Wednesday, December 31, 1997

New Internationalist article on Anthony Marr


New Internationalist magazine

Biodiversity Threat:
The traffic in endangered species for their skins,
organs, horns or as exotic pets is putting some of the
world's most vulnerable wildlife in dire peril.

Anthony Marr

Bad medicine

Ross Crockford

tells the story of a man who has stepped on toes
from Campbell River to Hong Kong to stop a pernicious trade


Anthony Marr knows what it feels like to be endangered. Last summer the Vancouver environmentalist was touring small towns in British Columbia, gathering signatures to force a referendum outlawing the hunting of bears in this Canadian province. Often the reception he got was downright hostile. Many people in the countryside claimed he was trying to destroy their livelihood and their heritage. ‘In Campbell River,’ recalls Marr, ‘a hunter pointed at me and said: “I saw you on TV this morning. The price on your head just went up $10,000.”’

Pretty frightening, but Marr has heard similar threats before, and often made in defence of a culture that is much, much older. Marr’s referendum drive was part of a larger, ongoing campaign (acronymed as BET’R) he has been running since November 1995 to stop the worldwide slaughter of bears, elephants, tigers and rhinos – big-game animals whose body parts are frequently used in traditional Chinese medicine. Marr is convinced that as Asia prospers and trade becomes further deregulated the demand for these animal parts will skyrocket.

Fortunately he’s in a position to do something about it. Since he was born in China and raised in Hong Kong, Marr figures he’s entitled to criticize things he grew up with that strike him as mere superstition. One is the belief that consuming part of a powerful animal gives strength to a corresponding part of your body. ‘When I was a kid my parents would give me things like bear gall and tiger bone as if it was aspirin,’ says Marr, who’s now 52. ‘Endangered species wasn’t part of my vocabulary at all.’

Consequently Marr spends much of his time speaking at Vancouver schools with large numbers of Chinese students, many of whom are hearing about the problem for the first time. He also speaks on Chinese-language radio talk shows. Sometimes listeners accuse him of defaming the Chinese reputation. Marr replies that, on the contrary, he is trying to save it: if we drive a species to extinction, he says, we can never regain respect in the eyes of the world.

‘A white person saying these kinds of things might be called a racist,’ says Marr. ‘But when a Chinese person is pointing the finger at Chinese culture, it’s more like self-examination.’

If public education is the long-term ‘yin’ of the BET’R campaign, the aggressive ‘yang’ is law enforcement. Until recently it was common to find rhino-hide and tiger-bone pills on the shelves of apothecaries in Vancouver’s Chinatown, and many did a brisk trade in gall bladders taken from bears poached in British Columbia and smuggled by individuals to Asia to sell for as much as $18,000 apiece. After a report by the Washington DC-based Investigative Network revealed the extent of the problem (one dealer offered a discount for 50 galls or more), law officers raided six businesses and seized 191 bear galls. Citing cases like this, Marr persuaded the Canadian Government to proclaim a Wildlife Trade Act, with penalties for traffickers of up to $150,000 in fines and five years in prison.

‘Chinese people are very pragmatic,’ says Marr. ‘They do things to produce results. They will abide by the law if the law comes down on them. Besides, if I work on the law I can affect all of the stores instead of just one of them.’

Not content to stop there, Marr then began the drive for a referendum to outlaw all bear hunting in British Columbia. Though the North American black-bear population is considered ‘healthy’ and the grizzly is classified as ‘threatened’, Marr argues that instituting such a ban when both species are endangered will be too late.

Hunters replied with death threats and racial insults, and obstructed and photographed people who wanted to sign Marr’s petition. In the end his volunteers managed to collect over 90,000 signatures – half of what was needed to force a referendum, but enough to argue convincingly that many wanted bear hunting stopped. Marr called on the provincial government to set aside more wildlife reserves, increase the penalties for poaching and ban the spring hunt, when most poaching occurs.

