“Whether we know it or not, our lives are acts of imagination and the world is continually re-imagined through us”
~ Michael Meade ~
I launched this website in June 2016 to bring public attention and grassroots support toward ending the trophy killing of grizzly bears in the province of British Columbia, Canada. It was the year before a provincial election and the BC New Democratic Party (BC NDP) seemed open to banning this atrocious sport killing. A coalition of BC conservation groups worked tirelessly to reason with the NDP, through ethics, common sense, economics and science, that ending the trophy killing of grizzlies was the right thing to do. The NDP vowed to do just that, if elected to government at the 2017 election.
In May 2017 the NDP was elected and made good on their campaign promise – sort of – – BUT – only ending all grizzly killing in the area of the *Great Bear Rainforest, while allowing grizzlies to be killed “for food” everywhere else in the province. Killing BC grizzlies was now termed a “sustenance hunt”, though it was, and still is, widely accepted that people do not legitimately hunt grizzly bears for food. This was a loophole. Under this policy, hunters could kill a grizzly bear, take a picture for bragging rights, but could not remove the bears’ body parts of head, paws or hide for trophy. Much confusion ensued over how such a policy could be implemented and enforced. It proved to be such a logistical nightmare that finally, in December 2017, all killing of grizzly bears was banned throughout the entire province of British Columbia. The rationale for the ban was that grizzly killing had become socially unacceptable to the majority of British Columbians and that viewing grizzlies offered more economic and employment rewards than any compensations gained from killing grizzlies. First Nations were still able to harvest grizzly bears pursuant to Aboriginal rights for food, social, or ceremonial purposes, or treaty rights. While this was true, Grizzly bears themselves, as sovereign beings, were not part of the conversation; nor was the excellent science brought forward by people and organizations with first-hand knowledge of grizzly bears as sentient individuals with unique personality traits.
In military language, the battle to end the trophy killing of grizzlies was won; but battles like this are never over. They always hinge on funding, lobbying, and politics of the time; ever in jeopardy of forfeit when the “other side” musters their forces to reclaim a position of power. All other-than-human beings, and humans alike, fall prey to this dominator strategizing.
It’s exhausting, this old story of a human-centric, competitive, insatiable drive for control over everything and every-body. The old worldview of separation no longer explains how the world really is – interconnected, intrinsically related, rich in belonging. We have a choice.
Imagine a relationship of abundance shared with other species.
We grew up together.
Imagine that all earth inhabitants have value in their own right.
What are you here to teach me and I to learn from you?
Imagine a language of companionship with other species.
How can I help you live your fullest life?
Imagine a world that is re-imagined through us, every day.
. . . to be cont.
*The Great Bear Rainforest is a temperate rain forest on the Pacific coast of British Columbia, Canada comprising 6.4 million hectares. It is part of the larger Pacific temperate rainforest ecoregion, which is the largest coastal temperate rainforest in the world.