In response to recent letters wanting to get rid of wolves, I feel a need to defend them. People who don’t like wolves seem to want them to not exist. They don’t want them to hunt elk or deer because it is competition for hunters.
What do they want them to eat?
They have a right to exist and they have a right to behave as they are created to behave. In her letter, Kate Russell states special interests are trying to reintroduce wolves into areas where they may not have been native in the past.
Are there special interests who don’t want them back?
Could ranchers and hunters not be described as special-interest groups? As a matter of fact, it is those groups who drove them out in the first place. She comments on the spilling of blood and inflicting pain and suffering on livestock.
What about the spilling of blood by humans? Livestock are raised to be food and slaughter is very bloody. And what about the pain and suffering inflicted by branding, castration and dehorning?
Ms. Russell feels it is unsettling that wolves maintain balance in the environment.
It has been observed that since the return of the wolf to Yellowstone, the ecosystem has been restored. Because the elk and deer are not stationary anymore, aspens, willows and cottonwoods have a chance to grow as they are not being overgrazed. The elk and deer are becoming stronger since they need to flee from the wolves and wolves cull the herd of the weaker ones.
The coyote population has been reduced by 80 percent and now eagles and ospreys are making a comeback because there are more small rodents. Also, because trees can now grow by streams and rivers, there is less erosion.
Finally, she makes a statement that wolves are teaching their young to behave like wolves. What else can they behave like?
It is sad that people cannot accept that other species have a right to be on this Earth. As Carl Sagan says, we are all kin. There is beauty in all of nature and even though humans are the dominant species, this Earth does not belong exclusively to them.
Mary Kay Pinnick