Sunday, January 01, 2006

Our not so peaceable kingdom

I took a walk through the construction site at Loreto Bay where our little casa chica now has a second storey. It really is so small. I think, couldn't ya have added just a couple more feet to each room? I mean, what does a little more adobe and stucco cost? Still, the development looks very promising and the views--wow! We will be able to see the ocean as well as the mountains.

The other morning Beau and I took a kayak out into the ocean. After an initial drench from the incoming waves we followed the recommended course around the large outcropping of rock and into the estuary which winds through the golf course. The view back to land with the Sierra de la Gigantas in the background is beautiful. The hotel also looks more appealing in that setting with it's bell tower set against the blue sky. I am not much for water sports, but if kayaking is a water sport, then sign me up. It is so exhilarating, especially in beautiful settings.

Our boys have managed to stay entertained. The other night they witnessed a cock fight. I didn't know they existed here, but apparently it is a very popular bloodsport in the Baja. The roosters are fitted with razors on their talons then thrown into a ring where their natural territorial instincts lead them to battle each other. Were there any cocks that refused to fight?, I asked hopefully. I imagined the birds had the power to decide; maybe some were peace-loving. But no, they fight to the death. Ryan described the fate of the only cock that did turn the other cheek. His owner became so incensed he grabbed his rooster by the neck, slung it against a wall, then gave it hard snap wringing it's neck. Gulp.

The prevailing attitude towards animal life is harsh here. Stray, roaming dogs are routinely round up and shot, I am told. And even though I'm not affectionate towards fish, the stories Robert tells me fishing, of the grappling of a large fish with a spear-hook to hoist it onboard where it chokes for air for the remainder of the ride before being gutted alive ) , make me want to put down my fish taco. Yesterday on the road into town I saw about a dozen vultures picking at the fresh carcass of a dog. Everywhere, everything eats everything, a flawed principal in creation. I know we have to eat. I don't want to give up eating meat, but at least we can feel bad about it and certainly never enjoy killing for it, or watching others kill.

That's why I'm really thankful for the sanitized, miraculous way meat appears at the supermarket; vaguely unidentifiable, wrapped in tight plastic packaging on styrofoam trays. It's all illogical and removed from reality, just the way I like it. This is one flaw in my 21st-century reasoning that I can live with. It's just that it's easier back home in America where we all tend to agree on this matter.

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