Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Humble Northern Perspective

Since the animal-rights crew had a hissy-fit over the recent narwhal cull in Pond Inlet, I found this story of cat chaos and hamster havoc quite interesting. Let's turn this around for a second, shall we? I'm curious to know why all those cats (and hamsters) were even there. Metropolitan Oshawa has about 330 000 people. That's a lot of potential households for a mere 140 feline and 60 hamster refugees! Surely a large place like Oshawa (with a population 11 times that of Nunavut) would have no problem finding a place for all these cats. Cats and hamsters are furry just like baby seals after all. Some cats and hamsters even have white fur. You mean to tell me that in a large city enough animal lovers can't be found to give these cute, adorable critters a warm home? (Sorry PETA, but I just think its funny you condemn subsistence hunters in the North who have lived around wildlife for centuries. Wildlife is used here for the social, cultural and health benefit of the community. What is the urban solution to dealing with wildlife no one wants? Why, get rid of it! Lock it up!! Out of sight, out of mind as they say.) Really, at the moment Oshawa has trouble enough making cars that people actually want to buy. So why listen to animal-rights people from there when it comes to something simple like animals? Are cats and hamsters on the endangered species list? I'm sure they are. What...someone ought to look that up? Heavens, no. I'm sure if I just make the assertion loud enough it MUST be true. I'm sure those people are on their way straight to Oshawa to protest this tragedy, placards in hand. They must have just been a little delayed by all that snow they got down there. Man, it must suck that the natural world sometimes has other plans.

Anyhow, moving on. I'm curious. Why didn't they send a fire truck on time? Surely, a city must have at least one fire truck. Its not like they have to travel that far to get say, an ice breaker would have to travel from Halifax to the North Baffin to rescue trapped narwhals. Really, this isn't good. I think more should be done. Cats are intelligent, social beings. I'm sure if someone had just had the courage to bust down a wall, those cats would have chewed through their cages and followed their human saviour straight out the front door, carrying the hamsters with them no less. Hey, don't laugh. It could happen. (Hey, aren't hamsters considered a food source in some cultures? I sure hope they don't let all that go to waste.)

All those fire fighters should be fired. I don't know how the fire was started, just like the Sea Shepherd Society people don't know how all those narwhals came to be trapped but that doesn't matter. Someone should be blamed. I'm not really sure why they are mad at the government anyway. They got to choose the government. You don't get to elect your firefighters. But just because I have a partisan view of firefighters, for no better reason, they should be fired.

The vast majority of urbanites are so totally divorced from the natural world that it takes a tragedy (or two) to shake them out of their caffeine-induced daze on the morning drive to work to realize that there is actually a natural world out there beyond the Golden Horsehoe. Perhaps if cats and hamsters were a more integral part of southern culture and were seen as important for its identity and survival, perhaps if they were not as quick to cast stones, perhaps THEN they might be able to understand the view from up here.