05 February 2012


 This morning a fan sent me this video because it made her think of me. It makes me think of me too. It also makes me sad for the wolves.
It is a beautiful video as far as I'm concerned but here in Montana such thinking is considered heresy. Wolves are predators you see. They kill,  maim and harass. They take what they want even when they don't necessarily need it. Hmm, who does that remind you of?
Ranchers want wolves destroyed because they kill their herds. Hunters want wolves destroyed because they kill the game. That humans hate the wolf for killing domestic animals and wildlife is a real irony to me. Why?  Because the reason people want to wipe out the wolf is so they can be the ones doing the killing.  Wolves do what comes naturally. What's man's excuse?
If one took the time to study wolves they would find they are not much different than humans. Only we don't like to admit it and humans are probably a lot more violent toward their own species. We like to hold ourselves above the animals. That is a societal fantasy.
©Kinsey Barnard


Rilly said...


looks like I also forgot to leave the url.....;/

Walker said...

WOW! That's rilly some lot of snow Rilly! :)

Dave said...

That is a lovely video, with very appropriate and stirring musical accompaniment. Wolves are wild animals; there's no denying it. That young woman obviously had a very strong bond with the two wolves shown with her, but it would be dangerous to assume that they will never turn on her. Certainly others should not be encouraged to treat wild animals of any species as pets, because they're wild animals.

Let's grant that humans and wolves are both predators and of the two, humans are far the more vicious and dangerous. Wolves kill unnecessarily, but at least they do not start wars or try to annihilate each other's packs. They confront life face to face, like humans did thousands of years ago before technology started to dominate our existence.

I don't think it follows that humans want to wipe out the wolf so they can be the ones doing the killing. That wolves were exterminated in the past is a consequence of the fear humans have for them, and for the threat they offered to our domestic animal husbandry.

Now humans are trying to restore wolves to the environment, and that is a good thing. The trouble is, human interests have evolved an economic value for wild animals, and a good many people depend on that economic value for their livelihood. Outfitters and guides are but one component of that dependence. In Alaska, subsistence hunting is an established part of the economy for many people who live in remote areas. Subsistence hunting vanished from the lower 48 states long ago, but sport hunting is a valued and important part of our culture and history.

Reintroduction of wolves has resulted in an imbalance, and as humans it's our fault. We have allowed them to dominate the ecosystem in ways that we did not foresee. They have damaged and upset an established order. This is not irreversible, but it will take some doing to nudge the wolf population into an acceptable balance. That means those who advocate for wolves must accept that they have been successful, and that it is now time to make a course correction.

The key is to allow wolves to have an economic value, just as elk and deer do. There is only one way to do that.

Montana had a successful wolf hunt, and continued success like this will spread to other states that have had successful reintroduction. This is a far cry from saying that humans want to wipe out wolves so they can be the ones doing the killing. It just means that wolves have taken on an economic value along with humans, elk, deer, bear, and other creatures who depend on the forest. And this economic value will enable them to prevail over the long term.

It means success. Long live the wolf.

Walker said...

LOL! Dave, looks like you can figure out how to post a comment when you are motivated.

Dave said...

I must have done something right this time, but I lost my first attempt at posting a message about the wolves. I didn't have javascript enabled, and lost everything that I had written when I finally enabled it.

So that is my second attempt. I think my first one was better.

Don't bother to see "The Grey" despite Liam Neeson's fine acting. Wolf and survival representations were basically fraudulent, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

hey you travel often?
I love travelling. And photography!
Isn't it awesome that you can do both at the same time! :D

Anonymous said...

The video is from a national geographic movie called "living with wolves", a very good film about a couple living with a pack in the sawtooth mountains.