Now Marr is taking his BET’R campaign around the world. He plans to speak in several North American cities with large Chinese communities and after that in several Chinese-speaking capitals of the Pacific Rim. ‘There have been many articles crying for help, saying that what is needed is a person of Chinese extraction to tackle this problem,’ he says. ‘So here I am.’

Marr knows there will be some risk; organized crime is directly involved in the six-billion-dollar annual trade in endangered species, and it’s certain those involved will threaten him if they they think he’s jeopardizing their business. But after tangling with British Columbia’s hunters, he should be ready.

Ross Crockford is a freelance journalist working out of Vancouver.

©Copyright: New Internationalist 1997

Tuesday, December 30, 1997

1995-1997 newspaper articles on Anthony Marr's tiger work

1995-12-02-6 The Vancouver Sun by Nicholas Read

[Animal parts for sale, and it’s legal]

"…‘The Chinese awareness is really not there," Marr says. "Maybe the only person you saw in Chinatown today who knows or cares about the plight of the tiger was me.’…"

1996-01-08-1 Times Colonist, Victoria by Malcolm Curtis

[Tiger, tiger, put it right]

"… ‘If major endangered species of the world – bear, elephant, tiger, rhino – become extinct as a result of Chinese demand for their body parts, I would consider that a very serious crime against nature," Marr said in an interview…"

1997-02-13-4 The Vancouver Sun by Anthony Marr

[Tiger, tiger, burning…out?]

"… If we commit to Gaia our heart and soul, our children may just see a new world emerge, one more compassionate than ever before, perhaps one destined for the stars."

1997-03-19 The Hindu, Delhi, India

[In aid of the vanishing Bengal Tiger]

"Finally, the BET’R Campaign to save bears, elephants, tigers and rhinos has entered India as well…"

1997-05-08 The Georgia Straight, Vancouver by Roland Goetz

[Save tigers rather than saving feelings]

"… According to the article ([Bloody Superstition] - April 14), Garry Grigg of the Canadian Wildlife Service says, ‘We don’t want to be too heavy. We have got too many new Canadians here, and it takes a while to assimilate. We’re dealing with something that is thousands of years old.’

"My question is, would we allow other cultural practices, such as incest, clitoral mutilation, bestiality, or polygamy, to be imported into Canada?…

"… to save some feelings, we (may be allowing) a magnificent species to be destroyed."


Korea Leads Illegal Trade in Bear Parts


In a report released this week, an international coalition of wildlife organisations, including the London-based World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), expose South Korea92s leading role in the illegal trade in bear parts. The report , "Killed for Korea" concludes that "South Korea and Korean people abroad represent the bear92s worst enemy after habitat loss."

Undercover film recently taken by animal campaigners shows Korean-sponsored bear poaching and gallbladder smuggling on an international scale as well as the killing of endangered bears for South Korean restaurant-goers.

The bears are desired for bear paw soup, a highly prized delicacy in South Korea. Diners will pay in excess of US$1,000 for a bowl of bear paw soup.

WSPA, together with the Korean Federation for the Environment Movement (KFEM), Humane Society of the US/Humane Society International (HSUS/HSI) and the Global Survival Network (GSN), is lobbying the US government to sanction South Korea over the illegal trade in bear parts. The organisations, with a total membership of over four million people worldwide, are considering an international boycott campaign of Korean goods, if their current approaches to Korean authorities are unsuccessful.

Andrew Dickson, WSPA chief executive, said, "Consumption of bear parts is a national disgrace for South Korea. We are trying to persuade the Korean authorities to stop this illegal trade which is pushing Asian bears towards extinction."

WSPA92s campaign is being backed by the Korean Federation for the Environment Movement (KFEM). Kwon Heanyol, spokesperson for KFEM said, "This outdated practice is a slur on our national reputation. It makes us look cruel and barbaric. Herbal, synthetic and Western alternatives exist for bear gallbladder. Why can92t all Koreans use these instead of continuing to torture and slaughter bears?"

Anthony Marr, organizer of Bears, Elephants, Tigers, Rhinos (BETR), a conservation group based in Vancouver, British Columbia confirms that South Korea is the world's leading consumer of bear parts.

