Feb 26, 2014

Through These Vegan Eyes... I See Someone

From the Science Daily
Note that the photo credit was not error checked. This is a Bearded seaL

A photo like this is difficult to look at. In just the moments it takes to focus on the all the details and issues, my brain is in a cascade of revelations:
I see someone.
He's cautious... Afraid.
He's been captured.
He's been manhandled.
Weighed and measured.
He's been confined... And isolated.
He's be prodded and documented.
Labeled and numbered.
Used and abused.
...Then put to work. For us. To record patterns of the eco-climate-destruction of our own making.  And to be food... For us

What a job we've given him. 
Tasked by us. By force.
Purposed and consumed.
Discarded and destroyed. 

I see someone. Cautious and afraid as he should be.

I see someone who's been used enough and for too long. 
This is his home too. And he has a right to live in it. Free.

He needs protection not for us but from us.  

For the sake of all others who have had machines strapped to them... Or attached into them - Please make it stop by living an aware and a caring vegan life.  It's the just thing to do.


veganelder said...

You wrote: " I see someone who's been used enough and for too long. This is his home too. And he has a right to live in it. Free."

Way way way too long.

I often see someone and feel shame that they see me too and know I belong to a species that seems to be mostly monsters.

Well said Ms. Bea.

Bea Elliott said...

I know what you mean - When there is the crime of abuse being committed, those eyes looking back seem to be calling us out as the monsters that we are. How most people don't see or don't care just boggles me. Pains me. And it shames me too.

Thank you veganelder for seeing what I see. It is a comfort. <3

David Ashton said...

Boggled pained and shamed. Me too. Absolutely.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I hate seeing those kind of devices on other animals. Why do scientists feel they have the right? (Sadly a rhetorical question since I know the answer, but still.) Even scientists who do this purportedly to learn more, and who care in some measure about the species they study, still don't have a clue about why what they're doing is so wrong.

Bea Elliott said...

Hi David - What a pity it is that those of us who deserve remorse and shame the least are the ones who feel it most. Doesn't seem fair that the abusers get to hurt twice.

I'm sorry for that. Thank your for your big, strong heart in spite of it all. <3

Bea Elliott said...

Hi HGV - The silliest thing is that most of the time ecological scientists are trying to measure (through fellow creature-victims) the damage WE're doing ourselves.

Yes, there is so much to learn from them... But I seriously doubt we'd want to hear anything they'd have to say. Thank you for understanding too that they are here with us - not for us. <3

Ingrid T said...

Bea, I'm so glad you posted this. Out in the field I constantly see invasive neck tags, huge wing tags, etc. They're justified under the auspices of science. But even if one initially accepts that rationalization, it becomes more difficult to embrace over time as you realize that so many of these studies are beyond non-essential. There are banding clinics, there are short-term graduate studies for a thesis, and so forth.

I don't know if I'm one of many or one of a few wildlife photographers who has the degree of ambivalence that I do about this subject, it's just something most are accustomed to seeing and subject to the same levels of cultural indoctrination. But it's rarely without dismay that I look upon these involuntary subjects with anything but the sentiments you describe above. I appreciate your articulation of these feelings.

Bea Elliott said...

Thanks Ingrid! I know many would excuse the trauma of the ordeal in the name of science and research... And most of the times the creatures seem to get on as if nothing happened. But there's always the unseen invasion of bodily integrity. I can't imagine what it must be like to be a free animal trapped and manhandled. Psychologically they must die a thousand deaths till they're released again. Sad.

That's where being a wildlife photographer is due full respect and admiration... To see. To save. And to share - But never to seize, harm or possess. Would that the world was filled with cameras and not weapons - Ah... What a thought! <3