“The Dark Heart of Madness” by Stephen Capra

dream-wolf Stephen Capra

Thank you Stephen for putting pen to paper. This is all and everything I think and feel about the horrible tragedy that has befallen wolves.

The Dark Heart of Madness

Stephen Capra

 I awoke from a dream the other night, the question I asked myself was-is there a special place in heaven for animals, especially wildlife that spends their last days and hours caught in the 18th century realm of the steel leg-hold trap. Likewise, is there a special place in hell for those people, psychopaths, who live to find an animal that may have spent a week in dreadful pain caught in a beautiful setting awaiting the blow to the head, a blast from a rifle or perhaps a sadistic final few moments where this person enjoys the pain and suffering, like a high, the sense of complete control over innocence.

 I personally can no longer bear the photographs. I cannot bear the Game and Fish departments across the West, which despite the overwhelming numbers, oppose the need, continue to stop this senseless cruelty. Why, because in the end, sportsmen view the loss of trapping as the removal of the firewall that stops the public from saying ‘enough!’  to so-called sport killing.

 It is a sallow argument.

 In my dreams, wolves run free and wild; for those who have met such a fate I can only pray that their afterlife is one blessed with fat elk, with cool streams and mountains that allow a view: that their families live long and hunt in a pack, and celebrate with howls of joy together, living in a wild place that makes their hearts rich. It’s a place, by the way, that I hope to share in my afterlife. It’s a place with clean water, wild rivers, lands that are mature, yet never saw an oil rig, never endured a mine, nor were trashed by clear-cut saws. In such a setting, I will watch and learn. It is there, I hope that the wolf can understand the selfless nature of forgiveness. It is there, I will lay bare in ceremony, the iniquity of man.




Photo: Courtesy Stephen Capra dream wolf

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: Stephen Capra, The Dark Heart Of Madness, Bold Visions Conservation, gray wolves, persecution x 1000,  fish and game agencies, trophy hunters,  evil

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28 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wolf Management to the 1800’s:

    Gradually (state wolf management) is moving back to the late 1800’s as expected with the usual cast of characters: wolf hating, ignorant, misinformed, irrational, hysterical, anti-wildlife and anti-wilderness mentalities by the effects of their beliefs, anti-predator in general, killers of wildlife, decision making by hunters, trappers, outfitters, decisions by the 5% versus the other 95%, decisions by conservative legislatures and governors and wildlife agencies who are vastly of the same ilk. The wolf haters and their ilk are trying to refine and enlarge wolf killing, even now bounty systems are being suggested, so that the wolf will be marginalized and on the verge of threatened or endangered, not yet, but that is where they want and are trying to go. The wolf populations are okay now but threatened. Wildlife destruction is also aided by newspaper and other media that just repeat the lies, myth and folklore giving the ignorant credibility. All are aided and abetted by lies, myths folklore of yokels. Decisions are by those who fail to see other animals as sentient beings, only as “recreational opportunities”. The hunters and trappers are barbaric throwbacks, down to the last 5% hopefully but still too many with wildlife agencies in tune with their barbaric mentalities. Hopefully, before they do too much damage to balanced ecology(s) their numbers will dwindle further and humane, wise stewardship will prevail, but maybe there is no hope for the human race to change in sufficient numbers to avoid the Anthropocene Extinction that is near upon us.

  2. Stephen, “The Dark Heart of Madness” is exquisite and horrific. Regardless of your religious beliefs, know this: Job 12:10 says, “… in whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.” The original Hebrew word used for “soul” in the texts is “nephesh,” and it applies to both humans and animals, and that surely includes wolves. So, yes, heaven will be filled with animals.

    Those who delight in the slaughter of wolves (and all the other innocent animals) for sport will have to give an accounting. Payday is coming. It’s coming. And it won’t be pretty.

  3. “The Rainbow Bridge” surely applies to wolves and all other animals that don’t have evil in their hearts.

    • I agree that all animals have a special place in the afterlife. What kind of a God worthy of the name of All-Knowing, All-Omnipotent, All-Merciful, and All-Just could create all life on earth and leave human beings in control. As a group, human beings can be too stupid, mean-spirited, sadistic, irresponsible, and immoral to determine the fate of the rest of creation. The animals are innocent and deserve an afterlife of peace and joy to make up for their suffering on this planet. And a “real” God will judge the top preditor, the human species, for the abuse and suffering it here.

  4. Stephen and roger,
    Beautiful and wise words. Attainment of a dream that developed for me as I read these this morning would be that each of your writings would appear in every newspaper in the county on an op-Ed page; first roger’s, followed by stephen’s. what do you think? We are the choir and have the greatest respect For what you both have written but I think the rest of the country needs the opportunity to share the beauty – and the truth.

