Consider the bear

If one eats like a bear one will be shaped like a bear.

 

The bear travels mostly unchallenged across it’s domain. It moves with the confidence which comes from residing at the top of the food chain.  The bear is an omnivore, though it demonstrates a decided preference for flesh. The bear is territorial and does not care to share it’s bounty with others, of it’s own species or otherwise. He doesn’t have to.

His decided preference for flesh resides in his design. He is built as a carnivore with large and powerful muscle mass, dense skull with forward oriented eyes and jaws with fearsome teeth that can crush most metal forms. He is astoundingly agile for a creature of it’s size, is an able climber and can easily swim across considerable distances. In the North American woodlands this is the perfect killing machine.

Despite being possessed of these gifts of physical prowess the bear has grown content with the relative ease of the omnivore’s existence. He has adapted to the environment which has formed around him. We humans do not accept the world as given, instead insist upon shaping it into the form that suits our want. This is at once to our benefit and to our detriment, yet the bear only makes the best of it.

Any detriment that we may serve to the bear is only temporary. Given a path of least resistance the bear, as any other creature, will take it. As a consequence of accepting our garbage as their local buffet the bear has sacrificed muscle mass, relying more upon fatty tissue storage to sustain themselves. Always territorial, the bear has become a less mobile creature, able to sustain itself within a much smaller geographic circle. In terms relative to his ancestors he has grown sedentary.

When nature deems these circumstances to change the bear is still equipped to revert to factory default settings. By contrast, we have been bred soft. Though still possessed of those predatory attributes anatomically we no longer possess the will to hunt, to adapt and prevail. We have been dulled into the sloth of feasting upon our own refuse, the top of our food chain. We still have an eye to discern that which may best nourish us, yet we settle for the same bland, mass produced, amorphous glop dolloped upon our plates. Convenience makes everything acceptable.

When our cupboards should grow bare so too will our garbage containers. The bear will move on, into the hills. He remembers how to catch fish, to stalk smaller mammals, where to find the thick berry briar. There will be turf wars, battles. Some to be victors, some to be vanquished, but as a species the bear will carry on. And we will be left to scour the garbage bins. For all that we have common with our cousin the bear, we hold two traits that the bear lacks: trust and guile.

 

Tom Darby    25 August 2018

 

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