-- Political Issues: Environmental & Animal Rights --
This page archives comments by Bruce Cockburn on environmental and animal rights.
16 June 1995 - Commenting on the sale of endangered animal meat/body parts
"One was an unfortunately unsuccessful attempt that I was involved in with
some other people to rescue 16 Siberian tigers from a farm in China, near
Shanghi, where they were being raised for meat and body parts. Tiger meat is
a big thing in some places. Unfortunately for the tigers, unfortunately for
the likes of us that have to put up with people who think that's a good
thing, who think that in order to get a hard-on they have to fucking eat a
tiger penis. That stuff makes me sick and we tried to get these things out of
this farm. There was a big scam that was going on because a while back some
people in China got the idea they could appeal to western zoos and get money
and the way they did it was by suggesting they could institute a tiger
breeding program for these Siberian tigers which are an endangered species
and they would then have a supply to send to these various zoos around the
world and they got a lot of money for doing that. What they were really
breeding them for was tiger penis soup and stuff like that. And when the
international agreement on the trade of endangered species came into effect
recently, or when China became party to it rather, for a moment or two the
bottom fell out of that trade so these tigers were being allowed to starve to
death on this farm in cages and we thought we might be able to get them out
but we didn't.
The other thing this song [Wise Users]came from is the organization or loose aggregation
of groups that exists in North America under the term Wise Use movement. It's
in this context an oxymoronic term. There's nothing, nothing wrong with
wisdom and certainly nothing wrong with use of things we were given but
somehow when you use those things without wisdom, even if you say it's
wisdom, it's not a good thing and it hasn't been a good thing for a long time
and it's not going to get any better.
And these people, with the financing and the fact that they are the
brainchild of industry and they are financed by industry and you'll hear a
lot about private property rights and about people keeping their jobs and
that sort of shit. They'll keep their jobs for another six months until
whatever it is they are doing is gone and then they'll be out of a job then
so, and then they'll be crying about government support and how come there
isn't more government. So don't believe any of that stuff..."
-- from Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Telluride, Colorado, concert transcription, June 16, 1995. Transcribed and submitted by Doug Stacey.
Circa 2001 - Commenting on the destruction of the forests
"Myths and the forest have always been a big a big part of our consciousness. We should be making paper out of things we can harvest like hemp or like any of the other various plants that are suitable materials for that. We don't need trees for paper and we don't need trees for disposable chopsticks and we don't need trees to pack friggin' motorcycles and all these sorts of things. We've got to get away from this kind of abuse of something for the sake of convenience or for the sake of somebody's imagination about what's classy and get down to what do we actually need!"
"If its in your heart to exercise civil disobedience over issues like the preservation of the forests and any other kind of essential issue like that, you should exercise all of the civil disobedience that you possible can."
-- from Coming to a Rain Forest Near You. Link sent in by Audrey Pearson.
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This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.