageous reaction when a couple of members of the Australian swim team posted a picture of themselves holding guns in a California gun shop.  The two were threatened with expulsion from the team, but, after contrite apologies, they were allowed to compete.  They were, however, required to leave London as soon as their events were over rather than staying for the conclusion of the games with the rest of the team.

The attacks on Corey Cogdell are outrageous and unwarranted.  Not only are they rude, vicious, and hurtful, they are misguided and ignorant.

Hunters do more for conservation and wildlife than all of the anti-hunting, animal-rights, and wilderness protection groups combined.  The reason wildlife in North America – both game and non-game species – has thrived over the past century, is that hunters have provided the money and manpower to scientifically manage wildlife and provide critical habitat.  The consumptive wildlife management model employed in the US is the most successful, efficient, and healthy system in the world.  On the other hand, places that have instituted hunting bans and extensive animal protection schemes are abject failures resulting in unhealthy and dwindling wildlife populations. 

In Africa, areas that employ the North American model of game management have healthier wildlife populations than those that severely restrict or ban hunting.  Without revenue from lawful hunters and the herd management they provide, wildlife is subjected to overpopulation, disease, and predation from poachers.  Species that are a particular threat to local human and domestic animal populations are pushed to extinction by locals protecting themselves and their livelihoods.  Others that are prized for their ivory, horns, or other features, are poached out of existence with little of the animals ever being used for the benefit of anyone.

Not everyone understands the hunting drive, even though hunting is what humans are designed to do.  Hunters, like other predators, serve a vital function.  Along with the financial and market advantages hunters bring, they also serve to restore balance lost to sprawl and habitat destruction.  Certainly there are examples of inhumane, cruel, and unsportsmanlike “canned hunts,” but they are the exception, not the rule. Corey Cogdell, like most hunters, has a deep respect and love for wildlife and the beauty it brings to our lives.  She follow rules of fair chase, and gives back to nature as she takes from it. 

Shooting sports are among the oldest competitions in the Olympics, and some in which the US has been the most successful over the years, even though they receive minimal media attention.  Historically, the US has won 107 medals in shooting – 53 of them gold – more than twice our nearest competitors.  We won 3 Gold and a Bronze in 2012, including the first time any competitor has won an individual medal in 5 consecutive Olympics when Kim Rhode won the Gold in Women’s Skeet.

Corey Cogdell is a hunter and an Olympian.  She has hunted and fished for almost 20 of her 24 years, and this is her second time representing the US at the Olympics.  She hunts in a legal, ethical, and respectful manner, just as she competes.  She is the very ideal of an Olympic competitor and she deserves the respect and admiration of all of us, not threats and insults from small-minded elites who consider humans an infection on planet earth.  Imagine the outrage if this hate-speech were directed at Corey for reasons of race, sexual preference, or a position on abortion?  This sort of small minded viciousness should not be tolerated.

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