Marr says, "South Koreans sometimes import black bears on the pretext of using them for zoo exhibits, then they have them killed in front of restaurant customers to prove authenticity and freshness."

Marr says he has read reports of caged bears lowered live onto hot coals to have their paws cooked. This procedure is supposed to guarantee freshness, authenticity and entertainment for the customer.

Marr has a video showing a 1989 restaurant menu from the posh Hilton hotel in Seoul offering "bear palm soup. Price - current."

Bear paws are considered a delicacy, not a medicinal, but bear gall bladders are prized for their medicinal effect.

The powdered bile taken from the bear galls has a whole range of uses, primarily for digestive healing and intestinal illnesses including parasites and bacterial infections. The powdered bile is used as an anti-spasmodic, a pain-killer, tranquillizer, an anti-allergenic, and a cough remedy. It is also considered to be a general purpose body tuning tonic. Bear bile is even said to restore a liver damaged by overdrinking.

Unlike tiger bones and rhino horns which have no real medicinal value, bear galls do contain ursodeoxycolic acid which does have a medicinal effect. This acid was patented as a synthetic in Japan in the 1930s. Today, 150 tons are used annually worldwide.

There are seven species of bears in the world, excluding the panda and koala, which are not considered to be true bears. Three bear species are endangered, particularly the Asiatic black bear, which used to be the main source of galls. The Asiatic black bear is now almost completely wiped out in China and Korea.

To meet the demand from Korea and other Asian countries, poachers have been taking bears from Russia and North America. Marr says poaching is "huge" in North America. Poachers have been caught in British Columbia recently, but provincial laws have no teeth, as the indigenous bears are not yet listed as endangered.

The penalty is very light when poachers are caught in B.C. Marr says, "Someone recently caught with 90 galls, which would easily sell for US$250,000 thousand in Korea, was fined $3,500 bucks, not even the price of one gall in Korea. For every batch of poached bear parts discovered by law enforcement officers, 49 get away. Customs officials estimate they can check only 2-3% of what goes out of Canada."

Marr estimates that between 20,000 and 40,000 bears are poached in Canada yearly. Legal trophy hunting kills 22,000 more.

In London, the WSPA is offering broadcast quality undercover footage showing the killing of endangered bears for South Korean diners and the farming of bears in China, some of which are destined for the Korean market

(From the Environment News Service:

1997-07-08 The Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa, Ontario by Finbar O’Reilly

[Animal activist targets Chinatown]

"… One Ottawa professor of traditional Chinese medicine, who asked not to be identified, said she abides by Canada’s laws banning the sale of tiger and bear parts, but that doesn’t mean she agrees with them.

"‘How come you have to protect the tiger, but not the cow?’ she asked. ‘I am a doctor. I want to treat people. If you care more about human than animal (sic), then why not use animal parts for safety?’…

"Mr. Marr, who plans a visit to the Chinatowns of both Toronto and Ottawa (to demonstrate that the new law) is not being properly enforced…"

1997-07-11 The Toronto Sun by Tom Godfrey

[Tiger goods on shelf]

"… Toronto has become a hotbed for the sale of animal parts, including penises… said Anthony Marr…

"Marr said within an hour he was able to buy processed medicines containing or claiming to contain tiger bone, seal penis, deer penis…"

1997-07-15 The Globe and Mail, national by Michael Valpy

[The trade in seal and tiger parts]

"This is a Canadian story. Anthony Marr, a Chinese Canadian who lives in Vancouver, is sitting in a Toronto hotel restaurant waiting for a television crew.

