"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Monday, January 29, 2007

Who's afraid?

In view of the delisting of wolves in three states with more to come I have to plug a book I read a few years ago, Of Wolves and Men by Barry Lopez. The author highlights very interesting, and tragic, parallels between how white people have historically treated wolves and how they treat(ed) native people. Maybe it's not really all that surprising a parallel. But the book is fascinating in its description not only of biology and the pack social structure, but in human mythologization for good or evil. After reading it I was ready to go up to Alaska with a rocket launcher and fire a warning shot or two past the propellers of the airborne wolf "hunters." Even out the playing field a bit. I can understand the rancher's need to protect property (though it sounds like many cases of predation were historically misattributed to wolves on a regular basis, actually feral dogs have been a worse problem at times). If you'd left the wolves an adequate supply of their normal prey they wouldn't have gone after your dumb old sheep anyway. Why can't we all just get along. It is grotesque and tiresome, this game of sending a whole group of somethings or someones to the brink of obliteration and then spending enormous effort and energy trying to save them again. I want to play something else. At least the good thing about the current administration is that in this game I don't think it would bother with the saving part because it's too hard; if it came to it, we'd just get to stop at the obliteration. Good thing the writing is on the wall for the administration along with anything it may have helped obliterate.

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