Friday, December 28, 2007

Baby, Don't Fear the Tiger

I love tigers, and not just because I was born in a Tiger year (1962) per the Chinese calendar. The tiger is a symbol of power, strength, and grace. That's something I needed to tap into for my weight loss journey (-60 lbs). I never thought I'd get those pounds off. And now I'm sitting here getting ready to order enough Medifast food to carry me through a 10 lb (or so) loss while I help hubby get back on his diet. I know, I know. I tried to do this before a couple of months ago, but I couldn't get my heart into it with all that was going on. Things are still going on, but I'm ready.

I have three pair of jeans that were snug when I bought them in the store, and they just don't fit me at all now. I've not been able to exercise, and even though I'm only a couple of pounds over where I landed July 4th (the official end of my diet), that couple of pounds seems to be right on my waist - my biggest problem area. The steroids managed to get to me, that and those little holiday nibbles. I'm going back on the 5/1 for a month and will also get back to exercising. I know the two things I really need to do - some strength exercises (small weights) and some core exercises. I'm thinking of getting a Bender Ball. It's 9.99 for the ball and for the video that walks you through the exercises. I could roll out the yoga mat and workout with the ball. It would take up very little space.

A friend of mine came through town on her way back to Asheville, NC, from Newark. She brought me a bag of goodies that I need to rid myself of before I start the diet. It was so good to see her, though. She just lost her father in October, but she's doing well. She spent Christmas with family.

In closing, I'll return to my theme of tigers.

I'd like to say that the tiger who attacked and killed the young man and attacked two others in San Francisco was a product of her environment. She was born and raised in captivity. She never learned to have a healthy fear of humans, but like any wild animal she was driven by instinct. When you turn and run from a predator, it attacks. If you ever saw the movie "A Tiger's Tale" with Ann-Margret, you'll see that truth in action. The boy has a tiger he has raised, but he's taught to never turn his back. The predator's instinct is to grab the prey immediately when it turns away. The boy ends up with a shredded calf muscle for his mistake. (Trust me, that's not a spoiler for the story, if you want to see it).

Further, the two boys who are hospitalized are suspected of going over the exterior wall of the tiger's enclosure. This taunting and reckless behavior could have been why (and maybe how) the tiger came out of her artificial den. These two boys were questioned by the police for another incident previously and were "very belligerent." They are being uncooperative about this incident, too.

Tigers are not bad. They are wild creatures not meant to be in captivity for our enjoyment, not meant to sleep in the bed with us or go for a swim in our pool (e.g., with Siegfried and Roy). They are not meant to be a spectacle. I understand the reasons for having some specimens in captivity, though I don't necessarily agree with it. Supposedly we are trying to keep certain species from becoming extinct. Well, is that our job? Species have come and gone for as long as the world has been alive. While I would hate to know a world without my beautiful tiger in it, I also hate to know a world in which tigers are kept like fish in an aquarium, thousands of people trailing past them every day, pointing and roaring and dancing around, screaming children crying for another ice cream, balloons floating on the handles of strollers, taunting the cat who only wants to explore her world outside the bars.

We created the situation that ended that young man's life. My daughter never liked zoos, circuses, or any establishment that housed animals for our entertainment. She didn't even want to go to Sea World with us. I am guilty of visiting some zoos and going to Sea World. I am fascinated with being so close to these beautiful creatures, but I know that my fascination is part of the problem. Instead of being upset with the tiger, who lost her life, too, because of the pranks (possibly) and disrespect of others, we should ask ourselves whether we have created the world that led to this incident.

Don't fear the tiger. She is strong, graceful, and powerful. She's what will get me through everything I need to do, including those last 10 lbs.

Peace - D

1 comment:

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Very nice post. I am interested to see the outcome of the police investigation as I think there is much the boys are not saying.