Most of the IMAX film, Born to Be Wild, was entertaining; the scenes of poaching were not.
As I sat in the theater watching the movie in the spring of 2012, a 25 year old memory surfaced of watching another film that has a title I may never remember; a film also depicting scenes of poaching. The audience gasped and reacted angrily to the killing of elephants, then reacted happily at seeing the poachers captured. A friend who was with me said, as he shook his head with part sadness and part annoyance, “Those people are trying to feed their families.”I understood his feelings, though I did not feel as he did; but neither did I feel like the angry audience. I was not an animal lover then, yet the killing of the animals was vicious.
Save the Whales and the Endangered Species Act did not resonate as my friend and I were growing up and during our early adult years. Instead, subconsciously, we subscribed to the Circle of Life and the Food Chain. But now, 25 years later, I am quite aware of my furry and feathered friends—of all animals, actually—and have been for some time. I love my little pooch (a Schnoodle named Layla) and I adore the horses on the farm where I take riding lessons. Beatrice the pig is a welcome companion as we trail ride; and there are hens in the coop, two dogs frolicking the grounds and a cat who sits on the hood of my car. All have added to my respect for animals.“Respect?” some of you may ask.
Yes, they “are” included in my meals and provide entertainment at the circus and the zoo and the state fair; a contradiction, perhaps. Others, like hunters, shooters, dog fighters and cock fighters, engage in these activities for sport and/or money. Everyone justifies their treatment of animals. It’s another one of those subjects that people will never agree on.Recently, another shipment of elephant tusks were discovered in Malaysia, originating from Togo in West Africa, in route to China where ivory is considered currency. It is used to make valuable and “marketable” trinkets and jewelry, in addition to being used for medical purposes. Another justification for all involved.
As I listen and learn about the relationships between humans and animals in the various cultures all over the world, the treatments evoke different emotions. My reactions to cows being sacred, puppy mills, much loved pets, dogs helping people with special needs, animals used for scientific purposes, dogs being eaten, animals shot for sport, animals tortured, animals raised for food, etc. make me feel happy, sad, or indifferent. I guess I’m not quite ready for my PETA membership, but I do feel sorry for the deer that are prey to everyone and that don’t have the status of the endangered tiger.Fortunately, this is a topic that continues and that conservationists are out there trying to make good choices for our world. I still hear the sound of my friend’s voice, though, and I know many around the world share his opinion—that of “eat now, pay later.” What will be the cost?
|kids at the farm leaving for a trail ride|
|feeding goats at the State Fair|