There’s been a lot of talk about tolerance these days, but sometimes it seems only the Left side really takes the concept of peaceful acceptance to heart. Fair-minded folk are encouraged to politely tolerate each other’s differences in order to get along. But lately the anti-wolf faction has hijacked the word to justify the killing of wolves.
For example, ten Washington state legislators recently urged their Fish and Wildlife Commission to enact a policy of allowing the unpermitted killing of wolves, “to maintain social tolerance for gray wolves in northeast Washington.” And a wolf-hunter/wildlife snuff film producer told NPR News, “Having these [wolf] hunting seasons has provided a level of tolerance again.” Sorry, but I just don’t see how killing wolves promotes tolerance for them; sounds more like enmity than tolerance.
The only way I can relate is from a converse perspective: doing away with a few wolf hunters might provide some level of tolerance for them.
Still, tolerance should not be just a catchall catchword to be bandied about whenever the mood strikes—some things don’t deserve to be tolerated. No caring person should be expected to tolerate the mistreatment of others. Anyone with a sense of right and wrong should eventually come to the conclusion that intolerance is sometimes the only humane stance to take.
Intolerant is what Japanese whalers label anti-whaling groups or non-whaling nations when they question the “right” to harpoon and butcher whales or trap and slaughter dolphins. South Koreans, who literally torture dogs to death and boil cats alive in the belief that doing so makes them taste better or improves their medicinal value, call humane activists intolerant when they oppose those barbarous customs. And European and American producers of foie gras scream cultural intolerance when animal advocates work to end the bizarre practice of shoving a pipe down the throats of geese and force feeding them until their livers swell or their stomachs burst, whichever comes first.
Meanwhile hunters and trappers expect us to tolerate the torment they unleash on wolves and other wildlife. Members of a civilized society should not hesitate to take a stand against cruelty to other sentient beings—who are fully capable of suffering—in the same way they oppose cruelty to human victims.
This post includes an excerpt for the book, Exposing the Big Game; Living Targets of a Dying Sport.