save the gray wolves?

I’m a member of Care2 and The Petition Site, which enable people who care that much about the environment, animals, and other political issues to bring politicians to note what we care about. I’ve got it set up so I don’t regularly visit Care2’s site (another community site? I don’t need that. And the layout isn’t particularly pleasing to my eye.) but I do get e-mails from them about petitions they think I’d care about. (Mostly saving animals, the environment, women’s reproductive rights, some food issues.)

Today I checked my e-mail and I got a message about gray wolves and how they are no longer protected as an endangered species. The message went on to say pretty much that the U.S. is shifting responsibility for managing wolf populations to the states and not the feds, which means that wolves are gonna be hunted down and killed mercilessly!!

(Well okay, Idaho and Wyoming have voiced their plan “to remove wolves by whatever means necessary.” [From my e-mail.] And I guess Montana doesn’t have a “wolf management [plan] that will allow wolf populations to grow.” Just reporting to keep my entry informative, and not inflammatory. *grin*)

I don’t know what made me question the message, but I checked Wikipedia (purveyor of general knowledge) for information about wolf populations. It said that while wolves as a whole are not in danger of becoming extinct, local populations are.

So I wondered, would it be so bad if there were no more wolves in the U.S.? It would make America that much less of the “frontierland” that it used to be. Move over American Indians and wildlife, the rest of the world is here to take over!

The Wikipedia article stated that mostly wolves do not like to interact with humans and will run away from humans, except for the few times where they attack—mostly women and children. Of course, one has to wonder what women and children are doing in areas where wolves are living or hunting, maybe those people should just go back to the cities.

Or is it that the cities have expanded to the wolves’ grounds, and the wolves have nowhere else to go? If that’s so, and not just a case of mommies taking their kids for a day hike through the forest, I guess it’s a case of human rights versus wolf rights. Who deserves to live there more?

I don’t want to answer that in this entry, just wanted to write out my thoughts and perhaps make others think.

I also wanted to mention, in a case where little Timmy is going for a nature hike with his Boy Scout troop (are they called troops? Darn, my Girl Scout history is clouding my memory) and gets mauled by a protective mother wolf, can you really blame people for protesting to whomever they think is in control? They want their children safe; it’s the 21st century, smallpox doesn’t exist in the general population of the U.S., polio is gone, and we’ve even brought cases of mumps down to small numbers.

Shouldn’t people be free from the worry of protecting their children from wildlife, instead worrying about that creepy man down the street who’s always watching the kids? Or even the people online who talk to their children?

I could never bring myself to face Timmy’s family and say, “I choose wolves over you and your little Timmy.” Nor could I tell them to leave the area, pick up their whole lives and relocate, find new jobs, new schools, new homes, new friends, so that wolves can live in peace.

But then, then I read more of the Wikipedia article, and it said, “Wolves … are often referred to as an indicator species; a species delineating an ecoregion or indicating an environmental condition such as a disease outbreak, pollution, species competition, or climate change.” Later on it mentioned that reduced numbers of wolves in Yellowstone had allowed the elk population to explode, in turn causing more and more trees to be stripped to feed all the elks.

Well if the e-mail had said that I would never have questioned it and instead immediately signed the petition! *snrk*

In all seriousness though, I still don’t know whether to sign or not. It’s one of those cases where I feel I don’t have all the information and therefore can’t make a smart decision, instead allowing others to do it for me.

3 thoughts on “save the gray wolves?

  1. Alok

    Hi I somehow stumbled upon your blog and read this entry. I have to admit that in a very simple and non pretentious way, you’ve shown how should people actually analyze social/environmental/etc. issues rationally before making their own stand. It’s a lesson for me as well. I tend to sign petition if I just have a slight inkling of the nature of the issue, without actually analyzing all the sides of the issue. I am quite impressed at how you’ve discussed so many faces of this seemingly simple issue of protecting wolves.
    And thinking of it, it’s just one of your blog posts, not an article in a scientific magazine. Going to read more of your blog and looking forward to more posts (of any kind though)

  2. Elisabeth

    Thank you that is so kind of you ! The wolves here are truly under siege and ulreftunatony the hate seems to be spreading across the country. More and more people are learning of their plight however and though things haven’t gotten better for the wolves yet , I truly believe that the tide is beginning to turn.

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