Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bear naked truths

painting by: Michael Onona

It's 3:30 pm in Alaska now and the grizzlies and sea gulls are finally out in force while a volcanic cinder cone steams and glows in the distance. I just watched a huge, battle scarred bear snag a giant fish out the rapids and carry it to shore as another bear moved quickly out of the way. Rules of the game. But watching the doomed fish struggle for life reminded me that the bear is enjoying more than a sushi and caviar lunch. It's a blunt look at life in the food chain. We're all food for somebody and I don't fault the bear for his way of life but as a human I abhor the cruelty our of farm factory system and haven't eaten meat for decades. I fall short of my own goal though. I do eat fish, eggs and dairy and kind of hate myself for it. We did switch to cage-free eggs a couple of years ago, but I'm not strict about it. I eat in restaurants and I know they don't include compassion in their bottom line.

But it was another good day for the bears and most of the fish swimming upstream to spawn their young and die.

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