Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Neko Case "The Tigers Have Spoken"

This week our guest blogger is Scott Lajoie, who has substituted for me before as editor of Cape Cod Magazine. Now a writer with the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Yarmouth Port, Scott is writing about songs addressing animal welfare issues of today.

They shot the tiger on his chain
In a field behind the cages
He walked in circles 'til he was crazy
And he lived that way forever
And he lived that way beside them,
Separate from the other tigers
He did not know another tiger.
We know them as one of the magnificent big cats. Ferocious. Powerful. Royal. With probably the most recognizable markings on the planet.

But tigers are facing enormous threats. Their natural habitat is diminishing. Poachers pursue them for the beautiful coats. There is a market for tiger bone wine, a tonic used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Perhaps you don’t know that one major issue in the welfare of tigers is a domestic one. There are more tigers in private ownership here in America than there are in their natural wild habitat in China and Russia.

While some living quarters are fitting, others are woefully inadequate, the “trophy” cats living in squalid conditions. What’s more, when these cats break free, they present a horrible safety risk in the surrounding community. Remember the breakout in Ohio?

Each year, some of these tigers are given up and relocated to a number of sanctuaries across the country. Others are not so lucky.

Neko Case tackled this issue back in 2004 with her song, The Tigers Have Spoken. It is haunting ode with cool guitar effects to the isolated life and tragic death of one such tiger.

Hear the song on Youtube.

No comments:

Post a Comment