08:28

Bit on the drill

I was watching a wildlife documentary on polar bears last week. With a modern skidoos, icebreaking ships, bear-proof cages and the latest in extreme clothing, the presenter and camera crew were able to get as close as you would ever want to these magnificent creatures in their terrible habitat – as inhospitable as any on this planet.

If there is reincarnation, please don’t let me come back as a polar bear. They live half their lives in darkness and on their own unless accompanied by cubs. They eat only seals and those meals are few and far between. And their miserable habitat is being eroded by climate change. Bummer of a birthmark.

The documentary mentioned polar bear hunting – a livelihood for the Inuit in times past. What a way to make a living! The journey to where the bears live would have been fraught with dangers – not least from the quarry: breaking ice, cold, hunger, injury and illness in a spectacularly isolated place. And then the hunting itself - if you get close enough to kill your prey. Once it is dead and skinned you would then have to drag its pelt to the first of a chain of middlemen  culminating in a shop on 5th Avenue.

If such a system is like a oil rig then the poor Inuit is certainly the bit on the drill. I wouldn’t want to be reincarnated as a polar bear hunter either.
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