Social media has been exploding with outrage about the recent slaying of Cecil the Lion by an American dentist from Minnesota named Walt Palmer. Cecil the Lion was beloved in Zimbabwe; a celebrity of sorts in one of the nation’s famous national parks where he was thought to be protected from poachers like Palmer. Sadly, this assumption was proven false when Palmer and his group killed Cecil and cut his head off as a trophy.

The world has wept for Cecil the Lion.

But what about Thurgood, my overfed Siamese fighting fish?

Dead Siamese Fighting Fish

I spent last weekend back in the Midwest attending a friend’s wedding. It was a truly magical ceremony and it was good to get away from the daily grind of my life here in Los Angeles. Plus, I didn’t have to worry about the state of Thurgood, my 1-year-old Siamese fighting fish, because I let my friend Todd take care of him while I was gone.

Or so I thought.

I returned home from a relaxing weekend, a spring in my step and a cheer in my heart. But that spring and cheer immediately drained from me when I saw Thurgood, stomach bloated almost to bursting, floating sideways in his tank. I immediately collapsed to the floor of my apartment with uncontrollable weeping. It took me several hours before I was able to gather my wits and make some calls to family and friends to give them the tragic news.

Did I receive any kind words of support?

Did anyone ask me if I needed someone with me in my time of grief?

Of course not. Because Cecil the Lion was killed in Zimbabwe.

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Listen, I get it: Cecil was an adorable lion. The shockwaves of grief pouring out from all corners of the internet regarding the killing of Cecil the Lion has been understandable. But there is something I simply cannot for the life of me understand: What makes my fish’s completely avoidable demise less important than that of Cecil the Lion, anyway?

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen Walt Palmer called a "coward" and that what he did was "senseless" across my Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Coward? Senseless? Are you kidding me?

It took Walt Palmer a crossbow, 40 hours of patience, and 55,000 bucks to kill the king of the goddamn jungle; it only took TODD a few moments of over-zealous feeding and the bottle of Jameson I gave him for his time, to kill a tiny innocent fish in its tank!

Is it because of Cecil the Lion’s status as an animal celebrity in Zimbabwe?

He was certainly sweet, but last time I checked, this wasn’t a popularity contest! I made several videos of Thurgood over the last year that I’ve had him and posted them to YouTube and they’ve gotten 300-400 hits apiece. Sure it didn’t set the world on fire or even break the internet, but come on, he clearly made some people happy too, you know!

Only when we recognize that the slaying of a lion is no more important or tragic than the overfeeding of a Siamese fighting fish can I—no, we, as people—move on.

I’ve since laid Thurgood to rest in my backyard. I’ve said my tearful goodbyes, even though no one came by to share them with me. I also still have not spoken to Todd, but he knows what he did. Or wait, no he DOESN’T because everyone’s talking about Cecil the Lion and he’s been weeping right along with them.

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