This column was to be about fish. Herring to start with. A few reputable conservation groups, including Pacific Wild, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Conservancy Hornby Island and the Association for Denman Island Marine Stewarts, are urging the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to rethink the roe fishery quotas for the herring in the Straight of Georgia (the plan is expected to be finalized in early December.) The stocks are almost 60 percent depleted, their press release said, and that’s happened in the last four years. Shocking isn’t it? Albeit not a local issue, it is a provincial one and a sign of a pervasive and challenging issue.
Category: Environment Page 1 of 17
I had to look twice to make sure; OK, three times. It was snowing. The wind had been blowing since yesterday when it was 18 degrees Celsius in late afternoon. All degrees but four got scattered by bedtime. We lost two more overnight.
Today at noon we got snowflakes. A first this time of the year by everyone’s account. Dog and I took a walk in that swirling mad snowflake dance and I realized this sad fact: first snow always had my heart flutter with joy. Always. Today, this year, the flutter is missing and instead I feel sad and worried. The world is changing and I do not care about making yet another point about climate change (yes, it is real, and yes, I am shaking my head knowing it is still debated; seriously!). But.
You can safely file it under ‘Another day, another food study.’ Followed by… now what?
Case in point: the recent meat-centered study coming from Dalhousie and McMaster Universities, which concluded that the health benefits associated with reducing or eliminating red and processed meats are minimal, and the risks we thought existed are also quite small, hence the recommendation to eat meat without restrictions, if that’s how you feel like it.
So what’s wrong with that, some will say. The study eased the guilt and worry about red and processed meats. It’s good to not have guilt or fear as a side dish, right? Granted, the researchers admitted they had not taken into consideration any animals welfare and environmental issues, and they considered people’s attachment to their meat-based diet as one of the factors to base their recommendations on.
I will save you the suspense. The answer is not likely, according to many wildlife researchers who have studied the issue from all sides because of what’s at stake, which is the balance of entire ecosystems. The conclusion, though not generally accepted because it depends who you ask, is that you cannot cull (kill, in plain language) a species to protect another, they say.
The wolf cull that has been going on in British Columbia for five years will now be followed by an even more intensive one, according to a leaked memo from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. More than 80 percent of the wolves in certain parts of the province where the caribou herds are in steep decline are to be ousted, which will hopefully see the caribou surviving and thriving.
Two days ago, I read a thought-provoking article about the strategy (or one of them) that Dr. Seuss used to create his work. He was challenged (it was a $50 bet in fact) to write a kids’ book using only 50 words that a grade 1 student would understand and handle with ease. Green Eggs and Ham was born and if you haven’t read it yet, please do today because that it will make your day, and beyond. It has rhyme, reason (obviously) and quirkiness galore.
When the boys were little, we collected and read as much Dr. Seuss as we could. Quirky and funny and rolling off the tongue is the recipe for what children like in a book and parents can read many, many times over without wanting to tear their hair out of sheer boredom. Not with Dr. Seuss’s books. A healthy side-effect: They incited the boys to want to read by themselves. Just to have that silly rumble of words come out of their mouths instead of mine.
Have you read the one about the fake honey? There is lots of it in Canada, almost 23 percent of the tested samples proved to be sticky mix of corn syrup and sugar derived from various sources such as rice, beets and others, instead of pure honey. It would be helpful to have names for all the brands selling fake honey but that has yet to surface if at all.
For anyone who does not believe in getting rich via lies and deceit it’s frustrating to think we are at the mercy of food crookery. Come to think of it, one wonders what the consequences are for those who engage in such activities, given that our justice system is so lenient, but I’ll leave that for another column.
Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Tuesday August 6, 2019.
There’s no other way to put it. Being away from Kamloops for a few days makes it ring true, yet again. It happens mostly when I am stuck in slow traffic as I approach the Mainland. Once you leave Hope behind… I know, the pun that so many cannot resist, but it is a bit like magic. Just not the kind that leaves you mesmerized, but the kind that makes you wonder how on Earth can the same thing happen again and again on the way to the coast.
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