Dress up for conservation this Halloween (?)

Gone are the days of wearing a sheet with holes in it and calling yourself a ghost. People are spending big bucks $$$ or tons of crafting hours to make a statement. “I’m sexy”… “I’m punny”…. Or in my case… “I like wine a bit too much…”


But can costumes do more? Can they be a part of change?

Controversial costumes

Earlier this year, #cecilthelion was killed by American Dr. Walter James Palmer, a dentist in Minneapolis. Cecil’s death stirred a heated debate over legal hunting, which some conservationists support (legal hunting can raise funds for conservation). It also put scrutiny on the hunter himself.

And so, intended or not, Walter Palmer became a token for trophy hunting. He also became one of the most controversial Halloween costumes of 2015.

 Cecil & Dentist Due to overwhelming demand the price of the costume has been raised to $139.99.


 All Doctor Palmer wanted was to hang dead animals in his house, but what started as an obscure (if legally-dubious) hunting trip has since erupted into a brouhaha of trans-Atlantic proportions.

2015’s most controversial killing has laid bare the rift in American and Zimbabwean attitudes toward exotic game hunting and animal conservation pitting an outraged mob against a Minnesotan dentist in a scandal sure to be remembered for a generation.

Our Lion Killer Dentist Costume features a severed lion’s head mask, bloody smock, and bloody gloves for a gruesome, complete look.


Severed lion’s head
Smock with fake blood splatters
Gloves with fake blood splatters
Dentist tools in front pocket
15% of all proceeds will go to a Wildlife Foundation

Product description and picture via costumeish.com

Is a costume like this in poor taste?

I am opposed to profiting off tragedy.  I am also opposed to attention seekers wearing a controversial costume, without understanding the whole story. With that said, I will support a costume that allows an individual to pledge allegiance, be authentic, and engage others.

What do I mean by this? Well, in an ideal world a person who is wearing a Cecil the Lion Costume is taking a side on trophy hunting. They are making a statement about conservation, by wearing it for the world to see. They are also saying this is me. These are my core values.

In reality, how do we know what their core values are? If you want to be discreet you can check out the product online and see what, if any, proceeds go towards conservation. Chances are if it’s a profit driven product, values will be blurred. However, the easiest tactic is asking the person directly where they stand. Their costume is meant to make a statement, so ask them about it!

What statement are you making this Halloween?


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