People raised on a farm have a deeply respectful but entirely different view (some would argue far more realistic) of livestock and their connection with humans than do people who live in cities. Downtown and in suburbia, the long-standing philosophical and theological line drawn between humanity and the world’s other creatures grows ever more blurred: When animals are experienced primarily as pets and when food bountifully appears in grocery stores and restaurants without evidence of violence, the death of an animal is a tragedy.
In the rural experience, animals die all the time; the event is neither rare nor does it evoke the same confused emotional response. Simply, it is nature.
Maintaining a common language that can bridge the gap between urban and rural Canada will be among the great challenges of the century and, hopefully the cowboy, the cowgirl, and all for which they stand, do not become its most endangered species.