"When the crew arrives, he will take its members to Toronto's Chinese community’s downtown commercial district on Spadina Avenue. Here they will wire him with a microphone and film him buying illegal tiger bone pills and legal, regrettably, seal penis pills…

"Mr. Marr, an intense man, says he has been embarrassed by all these practices…"

1997-10-01-3 News Leader, Burnaby, BC

[Gilmore students join efforts to "Save-the-Tiger"]

"… ‘Unless a huge conservation effort ignites now, the tiger will be extinct in the wild by the year 2004…’ said Anthony Marr… who gives the slideshows to the schools. ‘Some adults say, "How many tiger are there in Canada? Why should we be bothered? Go ask the kids.’…"

1997-10-04-6 The Peace Arch News, Surrey, BC by Tracy Holmes

[Care for the cats]

"Save the tiger.

"That was the message students of Peace Arch Elementary received at a presentation by… Anthony Marr…

"Under the watchful eyes of a 50-foot inflatable tiger, the kids learned the only 4,000 tigers remain in the wild, and that some subspecies totaled less than the number of students in the gym.

"But, ‘I do not believe the tiger is doomed,’ Anthony Marr told the kids. ‘The reason I believe this is because nobody has ever asked kids like you to help out. If we can get kids around the world to say, ‘I want to save the tiger’, I believe the tiger will be saved.’…

"He also asked them to come to the Save-the-Tiger Walk at Stanley Park Oct. 18."

1997-10-08-3 The Vancouver Courier by Gudrun Will

[Students take tiger by the tail]

"High school environmental club rallies behind animal activist.

"An auditorium full of Kitsilano high school students roared in appreciation…

"Inspiring youth, Marr believes, is the only hope to save the rapidly diminished species…"

1997-10-16 The Westender, Vancouver

[Halloween fun, Tiger Walk set]

"… The WCWC has organized Save-the-Tiger Walk ’97…"

1997-10-19-7 The Province, Vancouver

[Walking for wildlife]

"Hundreds of concerned people took part in the ‘Save-the-Tiger Walk’ in Vancouver’s Stanley Park yesterday. They were walking to raise money to protect the dwindling number of tigers left in the wild."

1997-10-19-7 Ming Pao Daily News (Chinese), global

[1,000 people walk to save 4,000 tigers]

"WCWC’s Save-the-Tiger Walk attracted over 1,000 children and their teachers and parents, and raised $20,000…"

1997-10-29-3 The Comox Valley Echo by Diane Radmore

[Service to remember animals]

"Animal lovers of all kinds are invited to come hear guest speakers and attend an outdoor gathering called In Remembrance of the Animals at noon Saturday, November 1, at the Sid Williams Foundation in downtown Courtenay…

"… Anthony Marr, initiator of the worldwide BET’R Campaign… will also be in attendance…"

1997-10-31-5 The Comox Valley Record by Diane Radmore

[Vigil for lost wildlife]

"Local activists to speak at downtown rally tomorrow…

"… Since last year’s referendum on bear hunting in BC campaign, Marr has been to India on behalf of the dwindling tiger population and was a guest speaker at last week’s International Fund for Animal Welfare Conference concerning the East Coast seal hunt…"

Thursday, April 24, 1997

Bloody Superstition and New Cosmology

1997-04-24 The Georgia Straight magazine, Vancouver, BC, Canada
by Shawn Blore

Pessimist give the world's tigers 5 years. Realists, 10.

They're the kind of numbers that make you want to quietly despair, to give up, to flip the channel and think about something more pleasant. Melrose Place maybe, or Roseanne. Anthony Marr, however, whether from a sense of conceit, ignorance, or a staggering sense of confidence, saw nothing impossible in the task of bringing the tiger back from the brink...

... To highlight the extent of Vancouver's tiger trade, Marr kicked off a media blitz in January 1996. Local journalists were invited on an endangered species tour through Chinatown's apothecaries. The tour began in the low-ceilinged warren that serves as Western Canada Wilderness Committee's headquarters. Marr upended his briefcase, spilling out 15-20 boxes of Chinese patent medicines: tiger plasters, tiger pills, tiger-based medicaments for rheumatism, tired blood, soft bones, and sexual impotence, all of them purchased in shops in Vancouver's Chinatown. Pointing to the ingredients lists on the diverse packages, Marr picked out the symbols, words, and phrases that in Latin, English and Chinese spelled out “tiger bone”.

