Part II - Bear Referendum
Chapter 13 - The Critical Generation of the Savior Species
June 17, 1996, Monday, sunny with showers
[23:07 @ Tanner house]
A very productive if somewhat hectic day.
Got up at 05:30. Left the Tanners’ around 07:15 and arrived at WCWC’s Victoria office around 10:00. Talked to WCWC-Vic leader Alison Spriggs for awhile with another woman named Kate present. Alison is a 30ish single mom (I think) with one daughter, was friendly and helpful. I was offered the desk of campaigner Misty McDuffy to make some phone calls from. Misty, perhaps 30, dynamic and campaigner-like, will be back from Istanbul tomorrow.
Contacts were made with most of Victoria’s media, including CFAX (Joe Easingwood), CBC TV (Steve Housser), Times Colonist (Malcolm Curtis), CHEK TV (Dave Biro) and Beautiful BC magazine (Bruce Obee), and made various arrangements – see [Done and To Do]. Lunch with Alison.
15:40-16:10, Shaw TV interview with Jana Thomas of Bear Watch and Helen on wolves, hosted by Guy Dauncy. Went well. Had to leave at once to drive back to Qualicum for the Civic Centre presentation. Interviewed by Malcolm Curtis on the cell phone while on the highway.
The engine of the Silver Bullet started misfiring shortly after I started back from Victoria. Odometer reading - 73,000 km. Time for a tune up. Hope that’s all there is. But first thing first. Must drive on 5 cylinders 150 km to Qualicum and get there by 19:00, if I do without dinner. A good thing the Silver Bullet had all 6 cylinders firing four days ago when I was eluding tailgating hunters!
Well, it was all worth it. The event was a success, with about 50 goodies and 10 baddies. Scott and Annette, and a woman named Carol attended the table for signatures and donation.
In the Q&A, I did come under some fire from the hunters.
One talked about me attacking his “constitutional right”.
Another talked about “majority oppressing minority”, to which I said, “That’s what democracy is about, isn’t it?”
Another said that the campaign is nothing but a fund-raising ploy, which is laughable yet infuriating.
"Keep your cool," whispered a voice in my head. So I forced my temperature back down to normal, and even smiled as I slowly shook my head, then on to the next oncoming question – more like accusation.
The anti-hunters in the audience heating up on my behalf, and it was a nice scene to behold. A shouting match erupted. I settled back into the Raminothna mindset and let it rip.
An old lady spoke up, “If you love killing so much, why don’t you go and fight in Bosnia?”
Another said, "You say you love animals and hate poachers, why don't you go hunt the poachers and leave the animals alone? This is proof that you want to kill animals!"
Many came to shake my hand. Many signed up to volunteer, and donated $230 into the coffer. Scott video-taped the entire proceeding.
Chris Beacom of the Parksville-Qualicum News and Valerie Baker of the Parksville-Qualicum Paper both stayed from beginning to end. Two interesting articles coming up.
This evening’s audience support should give me a smile as I slip into dreamland under the stars glistening through the Tanner’s ceiling of glass, but the anthropocentric opportunism of the hunters of this and other nights confines me in the shroud of self-recrimination of being human.
The sentiment was expressed by one of the anti-hunters tonight: "We human beings, as exemplified by scum like you, are truly the scourge of the Earth. Mother Earth would be a damn sight healthier had we never evolved into being. But since we have, tbhe next best thing is that we blow ourselves to smithereens, which you trigger-happy, blood-thirsty cowards would be very good at."
“In the short term, yes;” Raminothna commented, “in the long run, no.”
“What do you mean?"
“Tell me. What happened 64 million years ago?"
"That was at the end of the Cretaceous Period, when the dinosaurs went extinct.”
"Due to what?"
"An asteroid, that we know of."
"What do your scientists say about future asteroid hit?"
"Inevitable. Not if but when. Just a matter of time."
"Could be as soon as next week, or 10,000 years from now. No one knows. Maybe you know, and are not telling me."
"What will happen when it happens?"
"That'd depend of the size and mass of the asteroid, or comet. If comparable to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs, this one could wipe out the mammals."
"All the mammals?"
"Most of the mammals, I'd say. Like last time, the small mouse-sized mammals might stand a chance, but certainly not the tigers and eagles and whales."
"What would happen if an asteroid comes down next month, and you have three-weeks' notice?"
"We'd most likely try to blow the asteroid to bits, or deflect it on to an Earth-missing trajectory - by means of nuclear weapons."
"And when you succeed?"
"Then we will have saved the tigers and eagles and whales from the fate of the dinosaurs."
"As the Savior Species of Planet Earth."
"Amen, Raminothna," I said, with some degree of pride.
"Assuming of course that you don't blow yourself up or roast yourself alive first."
"Yes, I know," I said, with all the humility I could muster.
About the people who have signed up as volunteer canvassers, Raminothna said, "Most of them have never heard of the Savior Species, but they would know at some level that they belong to the Critical Generation of the Savior Species."
"The make-it-or-break-it generation?"
"That's a down-to-earth way of putting it," said Raminothna.
by Kim Goldberg
June 18, 1996
Easy to bag
Let’s vote on bear hunting
Bears. For millennia we humans have revered them, feared them, been awed by them and even named the two most widely recognized star constellations in the Northern Hemisphere after them.
Some humans also hunt them - at one time for subsistence, but now most commonly for sport, trophies or valuable body parts. On the black market a bear gall bladder is worth more than its weight in gold or cocaine.
Guide-outfitters are charging foreigners anywhere from $3,000 to $24,000 for hunting packages to come and kill BC bears, and plenty, whose own countries have banned bear hunting, are willing to pay. . . .
But all that could end after September 1999.
In the biggest and boldest campaign of its ecophilic history, the Western Canada Wilderness Committee has launched a referendum initiative which, if successful, could ban all sport and trophy hunting of bears in BC, thereby also eliminating the protective cover poachers now enjoy. . . .
Trophy hunters and their well paid guide-outfitters will of course cry foul at this effort to brand them criminals. They are already trotting out the spurious rhetoric about how their blood sport is a valuable conservation tool for population control. (It’s a wonder the bears ever survived without us.) But if they are truly so confident of the validity and social acceptability of this legal slaughter for fun and profit, they should let democracy decide.
Anyone who wants to help gather signatures this fall can phone the Wilderness Committee at 1-800-661-WILD.
June 18, 1996, Tuesday
The Victoria Times Colonist
by Malcolm Curtis
Crusader wants everyone to vote on the future of bear-hunting
BC voters will have a chance to vote in a referendum to ban bear hunting, if an environmental crusader has his way.
Anthony Marr, of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, is leading a team that hopes to collect enough signatures to force a public vote. . . .
“The rules are so stacked against the Proponent that the playing field is almost vertical, but we’re used to uphill battles, and are quite confident we can do it,” Marr said Monday.
“It’s going to be difficult up north and in places like the Chilcotin, but in the southern regions we see no problem.” . . .
Marr will give a presentation at the University of Victoria on Thursday night at the Law Building, main auditorium, starting at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
The Fortunate and The Called Upon
at your service
Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)