Morning = rough start. Cleaning was on the agenda, but got totally side-tracked. Michael Enright has a show about Euthanasia with a very interesting panel. Comment that caught my attention was about compassion and about how the issue is less about us having a right to a “good death” or being legally permitted to choose how we die and more about the compassion we extend to others who are suffering, in pain and dying.

Riveted by the different points of view and the thoughtfulness of the panelists.

Didn’t help me at all get any closer to the answer, about what we should do, about what the law should be. As always, raised more questions in my brain.

Sometimes, most times, I just wish to be a more intelligent person, filled with more compassion, with an ability to love more to have these answers. Unfortunately, these are my personal limits.

I should be more compassionate.

Compassion definition, from www.dictionary.com:

“compassion

–noun

1. a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

–verb (used with object)

2. Archaic . to compassionate.”

It sounds a little painful, but I’m willing.

I think that as my heart grows, as I become happier that I will also become sadder as well, it is like the heart needs to go as deep down as it goes up. Depth of sorrow for heights of happiness?

Phone rang – suddenly I found myself with a challenge. Friend of mine (hello! yes, look I’m writing about you!) told me about a party she found herself at last night and holding an elephant bag.

(I note that what I heard was “Elephant Bag.” I thought the design of the bag was called “Elephant” – I imagine a baggy, slouchy kind of bag in light grey, a little tough, wearable, rugged, with a bit of distressed/worn finish. I am dumb.)

My friend clarified – it was made of elephant hide.

I need a moment.

*deep breath*

Ok.

The material the bag is made of is elephant hide, like elephant skin.

I really thought that Canada had laws against the import of elephant hide, elephant tusk (AKA ivory) for sure (?), but hide? Who knows?

So, she asked me to do some research for her, find out if elephant hide is legal in Canada and what is the moral stance on this. And share it with her. I accepted and told her I would write about it, here.

Morally, I’m no use. I can barely get my brain around the basics.

So, legality.

Unfortunately, for me, a quick search of this issue lead me to sites endorsing the hunt of large game (read: big, wild animals) and taxidermy. I will not give links to these sites as I do not wish to be seen as endorsing the hunt of animals as trophies. I clarify: I do not endorse the killing of animals for the purposes of trophies.

It looks like, from what I found, that elephant hide import to Canada is a-ok.

And that makes me feel…disappointed. And a little sad. And hoping that someone can tell me I’m wrong.

Tell me I’m wrong.

Perhaps it is because I feel in love with three elephants?

First love – Babar. Green suit, wisdom, manners and deportment me = growing-up to marry Babar. We would rule the elephants together. I would be the perfect step-mom to his children – Alexander, Flora and Pom. It was destiny. I would become an elephant.

Note: this was after I thought I would become a cat but before I decided I would marry Kermit the Frog instead – sure Babar was royalty, but Kermit was in show biz!

Additional note: Probably explains some of my relationships-gone wrong, how can anyone compete with a green-suit-wearing-King-of-the- Elephants?

Then I discovered Jumbo. Wow! A real elephant of wild imaginings. Jumbo died long before I was around, but wow! Imagine a mammal that big! Wild animals indeed. And we created a new word just for him – how sexy is that!

Of course, the last elephant is Dumbo. How cute! How could I not fall in love with that?

I fail at this challenge.

What I can say is this – just because something is legal, does not make is moral. Just because something is legal and economically acceptable does not mean that you have to be ok with it.

Yes, when we are unsure about things we should ask questions. If we find behaviours and actions questionable, we should ask, regardless of who it offends. We need to challenge things outside of our comfort zone.

Just because I found no evidence that Canada is not-ok with elephant hide, doesn’t mean personally that I am ok with it. Having loved elephants and having wanted to become an elephant I am not ok with it.

I think these questions – how we treat other animals, other beings on this earth, in this universe, how we define “beings” and “humans” and “animals” is important.

I wish I was smarter for you, more intelligent, so I could prove that this was morally bad or at least “not good”, that elephants and all animals deserve special consideration in our actions and behaviours.

I’m not.

I’m sorry, I’m not.

Rough start to the morning.

Up-side: Yoga was really good. It is changing me. My deep tissues are changing. My heart is changing.

Sometimes I feel like I’m becoming something else. A cat. A frog. A plough. A crescent moon.

Today I am becoming an elephant.

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