In Farley Mowat's words: 'The truth is what is important'
David Suzuki (left) and Farley Mowat speak at a news conference in Toronto in this 1988 file photo. (Bill Becker / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Katherine DeClerq, Special to CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, May 7, 2014 3:30PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 7, 2014 4:44PM EDT
Farley Mowat, a renowned Canadian author and well-known environmentalist, was often criticized for his lack of candour. Much of his work he considered to be “subjective non-fiction.”)
In the words he wrote and the interviews he gave, Mowat would often remind us that he had a voice and it deserved to be heard.
Here are some of the more well-known, sometimes controversial quotes from Mowat’s long and colourful life:
“Without a function, we cease to be. So, I will write till I die.”
“I never let facts get in the way of a good story.”
“F--k the facts. The truth is what is important.” (International Festival of Authors in Toronto,1999)
"I probably know between 50-100 young writers, who I am horribly afraid are my equals or my betters, who literally cannot find a way to make a living in this country. There is no way that they can get started. They are blocked at almost every single portal, and when I think of the possibility that they won’t become writers, that they will become something else because they have to survive, I am appalled by what the future holds for us. We will have no culture, no consciousness, we won’t be Canadians at all." (Canadian Author's Union, 1971)
On wildlife protection
“Whenever and wherever men have engaged in the mindless slaughter of animals (including other men), they have often attempted to justify their acts by attributing the most vicious or revolting qualities to those they would destroy; and the less reason there is for the slaughter, the greater the campaign for vilification. ”
“It is to this new-found resolution to reassert our indivisibility with life, to recognize the obligations incumbent upon us as the most powerful and deadly species ever to exist, and to begin making amends for the havoc we have wrought, that my own hopes for a revival and continuance of life on earth now turn. If we persevere in this new way we may succeed in making man humane … at last.”
On northern sovereignty
"Sovereignty in the North? It is to laugh. You know, Trudeau can sit up there making his little fancy-pants answers about Canadian sovereignty. He knows he's kidding. He just hopes to God that we won’t find out he's kidding. But he is." (W5 Interview, 1969)
On being denied entry into the U.S.
“When they are prepared to come to me and make an apology for this, then I will consider--I’ll just barely consider the possibility--that I may at some future time enter their country. But I’m not very keen on the idea."
On society in general
“Inaction will cause a man to sink into the slough of despond and vanish without a trace.”
"We're under some gross misconception that we're a good species, going somewhere important, and that at the last minute we'll correct our errors and God will smile on us. It's delusion."
"We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be -- the mythological epitome of a savage, ruthless killer -- which is, in reality, no more than the reflected image of ourself." (Never Cry Wolf)
"You never know when the devil might come calling."