The next part of the tour was a trip along Pender, Main and Keefer Streets, with Marr indicating here and there the shops and apothecaries dealing in tiger medicinals and inviting journalists to go in and check the shelves for themselves. Six shops out of 10 stocked a variety of boxes, cartons and bottles labeled with some variation of the word Os Tigris - tiger bone.

The media loved it. Marr made it on to TV news both locally and nationally, and stories appeared in city magazines and community papers. He used his pulpit to heap scorn upon Canadian wildlife regulations. “Canada's wildlife laws could use an aphrodisiac,' Marr said, “because right now, they're totally impotent.” He was equally hard-hitting in his presentations to Chinese community groups and at Eastside Vancouver high schools. Traditional Chinese medicine's use of parts of animals like tigers and rhinos, Marr said, and the cutting of many urban trees for that matter, were based on nothing but pure superstition. That superstition was destroying a magnificent species. The fact that the practice was tolerated by the Chinese-Canadian community only blackened their reputation in mainstream Canadian society.

Environmentalists heaved a sigh of relief. Here was someone tackling a problem they had long known about but dared not touch. “It's great that it's a Chinese person doing the work he's doing.” said Nathalie Chalifour, World Wildlife Fund Canada's tiger expert, “because when it's a person like me doing it, well, I'm white; I'm more likely to be accused to being racist, which is really unfortunate, but it does happen.”

Vancouver's Chinese media were as quick to jump on the story as their English counterparts. Marr's campaign was covered by both the Ming Pao and the Sing Tao newspapers, and he appeared on several Chinese language radio programs. According to Ming Pao columnist and CJVB radio host Gabriel Yiu, the Chinese community's reaction to Marr's campaign was mixed. His straight talk on superstition did offend some, but there was also those who took pride in the fact that a Chinese Canadian was working on environmental concerns. “For a long period of time when people are talking about monster homes, tree cutting, killing wild animals for some of their body parts,” Yiu said, “people do have the impression that the Chinese community is the cause of that. I think the work Anthony did set a very good example that we do have people in the Chinese community who are concerned about these issues.”...

According to Vancouver city councilor Don Lee, Marr's effectiveness was limited... “I don't know Anthony Marr that well. The Chinese Community doesn't know him well at all,” Lee said. “We don't know where he comes from. We don't know why he's doing all this.” As it turns out, those are two of the most interesting questions that could be asked about Anthony Marr.

Born in February 1944, in southern China, Anthony Seeu-Sung Marr fled to Hong Kong along with the rest of his family shortly after the Communist revolution. Family legend has Marr's father burning the deeds of the family's extensive land-holdings for a moment's warmth during the first refugee winter...

(In 1965), Marr came to Canada to study science at the University of Manitoba... At the same time, his relationship with a Hong Kong girl fell to bits when she dropped him on orders from her parents. Marr has never forgiven Chinese culture for the snub. “As a result of that incident, I have never dated a Chinese girl again,” Marr said. It's a decision that isolated him somewhat from the Chinese community, but, according to Marr, it also allowed him to integrate more fully into Canadian society than other Chinese immigrants of his generation.

In 1966, Marr switched over to the physics department of the University of British Columbia. His summers he spent in the bush in northern Manitoba and British Columbia, working as a geologist's assistant. It was work that can only be idealized by someone who has never done it. Marr said, “The student is the geologist's personal servant - more like slave, considering the pay, which was only $280 per month. I made and carried his lunch, and every few feet, the geologist would pick up a rock sample about twice the size of my fist and drop it into my knapsack. I had to carry that ever-heavier thing all day, wading into swamps that would sometimes come up to my chest or higher. Your shirt would be black with flies and mosquitoes. There could be a bear behind every tree. It was brutal, but also absolutely beautiful. And this was how I bonded with nature.”

