Friday, January 4, 2008

Poachings and ponderings

Being a dad often means trying to explain things that are rather difficult to explain, especially when it reveals the more sinful side of human nature and especially to an inquisitive 6-year old. Last night, I put on a movie about polar bears for Carlos and Jeremiah. Well, it was actually about a couple of kids in Alaska, but along the way they befriended an orphan polar bear cub. Plus, since it had a polar bear on the cover, Carlos kept calling it the “polar bear” movie. During one of the beginning scenes, a poacher shoots and kills the mama bear and captures the baby bear. Later on, he and his partner are seen taking the fur of the mama bear out of a helicopter.

I was watching Carlos during these scenes and he had a very worried and confused look on his face. Finally, he asked me why they killed the mama bear and why they kept the baby bear in the cage. He had gotten the impression (rightly so) that the two guys weren’t exactly the most savory of characters. This seemed like a good opportunity for some instruction. I told him that these men were greedy for the money that selling the mama bear’s fur would give them and they wanted to sell the baby’s fur when he got bigger, too. He asked if they were going to eat the mama bear and I said no, they only wanted her fur. “God created everything in the world and we shouldn’t just kill or destroy something because we want to or because it might bring us money,” I said. “We should only kill another animal like a deer or rabbit if we need it to eat. But never just because we might get some money from it.”

I was glad to see that he seemed to understand and hopefully this will sink in little by little. I’m definitely not opposed to hunting, but at the same time I want to instill in my children a respect and kindness for other living things. This also makes me think how important it should be to talk about the movies our kids watch and use them as teaching points. Granted, Bob the Builder probably doesn’t have as many ethical dilemmas as the polar bear movie, but just being aware of the things they watch will I think goes a long way to instructing our kids. Just another teaching opportunity in the life of a dad , courtesy of Hollywood.

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