Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Yesterday was for the people.

Lately, life has felt good. I’m riding my bike in late November; my thesis is back on track; and I’ve had art published twice in the past two weeks. It feels good, really good to live in a place where I’m continually confronted with inspiration, and opportunity for collaboration, and until yesterday I was convinced that life in Toronto was for me.

I woke up happy and clear headed, made coffee, turned on the CBC, and heard on the news that a deer was found sleeping in a tiny park in the downtown Financial District. Growing up in the suburban scrawl of St. Catharines, I remember a sense of excitement when our overly manicured, playground landscape, was disrupted by a deer, or another undomesticated creature. Wild animals amazed, not only because they challenged the tedium of our everyday scheduled clockwork life, but also because they reminded us of the space and shape of the wilderness we encroach upon. Aside from the odd grumbled-at raccoon, we used to feel lucky when we happened on a wild animal. But not anymore, and not in Toronto.

Apparently the urban world has completely lost touch with the part of humanity that feels bad about our ever-expanding environmental destruction. Yesterday, at around 11:15 am, shortly after the arrival of a veterinarian yielding a tranquilizer dart, the Toronto Police Department tasered the shit of the deer. The doe had been lying calmly in the garden for hours, a calamity that apparently brought much of the downtown core to a “standstill”(where would we be without the National Post)!?! When surprised by the dart, the Deer made a break for the sidewalk, and was met with tasers, according to Const. Tony Vella of the Toronto Police, in the interest of its own safety. You can see the video for yourself here on Blog TO.

Its pretty horrifying to realize that we live everyday in an environment that is a danger to all animals except for humans. Our own ambition has shaped us into creatures that navigate the world aggressively by neon street signs, walk always on the right, and bridle our children with adorable leashes for their own safety. I hope this trend turns around, but with the ever urbanization of our world, that seems unlikely. I feel helpless.
This is making me think about working on a series about confrontations with animals. Here’s something I did a few weeks ago for my Dad’s birthday present. I think I’d like to do more.

No comments: