Victoria Jelinek

Is There Nothing Hallowed?
November 18, 2017, 2:22 pm
Filed under: From the Soap Box | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

imagesThe manifestation of all of the rotten elements of US society that have been growing over the last 50 or so years is terribly overwhelming and heart-wrenching.

The FCC ruling today is a big blow to its last semblance of democracy (and its cut to subsidies for the poor to have internet access is simply mean). The looming tax cuts for the very wealthy, including write-offs for private jets and other corporate expenditures, as well as inheritance tax avoidance is blatant avarice. Meanwhile, teachers, fire fighters, police officers lose itemized deductions, and the opportunity to own a home, put their children through university, and to receive healthcare without a lifetime of debt. The hypocrisy of the Trump regime regarding sexual assault is sickening, as is the public’s preoccupation with it in the face of the larger atrocities being committed daily by this administration while the public’s attention is averted. Those who are excessively wealthy and who run the government must be laughing at the stupidity of ordinary people. In a complex and insidious way, we are all complicit in what has happened.

However, all of the aforementioned doesn’t matter in the long-run if there are no more forests, or natural lands, or safe drinking water, or the air can’t be safely breathed. Nor does any of it matter when wildlife has been eradicated. The Trump regime had already lifted a ban on the hunting of wolves and bears (and their young), made deals with oil companies to build pipelines & drill for oil in protected territories to undermine the welfare of our planet, its animals and ourselves. Only today a pipeline spilled hundreds of thousands of oil in South Dakota and a steel corporation was discovered dumping tons of toxins into Lake Michigan.

And if this wasn’t enough, the Trump regime reversed legislation that protected elephants and lions in Africa. Today, the wealthy donors to this administration received some ‘payback’ because they can now ‘hunt’ down these animals and bring “trophies” in the form of their body parts back to the US in order to display and, ostensibly, impress guests (?!). Let that sink in – the body parts of a lion or an elephant as a ‘trophy’ to be mounted somewhere in their house. Imagine how these elephant’s babies will feel when some soul-less white man fells their mother or father or brother or sister. They will suffer fear and loss. They will grieve. They are sympathetic, smart, wise, and loving creatures that are family-oriented. They mourn for those members who die, and they remember them long after they are shot, dismembered, and carried back on an airplane by a savage.

***Addendum: Trump says the elephant ban is “on hold.” Outrage, thank goodness, must have been enough. However, this administration will ‘slip it in’ when no one’s looking, so to speak. Also, this still leaves the issue of lions as trophies & wolves being hunted down in their dens…

Zimbabwe – Elephant with an Identity Problem
December 6, 2006, 5:32 pm
Filed under: Travel pieces | Tags: , , , ,

While on safari in Zimbabwe at the Imire Game Reserve in July of 1995, we came across this elephant who has established herself as a female ruler of the Cape Buffalo herd. Anna thinks she is a Cape Buffalo. At least she’s preferred the company of the buffalo to her own kind for twenty years. Anna was brought to the game reserve at the age of eighteen months with one of her siblings. The sibling died shortly thereafter, and Anna did’nt identify with the other elephants. Instead, she attached herself to a Cape Buffalo herd on the reserve. Anna grew large eventually, and the buffalo realized that she was’nt one of them. At this point, the lead bull challenged her, and Anna, realizing instinctively that she outweighed him by at least a ton, literally squashed him.

This killing was the first of many in the years to come. She had established a matriarchy. A decade ago, the game keepers came to the conclusion that something had to be done to save the bulls and increase the herd! Anna was eventually going to make it impossible to mate because of her defeats and deaths to the bulls who challenged her power.The gamekeepers responded to this crisis by removing the bulls from the herd and taking the females to them singly to mate, so as not to arouse Anna’s suspicions. Later, the fledgling bulls would be taken from their mothers so as not to be at risk, and another herd, with a few select cows, would be created.

Within the last decade, nature itself has compensated for the herd’s losses by producing four male to every one female birth. Nature is incredibly self sustaining, and in the case of Anna and her herd of Cape Buffalo, freakish. To my question of why the Cape Buffalo don’t just ostracize her collectively and take the risk for the greater gain, Paul Ritson, game keep, said, “If you had a loaded gun to your head, would you risk escape?”