Monday, October 18, 2010

Free the Polar Bears

Do you have the time to listen to me whine
About nothing and everything all at once
I am one oh those
Melodramatic fools
Neurotic to the bone no doubt about it
- "Basket Case" By Green Day

There was a time i was innocent and a virgin. There was a time when I hated cheese and never cared for hummus. There was a time when i didn't want to wear kamiks. There was a time when I said "no" to my mother and felt powerful for a few seconds and then regretted for two days. There was a time when i didn't smoke anything. There was a time when i watched MuchMusic. There was a time when i was horny all the time. There was a time i did my multiplications and divisions. There was a time when i didn't know how to spell bureaucracy.

There was time in 1999 - when i crossed the Atlantic Ocean on to the Heathrow airport and then onto Glasgow and Edinburgh and Peterhead, Scotland. It was a high school trip. That is when i had my first taste of Budweiser (don't tell my mother yet), when i saw Scottish kids play football, when it didn't rain in Scotland or more than three days (and the people really thought we were good omen - those superstitious Scots - and demanded that we stay another three days so they can go to the beach, but it rained the next day and they threw us out like we were English royalty.)

At that momentous episode in 1999, where 18 high school Inuit found out that they can be anything they want, other than a teacher of course, it was 1999 - also the year Nunavut was created and they had stars in their eyes. Those stars in their eyes were to be removed as soon as they left Scotland, not by anyone but by themselves.

They thought Scotland was hot (probably the only people to ever think so) and strutted the streets of Edinburgh in their wife-beater shirts. This one day, they took a trip to their very first zoo. They had never been to one and were eager to see exotic animals from the south.

From the south my ass!

Well, they were, but not all!

There was this one animals you see, that the Inuit were totally familiar with, and some had even hunted it. To the outsider of Inuit life, this was the representative of toughness, an image of tranquility and independence. This was the "majestic" polar bear.

This particular majestic polar bear was from Churchill, that place that is associated with all sorts of evil, namely residential schools. Once those Inuit children left Churchill and became human beings, they started capturing polar bears to civilize and send them to far off places in the world - in a sense - to make them useful. This polar bear had a name but i can't remember it.

This polar bear wanted to help Inuit - I could just tell. Or maybe it was pity that the polar bear had in his eyes. Pity that these young Inuit were going to experience something that the polar bear knew all along - mainly that the Inuit were going to be seen as endangered.

OK. Polar bears are usually in a place where they have kilometers of room, nice cold weather and nice bloody - fat sustaining - foods to eat. They are revered for their cunning-ness by Inuit. They are free in the real sense of the word.

OK. But this particular Edinburgh polar bear was in a caged enclosure, less than a kilometer big, in a island the size of a living room, in a heat that was never reserved for the polar bears comfort. I don't know if polar bears like to play with beach balls but this one had a few of them in his brown murky water. Now get this, when we saw the polar bear, it was just going back and forth on its little island - looking depressed as ever and eating food that made it look like a clown bear, with it being so skinny and the colour of its skin was light brown. It looked like a crazy demented polar bear that didn't care. It WAS crazy!

This is from a country that actually civilized us!

I came home that spring and told my father about the polar bear and we agreed that that is not a way to live. We talked about how obnoxious and hypocrites people can be. They tell us to not to shoot too many polar bears, have quotas on whales, but when it comes to taking care of animals, such as the Edinburgh polar bear, they utterly failed to realize that animals suffer from depression and are not to be left in cages.

So, i say free the polar bears. Free all the animals! Free all the living things! FREE FREE FREE!

Anyways, they are pretty tasty!

And i haven't caught one yet, because apparently, the one i was supposed to caught through the quota system, has been living in Scotland all these years.

I blame Scotland for i am not a man yet. Oh wait... i blame... umm... i blame... i don't really know who to blame! I blame myself for not having the guts to talk to the zookeeper and try to explain that animal cruelty starts when you caged life!

5 comments:

Guelph First said...

I love the story. I think i seen that same bear some years back, very sad.

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