After he graduated with a B.Sc. in 1970, Marr took a job as a live-in house-father for emotionally disturbed kids, then a career in real estate. He said he had a heavy student loan to pay off. One senses he also had a need to gain acceptance among the Vancouver business community. “I made rookie of the year, then Gold Club, Diamond Club, all that,” Marr said. “I bought a couple of horses - hunters-jumpers - and got involved with the high social elite you see down in Southlands.” Snap shots from the time show a short-haired Marr in boots and riding breeches, sitting atop a bay Thoroughbred gelding.

The real estate phased continued for several years. Marr bought a small acreage in the suburbs. He dated but never married. “The work first became routine, then boring, then irksome, then unbearable. I was still good at it, but the initial challenge was gone,” he said.

About this time, things took a strange turn. Whether from boredom, a need to be alone, or perhaps simple a desire to see the sights, he left his job and set off on a solo journey in East Africa, primarily in the Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge region of Tanzania. At some point during that three month sojourn, something happened that changed the whole focus of Marr's life. “If you want to be dramatic, you could say it came to me all at once in a blinding flash while I was camping on the savannah, but really, it developed very gradually.” What Marr was catching sight of was a completely new philosophical system, one that in Marr's view is comprehensive enough to explain the organization and development of life, society and the Cosmos itself.

The full tenet of this system came to him in dribs and drabs over a period of many months during and after his return. Marr collected each of these thoughts on a file card - more than 1,000 of them by the end - and worked at ordering, arranging, and reordering them, trying to assemble his thoughts into a coherent whole. The process took years. Marr's live-in girlfriend walked out. “I really shouldn't be living with someone at that point," Marr said. “I had to have my own room. I had to have a ‘DO NOT DISTURB’ sign on the door, and if anybody as much as knocked, my tenuous mental construct would fall down like a house of cards.” The net result of his shuffling and reshuffling, typing and retyping, was a manuscript more than 800 pages in length, describing a new and comprehensive philosophical and phenomenological system. Marr christened it OMNI-SCIENCE....

At first glance, OMNI-SCIENCE bears some resemblance to the ideas of the Jesuit philosopher-scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Both suggest that the development of humanity must logically proceed in a converging upward spiral, which Marr calls Integrative Transcendence, towards ever-superior levels of organization and unity. Marr, however, is quick to point out how his system differs from those of other western philosophers. “No philosophical or religious system I’ve encountered is cosmic enough,” said Marr. “They're too anthropocentric, too narrowly focused.” Marr's system purportedly incorporates everything - inorganic and organic - throughout the Universe, from the Big Bang to whatever end, all participating in the multi-levelled Integrative Transcendence spiral towards universal life and consciousness.

Hogwash? Possibly. Even Marr himself had doubts (about the acceptability of his system in the eyes of high academia). In the late 80s, Marr tossed both manuscript and portable type-writer into his little green Toyota Celica and set off down the West Coast to test his system with the best academic minds he could find. One of the stops was the University of California at Berkeley, and another was Stanford. “This was when my sales training paid off. When I got to town, the first thing I'd do was find a course catalog and look up the professors who were teaching the courses I liked. Back in my hotel room, I'd crank out a dozen or so letters. ‘Dear Prof. so and so, I have a matter of philosophical interest that I'd like to discuss with you. The time required would be about two hours...’ Then I'd go back to campus and put the letters into the professors’ cubbyholes. The next day, I'd call and ask for an appointment. We'd talk for two hours, and at the end, I'd ask for a letter of critique.”

The good professors' reactions to this approach can be discerned from the letter written by William Kimbel, president of the Institute of Human Origins at Berkeley: “Owing to the large number of half-baked theories on cosmology currently in circulation, I admit that I faced the prospect of my meeting with Mr. Marr with some trepidation. From the outset, however, it was clear that Mr. Marr is no amateur populariser. On the contrary, he is a dedicated scholar whose theories, I believe, make a profound contribution to the fundamental definition of humankind in relation to the broader universe… implications of great depth and breadth for the future course of human actions… too important to ignore.”

Marr received similarly effusive letters from other professors at Berkeley, Stanford, and the Universities of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia...

