August 15, 2008

'Your Car Is Your Cage'

By pawlitico

"Your Car Is Your Cage" is a sign at the entrance of Great Bear Adventure near Glacier National Park, Montana.

The thought of automobiles as human cages gives me a strange feeling. I don't like cages. You know that I, as a Humane California dog, growl at the fact that factory farms keep "food animals" caged. "Factory" chickens, veal calves, and pigs live all their lives in cruel confinement.

When I saw the "Your Car Is Your Cage" sign, it made me wonder whether humans have gotten used to cages. A lot of humans talk about feeling like caged animals, and about being caged up in work cubicles. It seems that, when humans aren't in one cage, they're in another. Is this why not enough humans realize that animals feel awful about being trapped in tiny spaces? I don't know. I'm just a corgi.

I think bears are pretty exciting. They sure have a hard time nowadays finding places to live safely 'cuz they freak people out.

Big yawning grizzly bear
Dog-ma told me about bears in the Trinity Alps wilderness that she ran into. She said she wouldn't have been afraid of them if other humans hadn't been tormenting them with buckshot.

What happens is that many humans who live or camp in remote areas shoot at the bears, or at least scare them badly, to try to make them go away. Humans get especially aggressive when they're trying to keep bears away from their food. But once bears get a taste for "leftovers," they keep coming back. So humans shoot more. The bears end up feeling angry — not to mention hurt and in pain. Then the bears start hating humans.

What a "great bear adventure" this is, right?

In Montana, Great Bear Adventure is a place for humans to see grizzly bears, also known as brown bears, from the safety of their car cages.

There's great bear info at Great Bear Foundation. You can learn about grizzlies and the seven other bear species of the world at their Bear Species link.

Bears are wonderful animals. As the Great Bear Foundation people say, "It is possible for bears and humans to successfully coexist, but now it is the responsibility of humans to adapt and learn about ways to live with bears."

I just want to acknowledge this, and to remind humans to be kind to wild animals, not only to us companion animals.

1 comment:

Yokota Fritz said...

Some cyclists (human and motor powered) talk about "cagers," i.e. the occupants of enclosed motor vehicles. Just like caging animals, caging humans inside cars seems to make them uptight, cranky, anti-social and even downright dangerous at times!

Witness, for example, the transformation that occurs to this dog when he moves from the great outdoors into a car in this Disney video from 1950.