Heal Our Planet Earth
HOPE
Anti Trophy Hunting
Anti Trophy Hunting
Westcoast People

1996-08-17
The Vancouver Sun

by Mia Stainsby

 

Caught at cultural crossroads - Chinese-Canadian environmentalist upsets some Asians and Caucasians alike as he fights against the use of animal parts as Chinese medicines, among other traditions.

 

Anthony Marr, the man who's threatening to take all the fun out of bear hunting... is in a show down with hunters, who aren't taking too kindly to his quest... The winding path that brought him to this juncture appeared before him unexpectedly.

 

In truth, Marr would rather be with his “baby”, a book over 800 pages long, called [OMNI-SCIENCE - A New Cosmology], which he began writing in 1978.

 

“So, what is he doing in conflict over bear hunting, after spending decades writing about cosmic harmony?  On a recent tour of 40 BC interior communities, he faced roomsful of angry hunters and has a fistful of press clippings about the dust-ups.  On the other hand, he also found supporters in these communities.

 

Being Chinese-Canadian has almost everything to do with Marr's environmental activism.  The more he heard about the Chinese use of animal parts, especially parts from animals on the endangered species list, the more he felt compelled to speak up.

 

“Something's got to be done about this,” he said to his (mostly Caucasian) friends.

 

“And I think a Chinese person should do it.  And I think you're looking at him.”  That was three and a half years ago...

 

“I was going to finish my book last year, but all of a sudden my time was usurped.  Saving endangered  species.  It was more urgent, but the book, whenever it comes out, will remain the central core of my achievement.”

 

His book, he says, is an integration of all the sciences and -ologies into a single body, which he calls Omni-Science.  “I look at nature from all angles at once, which gives forth a new philosophical system where we human beings find a place...”

 

Love may have something to do with Marr's critical take on Chinese culture.  “My first true was a Chinese woman, but her family forced her to break up with me or suffer the pain of being disowned,” he recalls.  “That is a fate worse than death for a Chinese girl, and so she acquiesced.  Her parents felt our two families’ social positions didn't match.  That was in 1967, and I became very disenchanted with the Chinese culture because of it.  I've never dated a Chinese woman since,” he said.

 

The Chinese reaction to Marr is mixed.  At schools, where he gives talks on the Asian use of animals, he gets enthusiastic support from students (many of whom being of Chinese descent).

 

… “When I’m on Chinese radio talk shows, two of the most common questions are: “Why are you trying to blacken the Chinese reputation?” and “What is more important, humans or animals?”

 

“My answer is that, on the contrary, I'm trying to save the Chinese reputation from eternal damnation, because if we carry on the way we have and drive some of the species to extinction, then our reputation will be forever mud, and we can never regain respect in the eyes of the world.  I tell them that I'm working for human beings too.  What kind of world are we passing on to our kids?”...

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