You Are Safe with Me (Bear Version)

There are only few animals species whose lives aren’t affected by humans, if any. The bears aren’t one of them. If they are not hunted for trophies, they are hunted for their gall bladders or, even worse, they are raised encaged in bile bear farms. In those “prisons”, their bile is extracted out of them through tubes during their entire life. Sadly, this is the only life some bears (especially the moon bears) know, although they still have some vague memories of their far away childhood. Those faded flashbacks of the past belong to a happy time, the time before their mothers were killed and they were caught, imprisoned and raised in the tiny cages that soon became their homes. There, the only kind of affection they got was the one when they rubbed themselves against the cage’s bars… if they had the strength to do that.

If bile bear farming sounds horrible to me, shooting bears for trophy doesn’t appeal to me, either. Searching on the internet, I came across this definition: “Trophy hunting is the shooting of carefully selected animals – frequently big game such as rhinos, elephants, lions, pumas and bears – under official government licence, for pleasure. The trophy is the animal (or its head, skin or any other body part) that the hunter keeps as a souvenir.“ It represents the success of the hunt and it is usually exposed in special designed “trophy rooms” together with the weaponry.

Two words have imprinted on my cerebral cortex just near the “trophy” word: “pleasure” and “souvenir”. I wonder how can a hunter ignore the fact that his “souvenir”, his proud and joy, is someone’s mother that he killed only to put her head on a wall and show off to his friends?

But, at least, the bears have escaped the canned hunting. This kind is reserved only for lions and other exotic animals, but, nonetheless, another, even more cruel and brutal practice directed against wild life. Humans must be really bored. I am, too, sometimes, but I have my three dogs’ tummies to stroke especially reserved for my boredom moments. Most likely, those hunters don’t have such “antidotes”, so I can understand their need to fill their days with something. And what is to do if they were raised in a specific manner and they don’t know any better? Usually, something powerful needs to happen in order for them (or any other people) to change their worldview, but, many times, not even a huge meteorite hitting Earth is powerful enough! I should make their acquaintances with my dogs… Who knows? Those three little musketeers move mountains with their cuteness, so there’s a chance to move one’s opinion on kindness.

This painting was born from the above related knowledge of the cruelty against bears and from the need to find a way to protect them. For the moment, I don’t know how they can be helped, I feel powerless in this regard. Until the humanity will make a conscience shift, if ever, this kind of practices will still exist. And I, as heartbroken as I am knowing this awful truth, I must accept cruelty as a innate part of our souls, a trait of our species and continue to live as beautifully as I can and do what is in my power. Today, a painting. May this raise some awareness to somebody, bring joy to others and, maybe, just maybe, the love and the good, caring thoughts I have put in it could somehow, bring some relief to the bears in need.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read these lines!

Enjoy your day!

The Lady With The Bird Feeder Hat

During the cold season things get harder for the wild birds, food is sparse, weather is cold. Many birds that enter the winter won’t see the spring sun again. Some will die of starvation, some of cold, some of broken heart. [And that is not a joke. It is said that some birds (like parrots, parakeets, cockatiel, to name a few) can die of broken heart.] Being aware of the hardships of winter for the wild life and knowing that we, humans, do many bad things to nature through our actions, I thought I might do something good, for a change. I have formed a new habit and started to feed the birds in my yard every winter. Over the years, they have multiplied so much that now it seems like all the birds in town are feeding in my garden. 🙂 They heard that there’s a lady somewhere in town who doesn’t have any other job than to fill and refill several bird-feeders a day. And birds talk. And they are not selfish. If one finds food, she tells the others, which tell the others and so on. It happened just like that in my case, too. The birds spread the word until my yard was bird-full and I had to buy more bird feeders and, of course, more food. Also, I had to diversify it, as more bird species came and some of them had a different diet. Therefore, besides seeds, I had to start feeding them fruits, and dry worms, and bacon, and what not! And if, God forbid, I forget to refill the bird-feeders, the army of birds send their messengers at my window to notify me about my unforgivable mistake and they chirp and flutter their wings at my window and, sometimes, they knock with their beaks in the glass until I finally understand what is going on and go out and fulfill my duty. At last!

There are voices telling me that by feeding the birds I interfere with nature and I mess up their habits. While that might be true, at some extent, it is also true that we harm nature and, implicitly the birds, in so many ways and we don’t think about that too much or at all. Polluting the planet, destroying their habitat by cutting the forests, imprisoning the birds by making them our pets and so on are overseen by so many, therefore, feeding my winged friends is the least I can do to counteract the negative impact on the bird populations due to man irresponsible actions. In an ideal world, I’d probably let the nature just be, but in this society, I feel like I had to do something, a little bit, to restore the frail balance of nature.

Besides feeding the birds in my yard, I, also, stuff my bag with bird food every time I go shopping or just for a walk in town, just in case I happen to meet some lost hungry birds that haven’t heard yet about my bird-heaven-yard and they are starving somewhere, in the cold winter.

Being like I am, I often think it would be extremely nice to have a bird-feeder winter hat, so I can easily feed the birds wherever I go, whenever I go and, with this dream-wish in my head, this painting came to life! And who knows, I might build myself the hat someday and wear it during the cold season. I know for sure that the birds would be absolutely delighted; and so would be the people in my city … but for entirely different reasons! 🙂

This is one of the images that inspired my piece: my army of sparrows that I see from my kitchen window while they are eating in my yard.