The Trapper and the Beaver Cubs


Animals with whom humans have little contact also have the potential for kindness and friendship. One man who came to understand something of the spirit of such animals was the Englishman Archie Belanie who later became known as “Grey Owl” when he turned his back on his past and totally adopted American Indian ways. A prodigiously successful trapper, he fell in love with an Iroquois woman named Anahareo. One day the two of them came upon a female beaver who had been killed in one of Grey Owl’s traps. They were about to leave with the fur when two small heads appeared above the water. At Anahareo’s urging, Grey Owl rescued the little beavers, whose mother had been killed in his trap, and took them home. Getting to know these two little beaver kittens was such a powerful experience for the great trapper that he never trapped animals again. He wrote movingly of:

“…their almost childlike intimacies and murmurings of affection, their rollicking good fellowship with not only each other but ourselves, their keen awareness, their air of knowing what it was all about. They seemed like little folk from some other planet, whose language we could not quite understand. To kill such creatures seemed monstrous. I would do no more of it.”

Story is from “Diet for A New America”, an inspiring book by author John Robbins, promoting a cruelty free way of life for the physical, environmental, social and spiritual well being of Mother Earth and all of her children. Visit for more on the work of John Robbins