Never decry wolf: they deserve our protection, not ‘management’

Never decry wolf: they deserve our protection, not 'management' - Cyril Christo Conservation Blog

Never decry wolf: they deserve our protection, not ‘management’


The predators are under assault around the U.S.

PUBLISHED: THE HILL: Changing America by Cyril Christo, Opinion Contributor | Originally published on March 8, 2021

“We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be — the mythologized epitome of a savage ruthless killer — which is, in reality, no more than a reflected image of ourself.” — Farley Mowat

Interesting isn’t it that some of us still think of the wolf as a natural resource, while the wolf goes on its merry way just trying to survive. Farley Mowat in the Canadian Arctic had his results rejected over and over again. His findings? It was not the wolves that caused the sudden drop in deer numbers, but the change in behavior in hunters who were trigger-happy. Their onslaught and greed caused the deer numbers to drop. Surprise. Surprise. Surprise.

It is part of a fringe group that believes that while the wolf has met delisting criteria, it is alright to massacre them. As Mary Midgley, the grand dame of moral philosophy, states in her 1978 masterpiece “Beast and Man,” it is man who demonstrates “excess of savagery.”

In medieval France, the wolf was considered a “cruel beast.” I have in my possession two volumes of the Comte de Buffon’s work, a naturalist who was a major influence on Darwin. He characterized the wolf as “an enemy of all society.”

We have projected our lack of grace, compassion and murderous instincts directly on this predator. The extermination campaigns from the past seems to have been reignited of late. One can only wonder where the prejudice stems from? In the Old Testament, Isaiah dreams of a messianic utopia which involves a future where beasts of prey no longer hunt “innocent, domestic beasts.” “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb” may sound like fiction, but especially so when wolves are now being gunned down at a rate not seen in years.

Let’s admit it. We need a scapegoat for humanity’s wickedness and cruelty. Who better to pick on than wolves?

Having been born in France I can attest to the fact that many Frenchmen are not in love with wolves, wolves that came from Italy or Switzerland in the early 1990s. And the Greeks, Norwegians and Spanish are not all enamored of the wolves either. Hundreds of years ago people thought demons and witches could take the shape of wolves. But they learned to live with them, changing the way they protect and rear their flocks and recognize the diseases the wolves regulate by taking out the weak and the sick. Natural selection. Today Europe has about 12,000 wolves, twice as many as in the United States, but the rabid, ideological hatred of wolves in the U.S. currently under the wolf resource “using” faction of the extreme right is annihilating wildlife left, front and center. The Unconscious Subjugation of Animals. USA. Except that it has become quite deliberate.


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