Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Police "King Of Pain"

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.

I was obsessed with Synchronicity when it was released in 1983. Granted, I was only 10, but it proved to be pretty prescient as I still consider the album one of the greatest of all time.

The song King of Pain described phenomena of the natural world we humans perceive to be horribly tragic. Two lines stand out to me now because the non-profit for which I work, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, specifically addresses these issues.

There's a blue whale beached by a springtime's ebb.

Blue whales rarely beach themselves. The problem of stranding comes mostly with smaller whales (pilots) and dolphins. I wrote about IFAW’s Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team, the group that rushes out to the flats to attend to these creatures, when I was still with Cape Cod Magazine. We do not know why whales and dolphins strand, but we are learning about potential factors, including the overwhelming amount of noise with which we humans have polluted the ocean.

"There's a red fox torn by a huntsman's pack."

I really wasn’t very aware of what this line meant until I learned specifically about the fox hunt in Britain. IFAW has campaigned for years against this cruel “sport,” in which hounds led by a hunter descend on a chased fox and literally rip the animal apart. Another rock star has joined the fight against this practice: Brian May of Queen. Although it has been officially banned in the UK, hunters still engage in it under authorities’ radar. IFAW, however, has sponsored observer teams to follow these hunters into the woods and document their actions.

Hear the song on Youtube.

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