Everyone knows the grizzly bear diet consists of meat, fish, and more meat, right? Maybe not.
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard y ou sue in nudging is the standard by which you will be judged.Matthew 7:1-2
The Grizzly Bear Diet in the Spring
“Pull over,” I said. “It looks like a bear jam.”
Pedro pulled the van over behind a line of cars in Yellowstone National Park. We crossed the road where a ranger kept a wary eye on the crowd of tourists and photographers gazing out at an open field.
“Do you see anything?” Pedro asked.
“It looks like a grizzly,” I said.
“We’ve been watching him for over an hour,” a nearby bystander chimed in. “He’s plowed up that field better’n my tractor.”
I looked through my telephoto lens, and sure enough, the grizzly ignored the spectators and steadfastly dug into the soft dirt with his huge paws and long claws.
“What’s it looking for?” Pedro wondered.
“Probably gophers,” the bystander answered.
We watched and took photos for thirty minutes before a light spring rain sent us back to our van. The grizzly’s behavior confirmed all I thought I knew about bears. As soon as they emerge from their dens, they start hunting meat.
I Was Shocked to Find Out Grizzlies Eat Flowers, Too!
Fifteen years later, I pulled over in my Prius along the highway leading to Atlin Lake in British Columbia. I hadn’t seen another vehicle for over an hour. The trees sported tiny green leaves, and the spring air held a bit of a chill. Two yearling grizzly bears sauntered across an open field.
I rolled my window down and leaned over to frame a photo. After a few minutes, I caught my breath as they approached my car from behind. I couldn’t decide if I should roll up my window or just keep quiet and see what happened.
The bears paused in a patch of dandelions next to the road and started ripping the flowers out of the soft earth. Wait! They ate dandelions? I rolled the window up most of the way and stuck my phone out the window to record the phenomena.
For the next hour, I watched the grizzlies as they ate dandelions and the buds on bushes. They sat and scratched, rolled around, and acted like a couple of puppies. At one point, they wandered into the woods, where I could just see a small pond. They splashed around before emerging and looking for more dandelions.
At no point did they dig up the earth in a frenzy to find food. Maybe I had read too many accounts of grizzly maulings. (Note to self, don’t read Night of the Grizzlies while camping in a National Park known for its grizzlies).
Maybe I needed to forget the media hype and learn more about the grizzly bear diet (and behavior). What I found surprised me. Grizzlies are omnivores—they eat plants, animals, and insects. In fact, 90% of a grizzly bear’s diet consists of the same things vegetarians eat—berries, roots, nuts, and plants.
Above All, Grizzlies Are Wild Animals
Grizzly bears aren’t all killers, although some grizzlies have killed people. And a grizzly bear diet doesn’t consist of just meat—they enjoy their veggies and flowers, too. We need to have a healthy respect for them and learn to live together in peace.
People are just people, too. They may look different from me and sin differently than me, but God loves each of us the same. We must avoid making assumptions about people based on limited interactions or rumors. If we cultivate a healthy respect for other human beings, maybe we’ll find it easier to live together in peace.
Father God, help me to avoid stereotypes and cliches. You love us equally, even though we each have unique characteristics. Show me ways to embrace the diversity of those around me. Keep me from judging others.