A: Are you reposting an article about Cecil the Lion?

S: Yes, what’s wrong with that? I happen to support animal rights, and I think Cecil was a majestic lion.

A: Nothing is wrong per se, but it is weird that you would proactively support a cause that talks about the protection of animals rather than focus on human beings who are in far worse conditions. When was the last time you shared an article on social media about kids dying of starvation in Africa, or the human rights violations in Burma?

S: Not that long ago, check your feed. But that is not the point here. I support both causes; my mind can multitask to the extent that I can care about more than one thing at a time. I may miss out on some important causes, sure, but that only means that I am a human with limited capacity. It doesn’t mean I prefer one over the other or that I don’t care about the other ones.

A: Yes, that is true, but you must admit that Cecil the lion got much more attention than human issues did. A large part of the reason for this is the bandwagon that was generated around it. People have campaigned for other people before; a lion was novel, and thus more fashionable. If what you say is true and human capacity is limited, should we not focus on human causes first? Once we have solved the most pressing human problems – and you must admit there are many – then we can focus on these subsidiary issues.

S: I know your heart is in the right place but your proposal has problems, several problems in fact. Firstly, by the time we get around to solving these ‘subsidiary’ issues there will be none left to solve. The lions will be dead, the rainforests wiped out and the globe knee deep in rising sea levels. These issues need to be solved now. And secondly, if you wish us to proceed via a prioritised list, by all means, go ahead. Which ranks as number one, Palestine, Syria, Africa? Tell me which human needs our help the most?