People ask me a lot why I stepped into the fight against bear trophy hunting (that is, killing bears for pleasure, then taking the head or paws as a “trophy”).
There is a stereotype about the sort of people who care about bears. They are made out to be sensitive city folk who can’t stomach the realities of life in the rest of B.C. “We must save those poor bears!” the Vancouverite exclaims over his $5 soy latte, having never seen a bear in his life, having no comprehension that small town B.C. is simply crawling with bears in need of firm government control.
That’s the stereotype anyway.
My story is not that simple. I live in Vancouver today, only a stones-throw from the urban thoroughfare of Granville Street, but I grew up outside a town of only 200 people, and spent large swaths of my childhood in the remote wilderness.
I’ve seen many hundreds of bears in my life. Grizzly bears grazing in the grassy foothills of the Rocky Mountains, mysterious white spirit bears slipping through the lush mossy trees of the Great Bear Rainforest, and curious black bears wandering across our lawn or climbing trees when spooked by our family’s Jack Russell terrier.
Bears to me are neighbours. They are not to be pitied and cooed over, not to be feared and warped into the hunter’s bogeyman. They are simply forces of nature. To see a grizzly bear in close proximity is to witness something so beautiful, so much a part of the landscape, that you can’t help but think, “This animal belongs here.” They are like the soul of the Earth made animate.
So how did I come to know bears this well? Continue Reading at http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/british-columbia/