Thursday, April 17, 2008

This Is Just WRONG ...

I came across this article from USA Today this evening and it really got my hackles up in a big way. Wolves are being "gunned down" ... primarily in Wyoming where 13 of the recently killed 20 wolves lived. These fools actually allow sanctioned wolf hunting year round ... This is just wrong.

Apparently, a government ruling in February just decided that they should no long appear on the endangered species list.**

Here's the lead to give you a taste:
The killing of 20 wolves in the Rockies since the animals lost endangered status is an unprecedented death toll that must be stopped in court, environmentalists say.

"There's a great sense of urgency," says Michael Robinson, a wolf expert at the Center for Biological Diversity, one of several groups that plan to file a lawsuit this month. "The wolf population is being gunned down right now."

Now, go read the rest....

I should, by way of disclosure, say that I've been a defender of the Wolf for many years now, and have been fascinated by them since I was a child. Despite all those stereotypical childhood nightmares, wolves do not (or very rarely) attack humans. They are intelligent, elusive and shy. They are the progenitors of all modern dog breeds. They live in well-defined social structures, displaying an astounding degree of cooperation and attending to the community needs of the pack. I've often wondered if humans' fears of the wolf were founded, at least partially, on the fact that in our collective psyche, wolves subliminally function as a reflection of our own selves. They're just too much like us.

Well, why wouldn't they be? The practice of selective breeding of dogs dates back millennia, but the wolf (in whatever form it had in antiquity) is the prototypical ancestor of all the dog breeds currently in existence. Wolves became our partners, and inevitably, as humans do, we failed them. As much as we've bred most of the true wolf out of the common dog, there's still enough that remains ... fortunately for us. We dog lovers treasure the intelligent companionship and unconditional love of our dogs, but it's too easy to gloss over just how much the ancestor has been bred out of them. As one documentary I saw on National Geographic TV asserted, we've bred them down to be perpetual puppies, children as it were. And precisely in that way, we assert our superior dominance over them ... since we never really let the wolf mature, we're left with a mostly docile (and probably very affectionate) dog who is but a poorly realized hologram of its ancestor. A pale comparison, you might say.

My intent here is not to wring my hands and gnash my teeth at the state of the current dog (no matter which breed), and I've been the proud owner of some remarkable dogs over the years, most currently Queen Pepa (Approximately). I truly love dogs ... and their ancestors even more. We humans probably learned a great deal from the wolves back in the way way back days. But what have we given them in return for the Devil's Bargain they made with us? We've either bred them into creatures of our own design or driven them to the precipice of extinction, more than once.

Enough species are either now extinct or on the brink, just clinging to their ways ... Polar Bears are drowning, seals are losing their habitat in Alaska ... whales are beaching themselves ... the list goes on and on. I have to admit that wolves are a particular species of concern to me, however the larger, global picture has to be taken into consideration. The more we (or that inconvenient climate crisis) drive wildlife from their natural habitats, the more likely we are to eliminate them from the picture entirely. To my mind we cannot even begin to calculate the losses we will eventually maintain (as our own species, should it survive) as the consequence of doing nothing. Stopping the hunting of wolves in Wyoming would be a good start.

** I want to research this more and find out just who was behind this action, particularly because I suspect some possibly aggressive lobbying coming from the state of Wyoming. Hmmm........................

1 comment:

FARfetched said...

I read that headline as the wolf killing environmentalists trying to sound an alarm.

My buddy Powell has some friends with a wolf rescue place out in New Mexico, and volunteers with his local dog rescue/shelter.