Thursday, December 11, 2008

Moose & Wolves Again

Minnesota's moose are dying. Their population is now less than 2/3 of what it was about twenty years ago. Contributing factors are increasing temperatures which has very negative effects on moose because they don't perspire and stop eating, and parasites ranging from winter ticks to brain worms from the large deer population. And of course people keep shooting them but now there's even some discussion of ending that. Legally, anyway. Even if the law says don't shoot moose, some fine hunters will keep doing it. Need proof?

In neighboring Wisconsin, during the recent opening of deer-killing season
several federally protected wolves were shot and killed. Nothing unusual--it happens every year. I doubt if any of the killers had an Aldo Leopold moment of enlightenment after doing it either.
"We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes--something known only to her and the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."
Back when I did a biweekly column for a local paper, I wrote one on hunting in town. It had a line to the effect that if I happened on a hunter about to shoot an animal, I would be willing to shoot the hunter if that was the only way to save the animal, and I'd consider it self-defense. The editor refused to include that sentence. Bring me the people who killed these wolves who should have been running and howling under tonight's full moon. This time I'll call it justice.

2 comments:

Stephanie E. said...

Love the censorship of the line in your column. It's astonishing that we can say, do, and describe all that we do in terms of violence against nonhuman animals and the earth--that it's commonplace to celebrate and joke about the brutal killings of nonhumans--but that even mention of coming to the defense of those animals is to horrible to print.

greentangle said...

The local daily has moved to the right (their corporate headquarters even endorsed McCain), become more tabloidish, and switched to an inferior website, so I don't pay much attention anymore. But yesterday I happened to notice a letter from a hunter
http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/107692
responding to an earlier anti-hunting letter which I missed.

He's got God on his side, as well as more love, compassion, and understanding of the natural order than any hypocritical PeTA activist (who for some reason he thinks is eating steaks and wearing leather).

He then goes on to demonstrate that he has absolutely no understanding of the natural order by writing that his shooting a random animal is better than the weakest animals starving or being killed by a wolf.