Saturday, September 11, 2010

Zoo's - People Playing God

I went to the Metro Toronto Zoo last weekend. I can already hear the gasps and hissing... I know that zoos are nothing but dungeons for animals - kind of a freak show, if you will. But... in their hearts they are doing what they think is right in trying to preserve species that the rest of the world is trying real hard to wipe off the face of the earth.

What I saw during my six hour walk around the zoo was one huge contradiction. While watching the 'talk with the zoo keeper' at the gorilla exhibit, I was struck by the horrified reaction of a gentleman near me when we were all told that underpaid and undernourished mining workers (slaves) in Africa will kill the mighty gorilla and (Oh My God!) eat the meat to stay alive.

When I mentioned (loud enough for a few people around me to hear) that that man eats, three or more times per day, the flesh of other animals that are just as innocent are killed in cold blood, I got a hard nudge in the gut and was told to shut up (by my spouse).

Upon leaving and saying outside the exhibit that I was utterly confused about what animals it was okay to kill and what animals it was not, I was nudged again. What really confuses me is the thought that in a few weeks fat Americans (and Canadians) will jump in their nine-mile-per-gallon Cadillac Escalades and drive out into the Canadian wilderness and murder innocent deer and moose. Yes, I know they and their families must eat to survive in this cruel world... Yet, we're attacking the poor African slave who somehow cannot support his family on pennies per day.

Although everyone there loved the cute animals and everyone was a friend of nature, they had no problem packing into each and every restaurant at the zoo and chomping down on dead cow and chicken. I'd imagine if they were serving up kangaroo burgers, there'd be a line-up. Of all the items on the menu at these fine, animal-loving restaurants, there was just one 'garden burger' for us weirdos. They did not even post that the meat was locally farmed. If you don't post it then one has to wonder if it came from the very same farms in Brazil that McDonalds gets their beef from. You know - the grade z beef that comes from cows grazing where rainforest once stood?

The Canadian exhibit was kind of a farse, at best. The African, Asian and South American animals have large and luxurious homes with enough information on the signs attached to these homes to fill a book. The native Canadian animals had tiny cages with nothing but a simple label saying what they were.

And really... does the zoo need to have a raccoon exhibit when the animal can be found every 20 feet in urban and rural areas in this country? They're nocturnal anyway! You don't get to see them!

Why do humans still insist that they can play god and determine who lives and who dies? "If we didn't hunt the deer they would overpopulate". So fucking what! Mother nature will deal with that problem in her own way. It really is none of our business.

That reminds me of the Canada Goose problem in Toronto that seems to be an on-going battle. People feed food to the geese which is unnatural to their diet. The geese get fat, don't leave and do nothing but breed in their spare time. The geese overpopulate and shit all over Toronto's beautiful parks and beaches. The people who go to these parks to feed the geese demand the city do something about the overpopulation and the layer of goose shit that covers everything. Some suggest killing off the geese to please the people that are causing the overpopulation in the first place.

That's my rant. It went all over the place and may not have made any sense, but... that's my rant.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Toronto Vegetarian Food Fair

For anyone in the Toronto area, the 26th annual Vegetarian Food Fair is taking place September 10-12 at the Harbourfront. Admission is free - food is not!

Here's what they have to say about the event:

Regarded as the largest event of its kind in North America, the Annual Vegetarian Food Fair gives you an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy a diverse cross-section of vegetarian cuisine. Discover new products and ideas from more than 100 exhibitors and enjoy a wide variety of presentations and cooking demos.

Not a vegetarian? Whether you're looking for new ideas to add colour and variety to your meals or you're a "seasoned" vegetarian interested in expanding your knowledge of nutritious and ethical foods, this is the place for you.

For more information, visit the website.