Note: Jason is one of The Fur-Bearers' and Young Defenders' volunteer writers. In this article, Jason introduces himself. We’re looking forward to more!
By Jason Motz
The Fur-Bears first came to my attention in 2012 when I was at war over my garbage cans with a family of raccoons. I sought a humane solution to keeping my garbage in their rightful bins, and not strewn about my North Vancouver backyard. Long story short: I have been a monthly donor to the Fur-Bearers ever since. (As for The Garbage Wars: Though I was successful in weaning the family out of my trash, I did eventually move out of the area so they might rightfully claim victory.)
A Gen X-er, I feel fortunate to have grown up in the era ofLorne Greene’s New WildernessandThe Nature of Thingson television; not to mention the many and varied cartoon raccoons, bears, mice, rabbits, ducks etc. that surely you know too. My household was not open to animals, so I made do with stuffed animals. Luckily, my childhood street was rife with cats (oddly, most of them named Dusty), dogs, squirrels, and (less disruptive) raccoons. There was a wooded area near my house that, I liked to dream, was a kingdom of rabbit warrens; though my attempts to lure one home with a bag of carrots were never successful. Perhaps they smelt my desperation.
Since I was not able to have pets as a child, I grew up to regard all British Columbia’s animals as “pets.” From the marmot of Vancouver Island to the whales that traverse the West Coast waterways, I felt a kinship with the critters that put the “nature” back in Super Natural British Columbia. This kinship matured over the years to include a greater awareness about sentient rights for animals, vegetarianism, climate change concerns and loss of habitat and wetlands. Nowadays, I view wildlife less as a collective pet than as an essential neighbour with whom we share yardage. (Bungee cords for your garbage bins, folks.) I am committed to living my life in a way that will make cohabitation between animals and humans better for all parties.
Recently I decided to step up my involvement with The Fur-Bearers. I am in the process of joining the board so I can help the cause from a more organizational perspective. Donating helps, but I have more to offer, namely my craft as a writer-editor. So here I am, part of a new crop of writers who will be adding articles, personal stories, and relevant book and film reviews to this blog for your enjoyment. All for the sake of our neighbours. I am humbled by the skills of my new colleagues, but I am happy to align with them in this righteous cause. Together we can achieve a small victory in defence of our fur-bearing friends.
Top photo by Jensen Gifford
Top photo by Jensen Gifford