If You Love Wolves, Love Elk and Hate Hunting

Wolf advocates have known for a long time now that ranching is the nemesis of all things natural and wild, and that if you want to help the wolves, boycott beef, leather, wool, lamb and mutton. But lately hunters like those in the Idaho trophy elk hunting industry have been out to prove that they are a wolf’s gravest threat.

Not only do certain Idahoans want to run wolves out of lands cleared for ranching, they want to eliminate them from the wilderness as well.

They see public lands, such as the Lolo National Forest and the Frank Church wilderness area, as private breeding grounds for elk specimens they love to kill, and they’re not willing to share those specimens with the likes of wolves.

Some wolf lovers respond with hatred for the cows and sheep themselves, and disregard for deer and elk. But wolves need elk and deer to survive, therefore wolf lovers should also be elk and deer lovers and wilderness advocates. Ultimately, a true wolf lover is not only anti-cattle and sheep ranching, but also anti-deer, moose, caribou and elk hunting.

Wolf advocates who are indifferent to ungulates and accepting of hunting and ranching will never see an end to wolf hunting or “control.”

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Animal Industry = Animal Abuse

The cows at the ranch across the road were lowing mournfully again last night. Possibly because their calves were taken from them and shipped off to slaughter. Or maybe because they are stuck out in a half-flooded field while the tail-end of a typhoon dumps on them for the fourth straight day.

As is typical in this modern era, although his is a very small operation, the rancher has a building for his machinery, but the animals have to endure hypothermic weather conditions. Meanwhile, their “owner” sits inside an electrically-heated house, thinking only about what the blue, glowing boob tube tells him to.

And they call cows “dumb animals.”

I’ve always felt sorry for cows. Dehorned, defenseless and fenced into squared off, undersized pastures by barbed wire; they’re lucky if they can find a scraggly lone tree to take shelter under during winter storms or hot summer days. Domestic cattle in North America are not adapted to the interminably wet or subzero conditions they are expected to endure here.

And don’t even get me started on sheep. Talk about defenseless. Sheep ranchers have seen to it over the centuries that sheep are at their mercy, or the mercy of any other predatory species that comes along for that matter. And if said predator is non-human, the ranchers bring out their guns, traps and poisons to put the hurt on them as well.

Animal industry is animal abuse, no matter how you slice it.

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NYT Fuels Anti-Wolf Fanaticism

Yesterday the New York Times ran a human-interest piece titled, “As Wolves Return to French Alps, a Way of Life Is Threatened.” This is the only part of the article that acknowledges the wolves plight:

With official encouragement, herders and farmers had hunted the gray wolf to extinction in France by the 1930s. Within a half-century, though, the animal had been made a protected species throughout Europe; the first wolves re-entered French territory from Italy in 1992, a small and delicate population at the outset. Much to the thrill of conservationists and European officials, they have thrived.

After that the article descends into just another “humans are the endangered species” diatribe. What is the NYT trying to do, fuel the fire against wolves on the eve of full-scale federal delisting?

copyrighted wolf in river

Wolves and Coyotes are Ever the Scapegoats

(The following excerpt from the chapter, “War on Coyotes an Exercise in Futility and Cruelty,” in the book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport, parallels points I raised about wolves being incriminated in yesterday’s post—just substitute wolves for coyotes and sheepman for cattle rancher)…

 

In removing weak or diseased animals from a given gene pool, coyotes, as well as wolves and cougars, secure healthy traits for future generations. Furthermore, although introduced livestock (their wariness bred out of them through the domestication process) are far more vulnerable, it’s been documented that predators like coyotes would prefer to stick to their usual prey—yet they are ever the scapegoats.

As Jack Olsen, author of Slaughter the Animals, Poison the Earth, put it:

“By simple dint of pounding over and over on the same points, the sheep industry has succeeded in characterizing all predators as deadly killers that would rather dine on lamb than anything else that lives on the range. In the sheepman’s demonology of the coyote, every fallen sheep is brought down by coyotes. If Canis latrans comes across a dead sheep and plays his natural role as carrion-eater, the rancher shows teeth marks as proof of murder. If a sheep falls dead and the coyotes ignore the carcass, the sheepman charges an even more heinous crime: killing for pleasure. No matter what the predator does, a diabolical explanation is provided, and grandiose overstatement becomes the rule. Two lambs dying at birth are transformed into twenty lambs killed by coyotes.” 

Ordinarily a writer of true crime books, such as Son, a Psychopath and his Victims and I, the Creation of a Serial Killer (about a murderous trucker whose violence continuum began with a long history of cruelty to animals, including coyotes), Olson did not have to stray far from that genre in addressing the mentality of the kind of nutcase who would victimize coyotes.

Wildlife Photography Copyright Jim Robertson