Heady stuff. Yet, more than a decade later, the manuscript remains unpublished. Professor Braxton Alfred of Anthropology, UBC, said he even offered to help find a publisher, but Marr said his manuscript was not yet ready for publication. He did leave a copy of the then manuscript behind after his presentation, but due to professional pressures, Alfred didn't get around to looking at it until recently. Reading it now, Alfred said, only increases his respect for Marr. It also sheds light on what it was that set him on his current crusade.

“The presentation he gave me was hard science, very thoroughly presented. He was right on the numbers with everything in the presentation. I presumed likewise in these documents,” Alfred said, referring to the OMNI-SCIENCE manuscript, “but these are quite a different thing. That man had a revelation in Africa. There's no other way to characterize it. It's clear that he was experiencing some sort of emotional trauma, and something touched him, and what these documents record are the revealed truth of that contact.”

According to the manuscript, Alfred said, Marr had reached a crisis and was sitting in the snows of Kilimanjaro, pointing a gun at his head.

Then, as stated in Marr's text: “The sun went down, the moon came up, and more than my hand had begun trembling. It was then that this mysterious source of wisdom address me for the first time: ‘I am seeking a miracle worker, to work a miracle upon this Earth, on my behalf. Since you seem to have no further use of this body of yours, which seems to be in prime condition, will you surrender it to me?’”
“That's when the entity, or whatever it is, first made contact with him,” Alfred said, “but, apparently, the contact continues. It seems that there is no end to it. I would not be surprised if he has conversations with this entity still.”

Having read the manuscript, Alfred said he is no longer puzzled by Marr's decision to turn away from the task of perfecting his book to work on behalf of endangered species. “It was in Africa that this naturism force first came to the fore...” The manuscript also gives some indication of the source of Marr's willingness to take on seemingly hopeless causes. “He clearly came to a crisis point in his life,” Alfred said, “and the heavens opened up and truth was revealed, and he's been going strong eversince.”

Wherever his confidence came stems from, when the “‘19th-century scholar' decided to prove himself as an environmental saviour, he displayed a thoroughly 19th century sense of ambition...
… Although some conservationists predict the tiger will be extinct in five years, Anthony Marr is convinced he can reverse the prophecy…
… China imported the equivalent of 400 grown tigers and exported 27 million tiger derivative products from 1990 to 1993… About 39,000 individual tiger containing products were seized in BC in 1996, including everything from medicinals to tiger claws…

A Vancouver branch of Asian Conservation Awareness Program is planning to begin an ad blitz this June, timed to coincide with the dragon-boat festival. Ironically, Marr will likely not be invited to participate. According to ACAP's Vancouver organizer Ling Zheng, Marr's confrontational style doesn't fit in with ACAP's approach, which hinges on establishing partnerships with the Chinese community groups and obtaining sponsorship from prominent corporations. “We're trying to reach out to the Chinese community, so we try not to use his name,” Zheng said. “If we mention Anthony Marr, I will probably not get any help from organizations like SUCCESS or the Chinese Cultural Centre. He can be quite harsh towards certain Chinese people, and I've even heard that in the Chinese community he's considered like a traitor.”

Whether that’s true or not, Marr has shifted his efforts from reducing consumption into preserving tiger habitat. With the aid of a $75,000 grant from the Canadian International Development Agency, Marr has gone to India to work towards protecting two Indian tiger reserves from encroachment and poaching by local villagers. The plan is to take a traveling multi-media show to villages around the tiger reserves and convince the villagers that the tiger is worth more to them alive than dead.

“Do you think these women enjoy walking five miles every day into the bush to collect a bunch of twigs and carry it back to the village on top of their heads? They do it because they have no choice,” Marr said. “If we give them a choice and say, Look, we’re going to develop ecotourism, we’re going to organize tourist groups to come to your village, and maybe you can develop some native products to sell to them… Wouldn’t you rather stay at home and weave baskets with your kids than walk five miles to haul water?” Other conservationists from other groups have made these arguments before, often with little success, but with characteristic confidence, Marr is convinced he will succeed.