by Barry Kent MacKay,
Senior Program Associate
Born Free USA's Canadian Representative
Barry is an artist, both with words and with paint. He has been associated with our organization for nearly three decades and is our go-to guy for any wildlife question. He knows his animals — especially birds — and the issues that affect them. His blogs will give you just the tip of his wildlife-knowledge iceberg, so be sure to stay and delve deeper into his Canadian Project articles. If you like wildlife and reading, Barry's your man. (And we're happy to have him as part of our team, too!)
How Our Elite Masters Shaft Reason, Logic, Facts and Animals
Among my list of appalling politicians is one who, if you don’t live in Ontario, you have probably never heard of: Michael Bryant. A Harvard Law School graduate, he perches upon a comfortably high rung of the social ladder, and was the youngest person ever to be appointed attorney general of the province of Ontario, in which post he advocated for a complete ban on handguns and for the destruction of any cars involved in street racing.
The Road Kill Who Survived
I had just turned the corner, driving onto the road that circles Markville, a large shopping center in the middle of the suburban Markham, where I live, just north of Toronto. Sadly, on the northbound lane, right in the space where cars’ tires go, was a dead crow, on its back. Obviously it had just been hit; the next car would almost certainly squash him, but he was intact.
Insanity Rules Once More
In April spring flows northward through the deciduous forests and woods, touching off colorful displays of flowers and filling the morning mists with an increasingly complex “dawn chorus” of bird song. It is great to be alive.
Bad Things Happen in the First Four Days of April
All that I am about to report happened in the first four days of April, and has left me dazed at the sheer, absurd, perfidy of my own species.
The Extraordinarily Unusual Really Should Be the Norm
My colleagues who have formed an organization to protect a native species of bird from being shot in large numbers while nesting were shocked to read that a “land conservancy” agrees with us. So does a conservationist.
A Sad Elephant Saga Drags On
As I hope I’ve made clear in my own last two blogs, Canadian zoos are no places for elephants, at least not from the elephants’ perspective. The animals don’t survive.
Is an Elephant-Free Zoo Desirable, or Even Possible?
A dark confession was contained in the opening sentence of my last blog, where I said, “Unlike some of my respected colleagues and friends I don’t automatically and irrevocably oppose zoos, or to be more accurate, I think there can be grounds for keeping animals captive that can be defended on moral, conservation and educational grounds."
It’s Time for Toronto to be Elephantless
Unlike some of my respected colleagues and friends I don’t automatically and irrevocably oppose zoos, or to be more accurate, I think there can be grounds for keeping animals captive that can be defended on moral, conservation and educational grounds. And I believe that a zoo, properly constituted, can serve the better interests of the environment and of the animals it contains. But I also believe that while claiming to do so, most zoo exhibits fail on all counts, succeeding only in being a source of entertainment, and perhaps profits.