  5. Thank you Stephen for reminding me of the spirit that governs us all. I see these killers as having a mental illness. Yet it isnt the kind that prevents them from having a job and a family or being respected in their own communities. Being a sociopath is far more common now, apparently. They are my enemy. I wont be forgetting what they are doing. Every last man and woman participating in this theater of sadism needs to be named and placed in a database. They must be publicly brought out of where they hide among their own and shunned. Let their actions go on record like any other crime. Let them be barred from employment by anyone that is offended by their cruelty. Would you hire someone who showed up as having a record of slaughtering wildlife for fun and giggles? Nope. Me either. Let there be a consequence if not by law enforcement then by their place in society.

  6. What Gail said is absolutely true. Talking among ourselves is important but that is “preaching to the choir.”‘ We are already on board with protedting the wolves. There needs to be editorials in every newspaper and time purchased on television and radio to get the story of this shameful slaughter out to the largely uninformed public..

  7. Even not me being religious, I have asked thay question to myself since I was coursing early middle school, I am now about to enter in my senior year of high school and if we think about it, it has not been a very long time since, but certainly I feel tired and powerless. Now I have realized that, even if payday or a judgment day is coming for those who blatantly torture the life out of innocent wolves and find enervating joy in it, I still wonder-will they fulfill their apparent goal of exterminating the wolves before such judgement day comes? I see life not in a bright way, as I have mentioned in previous posts, I am 17, and I wonder if the only thing I can look forward to in the future is the continued suffering of wolves and the imminent failure of our efforts to protect them before an oppressive and careless government?
    I could write an entire book with my thoughts, but simplest answers, although being the best, are the hardest to answer, and there are many of them which only writing them so they can remain unanswered is pointless at best, especially if that will not help stop the insanity thay has befallen on wolves…
    Soothing to know there is humans beings out there willing to do whatever it takes to stop this for good, I totally include myself– I’m here for the wolves and for you, thanks for this post.

    • Daniel, you have already started to push for change. Do not let the sociopaths get you down, they enjoy that. Rather focus efforts on educating your already remarkable mind on environmental law and being a vet. Trust me, they go together.
      The path to changing what is happening is to organize, as it has always been and probably always will be. Once we agree to all set aside minor differences for the betterment of the wolves, we must out organize and out think and outlaw the opposition. We are the majority, we are on the correct path to preserve nature as Creator intended so that there can be future generations. One thing you can do, Daniel, is start a Wolf Appreciation Club at your school and change the required reading list to books by Aldo Leopold and John Muir for example.
      Get kids on the path of respect for nature before they think destroying it is the way to fit in with the in crowd. That genre of ‘in crowd’ will be saying ‘Y’all want some fries with that, Dr. Martinez?’ When you finish school. :-)

  8. All of this comments are so well written. I’m doing my part. We are starting a social media site for wildlife activists so we can get past the social media censors. We’re preaching to the choir because corrupt corporations own our media outlets and they unfortunately support the money trail. I’m blocked on FB again for 19 more days but you can LIKE my ‘Defenders of Wolves’ FB page so I can contact you when the site is done. I’m doing my part to save the wolves. Using my mortgage money for this project because I believe we need to do more than talk.

  9. Before this killing of wolves, this relentless murderous slaughter…there was a time when wolves ran with men on their horses, stole their saddles at night, and were considered no more than a nuisance. Then the cattlemen came..killing all the Indians, and the buffalo, in such numbers that there were trainloads of only the tongues of buffaloes..White man is greedy, and relentlessly cruel. They did unspeakable cruelties to so much of the beautiful wildlife here in North America..even taught the art of scalping to Native Americans, as they were the ones doing it to them long before after murdering their children and raping their women. They needed those vast grasslands to graze this cattle on. It was all for profit! Fast forward to 1995, when we by then having extirpated the wolf, decided to bring it back to Yellowstone Park. We learned astonishing things..but, the most important was how necessary wolves are for a vital forest. The wolf is a keystone predator. Without this wolf, all the forests suffer and the wildlife they contain. This, is a war, my friends..for all that sustains us. Make no mistake….In my dreams, my own wolf, William runs free with a pack. Free to be the top predator of the North American continent…free of human intrusion. We need the wolf much more than he ever needed us.

    • Connee, what tribe are you? I think Wolves being sacred, spiritual animals to most of us is important in stoping the slaughter. They had a war of genocide against us and wolves as they traveled inland. Now we and wolves recover a little and here they go again, killing wolves. I have had conversations with other Native women, the connection is still there between Native genocide and the genocide of wolves and buffalo. Now tar sands, so here we go again! It’s not all White people, most just never got a proper education or respect for elders and many were raised by strangers so mothers could make money. There is evil in all societies. What needs to change drastically is what is accepable based on what is the society we want to live in as an end result. Do we want to have to wait for the ignorant to screw up and then try to rehab them or do we want to forego a few extra bucks, raise our own kids and teach them as our ancestors did, not to screw up in the first place! For example, even if a woman and her daughters were taken from a White man’s farm, the were not raped. That was tabu because those women may end up being relatives. On the other hand, when the wife and children of the Abenaki Chief ( a white man ) were abducted from their Christian praying town by another white man, during the 7 years War, Robert Rogers and his men, from NH, the captives were EATEN! He was later asked to write the first US Army Survival Guide! Oh, poor, dear people, this sickness of the mind is not new. The problem is that it is at all acceptable behavior. In regard to wildlife or humans.

