Teeth Or Claws?

Countries like national symbols. The flag is, of course, the prime one, but after that comes music, plants, and animals. Anyone wanting to make changes is usually playing with fire. Feelings can run high and quiet, polite people can become quite blunt in their views of those in the opposing camp.

The latest can of worms to be opened is lodged firmly in the Canadian Senate (1). The label on the can is the national emblem. For those out there who don’t keep up with national decisions from around the world, Canada adopted the beaver as its national animal emblem way back in 1975.

The BBC reports (1) that Senator Nicole Eaton wants to kick the beaver into touch and adopt the polar bear instead of that destructive rodent. She sees the polar bears’ “strength, courage, resourcefulness and dignity” better suits Canadian aspirations than does “the dentally defective rat”.

Beavers are not without admirers though. Pat Martin MP accepts that “polar bears are cool” but that is not enough. She points to the rush to hunt down the beaver for its fur as being the reason that Canada was explored in the first place. Academics are coming to its side too. Professor Runtz of Carleton U is quoted as reminding us that “Beavers are like Canadians. Their demeanor is very pleasant and polar bears inspire fear.”

One is left to wonder if Canada is evolving and will no longer be peopled with hard working individuals with that pleasant demeanor (I haven’t noticed large yellow teeth), but by ruthless, savage, predatory types who are clinging to a shrinking world as an endangered species and who are only cuddly when they are very, very young.

My faith in the Canadians is not shaken, however. I’m sure that they’ll make a wise decision.

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15503106

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