Make no mistake, I love wolves as much as just about anyone; yet some people practically worship them, putting them above any other species except perhaps whales and dolphins. To be sure, wolves are sacred, but there are folks who think of them as hyper-sentient—the great Northern furred land-dolphin, if you will.
I’m not for a minute denying wolves’ intelligence or adherence to an almost human-like social caste system, but I can’t get behind campaign slogans such as “Real hunters don’t hunt wolves.” I call bullshit on that. Real hunters hunt wolves, coyotes, elk, deer, prairie dogs, pigeons, pronghorn, bears, cougars, raccoons— anything and everything that moves or has ever moved. Hell, they’d probably hunt whales and dolphins if it weren’t for the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. Most hunters just want a target and a trophy, they don’t really care what species it is.
Granted, some hunters are more sadistic than others, just as some serial killers revel in their victims’ suffering, while others dispatch their prey as quickly as possible—they’re only interest: harvesting a trophy corpse to have around, for whatever morbid reason. The most sadistic hunters are probably fueled by the fact that there are people out there who adore wolves while state laws still consider delisted wolves “property” like every other non-human animal.
Serial killers have been known to derive sick pleasure from taunting the families of their victims, calling them from prison to recount their murders. The same kind of thing likely goes on in the minds of sadistic wolf hunters who boast and post photos of their kills, knowing that some sentimental environmentalist or animal rightsists might come across one and be hurt or outraged by it. They’d love to know that one of us broke down, burned out or resorted to lethal action because of their post (as long as they weren’t on the receiving end of the action).
The wolf situation is unique among modern-day animal atrocities, in that it’s as yet perfectly “legal” for hunters and trappers to film themselves in action. In sharing them online, they’re banking on the fact that the general public is unmoved and apathetic. But I’d like to think that if factory farmers readily shared footage of their routine acts of animal abuse online, there would be a lot more vegans in this world.
For now, the only way anti-wolf sadists can be stopped is by eliminating them from the world of the living. But if you happen to reside in one of those backward states that have yet to implement a death penalty for wolf hunting, the best advice is to just ignore them like you would the taunts of any other bully. Meanwhile, keep petitioning Facebook and other social media outlets where their death porn appears. As long as animals, including wolves, are seen only as “property” by the powers that be, the people who run Facebook will feel entitled to allow anti-wolf evil to be spread throughout their pages and posts.
Eventually common decency will prevail and violent anti-wolf/anti-animal sites will come under serious scrutiny, just as misogynistic sites recently have. We need to step up the pressure on Facebook and let them know that freedom of speech does not give one the right to victimize. Be sure to sign this petition and pass it on: http://www.change.org/petitions/facebook-executives-ban-sadistic-pages-of-wildlife-torture
Meanwhile, let’s fight for the rights and personhood of all animals, not just a chosen few.
Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved