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, not more than the reflected image of ourselves. We have made it the scapewolf for our own sins. – Farley Mowat, Never Cry Wolf, from the 1993 edition preface.
The mission of this rally is to unite wolf and wildlife defenders from around the country and demonstrate to our nation’s leaders that a respectful and humane majority of American citizens are demanding federal protection for America’s wolves, under the Endangered Species Act, in every state throughout their historic range.
We are demanding that the unethical, cruel and unjust persecution and slaughter of wolves in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Alaska and elsewhere, be brought to an end, now and permanently. Our message is a public appeal for a better America that respects honest science and ecology, reflects the humane and ethical values of the majority, a country of decency, respect and co-existence with America’s wolves and all native wildlife in every state.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. I hold that the more helpless a creature the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of humankind.
– Mahatma Ghandi
Wolves are native, ecologically vital and beautiful members of the North American landscape. Wherever they live, wolves are remarkable, natural predators that keep their prey species healthy and strong. Wolves have been persecuted and massacred for centuries, due to human ignorance, intolerance and cruelty. It is the very opposite of the respect, admiration and protection they deserve. Wolves are highly social and very intelligent beings and like all canines, they are loyal and loving to their families, their wolf pack.
Brutally persecuting and killing such ecologically vital, sensitive, intelligent and family-oriented beings should be labelled what it is: heartless animal abuse and criminal slaughter. To perpetrate such brutality and unjustified killing of wolves and other natural predators, in this modern era with our deeper knowledge and understanding of ecology and wildlife science, is pathologically and ecologically criminal.
Shame on Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Alaska. They are the primary killing fields of America’s vital and innocent wolves.
Too many cattle ranchers perpetuate deadly, hysterical myths and ridiculous exaggerations about depredation of cattle by wolves, which is statistically insignificant in every state. Wolves much prefer their wild prey. For instance, in the huge state of Montana there are 2,500,000 non-native cattle. Tens of thousands of cattle in Montana die every year due to weather, disease, birth complications and from eating poison plants, for which ranchers receive zero compensation. In 2011, the US Fish & Wildlife Service confirmed only 74 cattle taken by wolves in the entire state. 74 out of 2,500,000… that is statistically zero! And Montana ranchers are foolishly compensated for such tiny losses. The depridation statistics are similarly tiny in nearby Idaho and Wyoming. Yet, so many cattlemen constantly scheme and pressure federal and state politicians to kill wolves.
Cattlemen should no longer dictate federal wildlife policy out West, as they have for so long. Many ranchers refuse to adopt proven, non-lethal methods to control the very tiny losses they experience from wolves.
… It’s the same arrogance and brutality that earlier destroyed Native American people and massacred native wildlife throughout the continent.
Cattlemen should no longer dictate federal wildlife policy out West, as they have for so long. Many ranchers refuse to adopt proven, non-lethal methods to control the very tiny losses they experience from wolves. Instead, cattlemen are addicted to a culture of killing and having control over whatever it is they want to destroy. It’s the same arrogance and brutality that earlier destroyed Native American people and massacred native wildlife throughout the continent. Decent Americans should no longer allow such brutality to be the American way anywhere. It is shameful and unacceptable that any supposedly decent American politician would listen to such destructive schemers and then serve their cruel, unjust, and immoral demand that innocent wolves be condemned to death. Isn’t it about time this country truly atoned for causing such brutal destruction to native people and native wildlife, instead of allowing it to continue?
To add massive insult to injury, the rancher’s non-native cattle graze on federal tax payer subsidized public lands that belong to all Americans, land that should be a haven for America’s vital wolves and other native wildlife, including native bison, grizzly bears, mountain lions, prairie dogs, wolverines, coyotes and so many other amazing members of the continent’s rich natural heritage. The millions of non-native cattle grazing unsupervised throughout the arid West cause tremendous damage trampling across fragile ecosystems where they do not belong. The cattlemen’s reign of terror against the native wildlife and wild lands of the United States must permanently come to an end. And let it begin now by saying NO MORE to their unrelenting campaign of demonization and slaughter of America’s wolves.
It must be noted, there are decent ranchers who respect native wildlife, including wolves, and who have adopted proven, responsible and humane measures to co-exist with them. These good and decent people are to be commended and supported. It’s just that there are not enough of them.
Ecologically ignorant hunters and sadistic trappers also relentlessly persecute and slaughter natural predators that belong in every ecosystem. Wolves, like all natural predators, are miracles of evolution and keep every ecosystem they inhabit vibrant and healthy. Where wolves are present on the landscape, there are often more elk and deer, and these prey animals are healthier. For instance, according to the Montana Division of Fish & Wildlife, there were 90,000 elk living throughout the state before wolves began to return to the state, on their own, in the 1970’s and 80’s. Now with wolves living across the state, wildlife officials estimate the elk population at over 140,000! Elk populations have risen similarly in nearby states. It is so easy to refute the unfounded propaganda that wolves decimate their prey.
When wolves returned to Yellowstone, after a seventy year absence, it didn’t take long for a cascade of positive change to occur across the land. Stream-side vegetation which had been stripped bare by an unnatural over-abundance of elk, started to grow again and as trees rose up, stream and river waters were cooled by the shade, fish and beavers and song birds returned. Coyote populations were reduced by wolves which allowed more smaller mammals to survive and thrive. Birds of prey had more to eat, as did many other animals that depend on the presence of wolves.
No one would know such scientific facts, by listening to the anti-wolf propaganda nonsense from hunter lobby groups such as the dishonest Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Most hunting organizations are focused on killing with little or no regard for ecological balance and ecosystem health or the ethical concerns of the non-hunting majority. Where are the ethical hunters who respect ecology and natural predators and who understand they should not be hunted? Hunters may soon discover that more and more they are losing the support of the American people, who as they learn the facts and details, will no longer allow the demonization, persecution and slaughter of America’s wildlife.
There should be no hunting or trapping of wolves and other natural predators. They are simply too important as living beings that create balance and ensure biodiversity within every ecosystem, just as nature intended. Nature controls their numbers very well without any help from wildlife managers and sport killers.
Wolves are not just being killed in the US, many, including pups are being tortured. Why does the modern United States still allow barbaric wildlife trapping, with steel torture traps and strangling cables? This horrific torture of wild beings is outlawed in 89 countries as out-dated and cruel. It is certainly time to outlaw barbaric wildlife trapping in the US. Wolves, as sentient, intelligent and family-oriented beings, feel intense pain and fear and suffer horribly just as humans would, when caught in a torturous steel trap or snared by a strangling cable. In the 21st century, no animal of the wild should be subject to such cruelty and torture.
The affection, devotion, playfulness and intelligence that so many of us cherish in our dogs, are the very same qualities of wolves, even more so. How can we allow ecologically vital, sensitive, intelligent and family-oriented wolves to be demonized, abused, tortured and massacred any longer?
Are you a dog lover? We have wolves to thank for the precious gift of our loving dogs. From the tiniest Chihuahua to the largest Great Dane, every single dog comes from their living ancestors, wolves. That is why wolf and dog DNA match up nearly 100%. The affection, devotion, playfulness and intelligence that so many of us cherish in our dogs, are the very same qualities of wolves, even more so. How can we allow ecologically vital, sensitive, intelligent and family-oriented wolves to be demonized, abused, tortured and massacred any longer? Dog lovers should be among the most passionate and active of wolf defenders!
Imagine your family dog (your family wolf), alone in the night, caught in a painful steel trap by a delicate paw or snared by its neck to slowly strangle or shot in its gut while a gleeful sport killer watches it suffer an agonizing death. And all this animal wants is to be free and get back to you, to its family pack. America’s wolves are being persecuted, tortured and killed in this and other horrible ways, as you are reading this, in the “land of the free and home of the brave.” Free to be what? A cruel and violent animal abuser and killer?
In Wisconsin, home of ecology hero Aldo Leopold, state wildlife “officials” and a small “citizens board” (packed with hunters and trappers) recently voted to allow the tiny minority of bear hunters there – who are allowed to chase, harass and kill gentle and intelligent black bears using attack dogs — to use these same dogs to chase, persecute and kill wolves. These wildlife abusers and killers have even been given permission to use their attack dogs on wolves during denning season when female wolves give birth to their pups. Out of sight cannot be out of mind. Such cruelty should be outlawed as unacceptable, out-dated and criminal behavior. It is not fair chase hunting, it is animal abuse and persecution. Such brutality and suffering of innocent wildlife should not be allowed by the decent and respectable people of a 21st century state or country.
Federal and state wildlife agencies that are now facilitating this shameful persecution and massacre of America’s wolves are full partners in the deaths of thousands of innocent wolves. The rising death toll from these corrupt state government sanctioned wolf massacres is in addition to the annual slaughter of hundreds of wolves by the US Department of Agriculture’s hideous Wildlife Services division. Wildlife Services is a federal tax payer-subsidized, paramilitary-like agency devoted to the mass killing of America’s native predators and other wildlife that belong across the landscape, even though they are deemed unworthy of life by earth destroying cattlemen, industrial agribusiness and the sport killer lobby. This brutal federal agency established over a hundred years ago should never have been created and must be permanently shut down. Most Americans are unaware of this bizarre agency of wildlife killers, as powerful cattle and agribusiness interests have succeeded in foiling any Congressional oversight of Wildlife Services for decades.
When wolf defenders finally succeed in stopping this latest American wolf massacre, serious reform of these corrupt agencies must be implemented without delay. Wildlife Services must be defunded and dismantled. The mission of all state wildlife agencies must permanently shift away from serving cattlemen, agribusiness and the sport killer lobby. It’s time that these corrupt state agencies evolve and change to reflect the kinder ethical values of the majority of American citizens who have themselves evolved and learned to treasure the country’s natural heritage. Their primary mission must be the restoration, conservation and protection of America’s wildlife and their habitat. That is an honorable mission to be proud of. We are supposed to be a democracy and an ethical country, after all.
A humane and wildlife-loving majority of Americans and wolf friends from around the world, demand an immediate end to the unjust demonization, persecution and slaughter of America’s wolves. Wolves must be placed back on the Endangered Species List and permanently protected from further hateful propaganda and malicious fairy tales directed against them. More and more Americans believe wolves should be our national symbol, alongside the bald eagle, which would outlaw the killing of any wolf in the United States.
Wolves are vital, beautiful and amazing beings. To love wolves is to love life. Please help defend and protect them.
By the late 1990s, the Northern Rockies had become a (gathering place) for America’s far right wing extremist groups: paramilitary culture advocates who saw themselves as armed warriors facing federal tyranny, ranchers angry that they did not own the land they leased from the federal government to graze cows, hunters who saw the region’s deer and elk as their private property, and those who hated all forms of environmental regulation. These groups created a common mythology, both resurrecting old forms of wolf demonization – wolves as evil, related to the devil – and inventing new ones: wolves as foreign invaders from Canada, wolves as icons of the federal government, wolves as disease-ridden with deadly tapeworms, wolves as “killing machines” that would wipe out the region’s livestock, and in time, hunt people for food and sport.
From the far-right, wolf demonization spread to the mainstream Republican parties in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, and as the movement gained momentum Democratic leaders capitulated and began to advocate removing wolves from federal protection. Montana Senator John Tester, a Democrat facing a tough re-election bid in 2012 from Republican Congressman Denny Rehberg, sponsored a legislative “rider” to a federal budget bill that de-listed wolves.This bill passed both (Houses of Congress) and President Obama signed it. – James William Gibson, in the Earth Island Journal, January 31, 2013