People often ask if I get a lot of uninvited remarks from anti-wolf or pro-hunting trolls. The answer is, not as many as you might think. It seems the smart hunters (again, not so many as you might suppose) know better than to waste their time writing to this blog, since any pro-kill comments go straight to the cyber-round file never to reach the light of day. I usually know right away which comments are from hunters; they’re the ones that start off with, “You people are all a bunch of tree huggers…” (Guilty as charged.)
But there are others whose comments also deserve being jettisoned off the cyber-map. I’m talking about those single-minded “wolf people” who blame the cows themselves for the persecution of wolves, as though cows enjoy their lot in life and are part of a grand conspiracy against predators, in league with the very ranchers who brand, dehorn and ultimately slaughter them. These one-note wolf folks should know that not only am I a tree-hugger and a wolf-lover, I’m also a bunny, deer and cow hugger.
In an earlier post, entitled “Animal Industry = Animal Abuse,” I wrote of hearing the cows lowing for their calves. Tonight I’m hearing it again. To me, the sounds they make are every bit as mournful as the howling of wolves, and for good reason. Not only are cows raised just to be killed and eaten by humans, theirs is a lifetime of abuse at the hands of man. Forcibly impregnated, many cows see their calves snatched away just as they start to bond with them. Unlike their wild ancestors, they’re never allowed to freely migrate to wherever conditions are more favorable for them. There are always barbed wire fences, or some bully on horseback or four-wheeler bossing them around or telling them where to go.
Taking it out on the cows (as a psychiatrist in Arizona did when he killed seven cows in his driveway) is like wishing ill on caged elephants because you disagree with zoos or on rabbits because you hate animal experimentation. Slave auctions were repugnant because people were “treated like cattle.” Well, why should any sentient being be bought and sold like chattel? But no abolitionist ever wished harm on the slaves themselves…
The cows didn’t choose to be born in wolf habitat; they’re there because some fourth generation rancher’s forefather killed off the original wolves, claimed the land and stuck cows on it. If you want to blame someone, blame today’s ranchers for continuing the practice.
In other words, pick on someone with your own brain size. Cows know all they need to know to be a cow. A cow will never be born the next Einstein, but by the same token, no cow will ever be the next Hitler, Ted Bundy or Ted Nugent.