Friday, April 16, 2010

I am a Squirrel

I am a Squirrel. I am a Western Grey Squirrel. I eat Nuts. Every year I gather nuts, bury them, hide them, and eat some. One day I was jumping from tree to tree, when I saw a human. This human saw me. Our eyes met and I froze. I flicked my tail. The human made some noise, “tchip-tchip-tchip”. Weird noise. Yet I wanted to see. The human held out its hand and rubbed two fingers together. I ran away.

Next day, I gathered more nuts. I ate some nuts. I hid some in the bole of a different tree. I ate some nuts. I buried some more nuts in a corner of a garden. I scratched. I have fleas on me. A cat saw me! RUN! I ran. I flicked my tail and climbed a tree. I climb fast. The cat stopped. The cat had a collar with a bell. A human saw me. I saw the human. Our eyes met and I froze. The human made some noise, “tchip-tchip-tchip”. Weird noise. Yet I wanted to see. The human held out its hand. The human had something in its hand. I climbed higher. The human took what it had and smeared it on the top board of the fence I walk on. I jumped to the next tree. I gathered nuts.

The sun was warm. I sat on a big branch and napped. The sun was warm. A robin flew by. Its wings hit the branch. I woke quick! I gathered nuts. I had three nuts in my mouth and went to bury them. I skipped along the board on the top of the fence. Smell! A yummy smell. What’s that? I hid three nuts. I follow the smell. Brown-roasty-nut Mud! Yum! The human left this. Yum!

I started to feel sad. I started to feel strange. The human came back every day, and every day did the same thing. I soon stopped gathering nuts. I soon started feeling sad for the nuts I gathered. Why did I gather nuts? It was wrong! These nuts were Baby Trees! Who was I to be eating Baby Trees!? The human was feeding me enough “Brown-roasty-Mud” anyway. I stopped eating Nuts! It was cruel! I couldn’t live with myself anymore... eating unborn baby trees! I wanted to change my diet! I wish I wasn’t a Grey Squirrel anymore. It was morally repugnant!

Squirrels don’t think this, nor could they. They don’t think about all the possible “Baby Trees” they are removing from the ecosystem. There is no morality for or against their diet. If we humans feed them peanut butter one day, and we invent some squirrel-proof bird feeder the next, they will still gather nuts... bury some... eat some, and hide some.

Why is it that we have come to the strange conclusion recently to want to control what some people think of as food?

Today I saw some images of dead gorillas tied on some bamboo racks. These were shown as part of a presentation by a photographer who was explaining how “Photographs Change Perceptions”. As the images of the racked, dead Gorillas was shown, the presenter used words like “Murdered” and “Crucified” to add to the display. He never once said that these gorillas were to be used as food. Do you find this repulsive? Are gorillas not to be considered food? They were traditionally hunted before photographers brought out pictures, like surrogate trophies from the hunt.

When Canada was first occupied by the French, English, and Spanish, the stocks of Atlantic Cod were purported to be so plentiful so that one could nearly walk in the water on their backs! We fished them ‘til they were nearly gone, blamed the seals: ate them until now that is also un-cool.

Our West Coast Native population has many long-standing traditions of hunting, fishing, and Ocean hunting. Salmon, Oolichan, Herring, Urchin, shellfish and Whale have always been staples of the western ocean-fairing tribes. All of these things were once accepted by the rest of us as food. Whale has since become taboo since the birth of Paul Watson.

Last week, I watched the documentary “the Cove”. This (like most ‘documentaries’ these days) is a very one-sided look against the customs of a foreign people. It slowly gets into its theme and hints, but never tells (at first), at what the real reason for the film is. Here’s what I see is the true nature of this fake-umentary. It is a film trying desperately to discredit the Japanese as ever-hungry rapers of the oceans. The film eventually reveals itself for what it wants to say. Murderous Japanese are eating Flipper!

The synopsis is this: an environmentalist, Ric O’Barry, who was one of the “Marine Biologists” who trained Flipper for the ‘70s Florida Lassie rip-off, is now sorry for his “Crimes against Cetaceans”. He has found that there is a town in Japan (Taiji) whose local Fishermen hunt, catch, and slaughter Dolphins. The film-makers gather themselves up and plan to film the slaughter (the word ‘slaughter’ has itself taken on new meaning in today’s world. Before it meant ‘the systematic processing of animals for food’. Now it has been perverted to mean ‘randomly killed in a gruesome manor’... I find this fascinating). The film stretches itself out by showing the clandestine, illegal ways that the crew uses to get “the angle”, interspersed with the side story of how Dolphins captured for entertainment help to fuel this catastrophe. The film comes to its inevitable conclusion, by showing the small cove where the dolphins were herded into: the water is entirely red. Gruesome for the uneducated. For the educated: for those who have actually eaten meat that they had to harvest, not so.

We are taught by this movie (I refuse to call it a documentary) to further hate the Japanese. Not only do they not speak English, but they pretend to kill whales for science (They actually eat them! How barbaric!). And now that they can’t get enough whale, they turn to killing... and eating... FLIPPER! Don’t forget. It was those rotten Japs who started WWII.

Gorillas, ‘Bush Food’, Whale, Dolphin, Herring Roe, Fried Tarantulas, Guinea Pigs, Scorpions, Testicles (goat, pig, cow, fish, etc.), insects raw and cooked, and many other different things that bleed, make noise, have eyes, lay eggs, fly, burrow, climb, or fight back with a fury that could kill the hunter, are food to somebody. We western people whose nearest chance of hunting is getting to the meat aisle first, should not be so quick to persecute other cultures.

OH! Must wrap this up now. My favourite show is on now: “Deadliest Catch”. You know, the one about the senseless raping of the Alaskan Ocean where they take as many crab as possible?
Good thing King Crab don’t smile.

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