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Posted: Wednesday, August 01, 2007

When we hear the term “fast food” we often times think of our local fast food places where we can grab a quick meal on the run. Something that is quick and easy and requires very little if any effort on our part to prepare, simply unwrap it and lunch is served. No mess at home to clean up and no time spent over a hot stove, and no preparation and some places even advertise you can have it your way.

Sometimes we stop for fast food when we are not even hungry nor on the run or in a hurry, we stop because it is there and convenient. Our brains lock onto the golden arches or another brightly colored building that symbolizes a fast food franchise and we recognize it immediately simply by the color and shape of the building.

Sometimes we are simply lazy and don’t feel like preparing a meal for our family or ourselves so we take the easy way out on that day. So then we eat on the run at a time when we aren’t even running.

To the other creatures that also live here on the earth with us the term “fast food” has many other meanings. And you may be surprised to see that many of our animals and other creatures have some of the eating habits that we have or at times are simply lazy and resort to fast food either occasionally or on a regular basis.

Take Mr. Bear for example. He is a wonder created by God that is perhaps the most powerful, well-equipped animal on earth to be able to live in almost any terrain and survive. He has powerful legs and sharp claws that enable him to move heavy objects and dig up roots and other types of food from the earth, sound-absorbing paws that allow him to move almost silently on the forest floor in search of other unsuspecting prey that is also on his menu. Powerful jaws equipped with sharp teeth that can crush and kill in a single bite. Ears that are more then adequate for a creature that really does not have to depend on anyone else to prepare or provide him a meal or even have to listen to someone holler “Lunch is on”.

Despite being a fully equipped food-processing machine with a wide variety of things on his food list often times Mr. Bear chooses fast food. At times he is too lazy and rather than hunt or fish or dig for food he or she options to take the easy way out. He will give up the traditional methods and look for free fast food by going almost door-to-door in search of food or doing his hunting in a dumpster. They eat almost anything; in fact if a bear can smell it or see it there is a good chance they will eat it. So since that trash was conveniently placed there, they might choose that simply because it requires less work and energy then hunting and dragging down a moose to eat. Trash to a bear is fast food.

Fast food to a caribou might be grabbing a mouthful of grass on the run because the bugs are tormenting him terribly. Caribou are perhaps the most bug-tormented creature on earth and consequently they hardly ever stop moving, in fact they even graze on the move. So I guess this also falls under the title of fast food.

Picture an arctic fox sneaking in and grabbing a goose egg from the nest and running off before getting slapped repeatedly with the big powerful wings from either the goose or the gander. Fast food? Absolutely because if he isn’t fast he gets no food!

Perhaps the classic fast food eaters are the sea gulls that will hover over your car at McDonald’s in Kenai and grab French fries out of your hands from your car window. They also gather in large numbers below the fish waste grinders found below several of our fish processing plants and gobble up the fish waste put back in the water. Another example of fast food might be a sea gull stealing a few bites from right under the feet of Mr. Eagle before he gets irritated and kills him. If he gets away with this it is classified as fast food, if he didn’t it falls under stupidity for tormenting Mr. Eagle.

Fast food to Mr. Halibut might be trying to feed during a ripping tide. If you’re not alert and fast the food is past you before you can even get a taste. To be further insulted imagine Mr. Halibut sleeping on the ocean floor and suddenly he is thumped on the head by some fishermen bounced a heavy lead ball. He wakes up rather groggy and spots a nice piece of herring hanging right there above him. One gulp and the free lunch (excuse me fast food) is his, only then does he realize the herring had a circle hook in it and he is being winched to the surface by a fisherman. Now he too is about to be fast food for the fisherman and his family.

Consider a young moose calf but a few hours old that sometimes in nature never even gets a chance to see if he is fast before he is pounced on by a bear. After a few days his chance of survival is greatly increased once he learns to get his feet under him. Until then he is very vulnerable to Mr. Bear and sadly many become fast food.

Just one time in my life I would love to be between Mr. Bear and the young moose calf with my 338 Winchester magnum. Whoa Mr. Bear there’s a new sheriff in town....... and well, you write your own ending to this part, that way everyone can be happy!

Fast food could be a pike striking a smaller slower fish from a weed bed. It could be a swallow or bat feeding on flying insects both night and day. This time it is a lynx chasing down another fast animal called a rabbit. Coyotes often times eat mice as their source of fast food. And the list goes on and on..... In the human world perhaps we could change the meaning of fast food to simply a day mom doesn’t have to cook. Surprise her by having the meal ready for her when she gets home. If at all possible cook it yourself, if not leave the moose calves, bugs and mice alone and please take her to an official fast food place. See you next week!



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