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I am the Walrus

August 2022

Sometimes (oftentimes, most of the time) I resent being called human. More specifically, I resent being blamed for and associated with the careless, destructive things people sometimes do that I know I, in my right mind, would never do. Examples are countless, but the instance that came up today that made me want to renounce my membership in the species Homo sapiens was the euthanizing (killing, murder, assassination) of Freya the walrus.

Perhaps some people were bothering or stressing the poor big gal, and sure, someone could have ended up getting hurt, but that doesn’t justify executing the beloved, gregarious animal. A self-fulfilling prophecy—somebody got hurt alright—thanks to the “authorities” it was Freya. I’m getting tired of this attitude that human life outweighs all others—even if said life form is 1,300 pounds. ‘We don’t want people to get too comfortable or friendly with mere animals….’

As a wildlife photographer, I’ve seen a lot of misbehavior in places like Yellowstone National Park, where gawkers with their “smart” phones try to get selfies with their kid on the back of a bull bison. But I was the one of the with the telephoto lens on a tripod set up 30 yards away trying to discourage the selfie shooters from getting too close.

The Norwegian Director of Fisheries is smug about the decision to kill the lonely girl, saying, “we warned them…,” but they only waited 3 days before taking lethal action against Freya. Much more should have been done to prevent the gawking from getting out of hand.

Borrowing a line from one of the few humans I’ve admired over the years, the Beatles own John Lennon, known for words of wisdom such as, “Give peace a chance,” “All you need is Love” and “Imagine,” I say we use “I am the Walrus”—a sentiment comparable to “I am Cecil,” popularized after the impaling of a well-known lion by the demented trophy-bowhunting American dentist, Walter Palmer.

I’d like to see the slogan, “I am the Walrus” on billboards and on signs held in street chants to protest the killing of the obviously overly trusting marine mammal who made the common, fatal mistake of not quite realizing just how lousy some humans can be.

Walrus Freya
Image from The Murder of Freya By Paul Watson



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