Justice for BC Grizzlies is a diverse grassroots movement of BC residents. We share a common concern over the brutal killing of Grizzly Bears in a lottery hunt that takes place twice each year. Together we are making the grizzly hunt an election issue in BC. We’re working to ensure that voters have the information they need to let candidates know that grizzly hunting is unacceptable. We want candidates to understand that we will work to elect candidates who commit to ending the grizzly hunt.
The first Grizzly Bear I ever saw lived in a cage in the Stanley Park Zoo. I was very young, but even at the tender age of 5 could grasp the pitiful living conditions of that poor lovely creature. The next was a 16 year old Momma grizz with three 4-month old cubs, fresh out of hibernation and grazing on the beach of their home range. Seeing grizzlies for the first time in their natural setting is a surreal experience; somewhat comparable perhaps to the impact it would have if the animal displays at the Royal BC Museum suddenly came to life and began wandering around the building. There’s just nothing to compare it to! The scale, the strength, the grandeur of these bears is so impressive – and so quiet! In their presence, I quickly sank into the experience of the bears and their surrounding panorama, at a more cellular than cognitive awareness, registering that, yes, we share the earth with these magnificent creatures. It is the most wonderful thing to be in awe of the scale and rhythm on which Grizzly Bears live their lives. Anything that evokes wonder is precious; worthy of value for its own sake. What good is human consciousness if not to recognize wonder when we see it and to reflect upon the lives of other beings that have value in and of themselves?
Bears hold powerful symbolism for me. They represent the archetype of the Great Mother and an image of the collective unconscious. In February 2016, after nine years of writing letters, signing petitions, attending rallies, etc. to oppose the grizzly hunt, I decided to take a leap of faith and launch a website to see who else was out there. Fortunately, I knew of Barb Murray’s Bears Matter site and with Barb’s valuable assistance, and other members of the Grizzly Bear advocacy community, Justice for BC Grizzlies was born. Through the Spring, Summer and Fall of 2016, we dedicated ourselves to building our profile in the media, and in the minds of B.C. citizens. Our goal has always been to make the grizzly trophy hunt a 2017 provincial election issue, with the ultimate vision of ending all intentional killing of grizzlies in the province. Always top of mind has been respect for grizzlies as individualistic personalities, within a culture that is gravely disrespected through bi-annual, government-sanctioned trophy hunts.
I believe that decency and respect toward animals cultivates greater decency and respect between people. There are better ways to engage with other species than the government is currently enacting; in my view, a movement toward compassionate conservation is the forward-thinking direction. By eliminating one layer of lethal challenge, among the many that grizzlies already face, and with ethics top of mind, human-grizzly coexistence can become a reality in British Columbia.
Val Murray, Founder/Director, 2016
CORE TEAM: 2017 Initiatives
Mary-Sue Atkinson Evelyn Kirkaldy
Gosia Bryja Marianne Lawrenson
Kelly Carson James MacGregor
Keith Dunn Teresa Murphy
Jacqueline Hohmann Roy Sasano
Deb Jardine Derek Young
TAKE THE PLEDGE
I PLEDGE to help end BC’s unjust grizzly hunt by reaching out to as many fellow voters and political candidates as possible between now and the May 9 2017 provincial election!
To Take the Pledge, click here
Note to all who gather here: This website is a meeting place for respectful dialogue, education and informed advocacy in support of BC Grizzly Bears.