Let me preface today's commentary by saying that I like wolves. I had the Wisconsin Conservation license plates with the wolf on it for years. I find their pack dynamics and group hunting techniques fascinating. They are the species from which all of our domesticated dog breeds have developed--even the annoying little ones that yap all the time.
With that being said, I will NOT be attending today's "wolf memorial service" down in Madison. If you didn't hear about this early in the week, a group called the Alliance For Animals will be holding a service "in honor of all the wolves that were killed in last year's hunting season." According to their press release, there will be a candlelight vigil held outside the DNR headquarters--and the reading of a poem "inspired by the wolves".
Personally, I don't support the wolf hunt--for the simple fact that the species has been off the endangered list for all of two minutes and we already feel the need to go out and kill them again. But the fact of the matter is it exists, and it likely will remain in effect until the DNR finds out that it sent the wolf population back below the target--when it will be shelved again. But let's keep in mind that they are just animals.
This "memorial service" just irritates my pet peeve about people who place greater emphasis on the lives of animals than they do on the lives of humans. I'd be willing to bet that if there was a memorial service for the victims of murders or child abuse, they wouldn't be so quick to light their candles and write their poems. Often, these folks like to call themselves the "voice for the animals". When exactly did the wolves come to you to take on that role?
Another questions I have for today's protesters: Why wolves and not every other animal we hunt here in Wisconsin? Why not shed tears for the hundreds of thousands of whitetail deer killed by guns and arrows? If anything, that's more detrimental to the wolf population--since deer is one of their main prey--and having less venison on the hoof would mean fewer opportunities for successful hunts. Wisconsinites have been allowed to hunt coyotes--the wolf's smaller cousin--for decades. Why no poem for the coyote? And let's not forget the millions of fish taken from their lakes and killed every year. Do they not need someone to "speak on their behalf" as well? Or do you not care because Wisconsin doesn't have a tradition of Friday night wolf fries?
I have a suggestion for the "dozens" who will show up at the wolf memorial today: Why not take the time that you spent driving to Madison or writing your wolf poems or standing in front of the DNR headquarters and use it volunteer at a shelter for abused women and children or at your local Boys and Girls Club--where it will do some actual good for your own species.