Dr. Dawg

Canada's national animal: the elephant?

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At least one Conservative senator thinks the beaver is an unworthy animal to represent our nation: she proposes instead the “stately polar bear”—which also happens to be a fierce predator that hunts humans for food.

I won’t go into the ideological underpinnings of that. But if the beaver, that “dentally defective rat,” is to be replaced, I would suggest the elephant as an eminently suitable substitute.

The elephant is a recent immigrant, representing a land of immigrants. But its ancestors once populated the Canadian north. Both native and new arrival, then, it symbolically unites all Canadians.

In Harper’s Canada, the elephant would seem to be an ideal emblem: thick-skinned, powerful and yet endangered, poachers standing in for terrorists. Its grey colour perfectly symbolizes Canadian humour, journalism and politics. And it is very far indeed from being dentally defective.

Elephants are universally recognized for their intelligence and for their memory (“Je me souviens”). Equally at home in the forests and on flat grasslands, the elephant is a versatile beast that is naturally at home here. As for the diverse nature of the family in the twenty-first century, perhaps the elephant has something to teach us about love and stability:

Unlike heterosexual relations, which are always of a fleeting nature, those between males result in a “companionship”, consisting of an older individual and one or two younger, attendant males. Same-sex relations are common and frequent in both sexes, with Asiatic elephants in captivity devoting roughly 46% of sexual encounters to same-sex activity.

While certain fundamentalists and social conservatives may cavil, the reputed habits of the beaver place the latter irredeemably outside God’s tent.

If we are to supplant the lowly beaver, and there are admittedly good arguments for doing so, surely no other animal but the elegant elephant will do. Discussion, of course, is welcome, as always.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on October 31, 2011 11:37 PM.

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