  10. the violence perpetrated against wildlife including wolves and all other non-human animals is pandemic in our culture and society largely due to the beings we consume as food. if anyone wants a much deeper discussion about this very important subject in order to better understand the insanity and madness, please check out “The World Peace Diet” by Dr. Will Tuttle. a free PDF version of the entire book can be downloaded at http://www.worldpeacediet.org.

    “Aren’t humans amazing? They kill wildlife – birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed. Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer. So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases. Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for “Peace on Earth.”~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm by C. David Coates

  11. ..the beauty..the sadness..the truth of it, Stephen, took away my breath..*tears* of solidarity..

  12. What beautiful writing.

  13. I pray with you that the souls of the animal spirits now passed on to the ‘nother places, live in joy and peace eternally. As for those who inflict unpeakable pain and so cruelly take the lives of others, the price is a high one that will be paid by the soul. There is a Native American Legend passed down by the ancients that speaks of the passing of souls of humans and their earthly connection with the animal spirits. I’ve added a link below.

    Blessings on those who from a place of empathy and compassion, take action to protect, defend and lend voice to innocent, sentient, living beings who cannot speak for themselves.

    ~Gerean Pflug for “The Animal Spirits”



  14. I pray to someday be united with all the beauty and wildlife on the other side of the rainbow bridge when my time here is over. Stephens words are heartfelt. One can only imagine the horrors that the wolves have suffered and I pray it is better for them on the other side and they forgive us for what we’ve done to them.

  15. Yes, the writing is beautiful, truthful, aptly descriptive of many of the wildlife killers. And what a great description of the wovles place in heaven, I want a cabin on the outskirts of this myself. Animals are a part of my heaven!
    Just a note to let you know something positive for wolves has just happened. Montana SB 397 was defeated last Thursday by a vote of 17-4 in the state’s House Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee.
    This Montana Senate Bill 397 would have:
    Allowed wolves to be choked to death in neck snares, killed in traps and hunted for 10 months of the year, including during breeding, pregnancy, denning and pup rearing seasons.
    Made it ligal to lure wolves into traps using dead wolves- including pack (family) members and
    Allowed a nearly unlimited number of wolves to be killed in a given season. Yay this is a dead Bill.
    I received this info from Defenders of Wildlife.
    They and many others raised their voices together for the wolves. A win for the wolves- it’s been a long while. Enjoy a moment and give thanks that this horrific bill is gone, a moment for the wolves!

    • jane…Montana SB 397 is not dead, it was tabled in the MTFWP committee, FOR NOW. I’m very happy it didn’t go forward but I have no doubt it will be back in some form. The only real victory for wolves is to be relisted, the states can never be trusted with wolves’ lives.

      Bill Actions – Current Bill Progress: In Second House Committee–Tabled
      (H) Tabled in Committee 04/11/2013 (H) Fish, Wildlife and Parks

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,

  16. It is very good news about the bill in Montana, but I have very bad news from Michigan. It was thrilling that over 253,000 Michiganders signed a petition to put a referendum on the Nov. 2014 ballot to ban wolf hunting and they were thousands of signatures over the limit needed to do this. But a Republican legislator there has now introduced a bill to change the rule that only the legislature can proclaim wildlife a game animal. This change would forbid referendums by the public on any hunting seasons which would be set. Wolves will be hunted in Michigan in 2013 and the petition to stop it will be for naught if this bill passes.

  17. im sorry , ive tried,,… i cant take aNYMORE

  18. A note to Americans friends of like mind: I am most grateful for the efforts made by those connected to this site. It has been a valuable resource as we…’we’ being a small but strong and growing group in Alberta Canada, who have organised to defend our local wolves…what is left of them. They face the same dangers and more than their American cousins.( I had hoped that some of the threats/cruelities mentioned on this site did not apply here…but they do.)
    Yet I do believe we will have some success..perhaps in elimiating the use of strychinine by our provincal government. Was it Nehru..? – friend of Gandhi, who said “Without hope I am ineffectual”.
    It is painful to learn and have to ‘ingest’ the crueities suffered by the wolf. Facts and photographs causing a mental spasms, or leaving a sort of mental leasion that weeps.I am in sympathy with the all who fight for the wolf ,as well as the wolf. It is a struggle to find ways to knit the heart back together with the waves of bad news. But I cannot look the otherway,I have had good reason to doubt where i have put my energy in my life in the past, but never do i question the value of this cause. So on faultering days I try to draw on the example of others…some connected with this site! Some from past battles…paraphasing Mother Teresa ‘We can choose to allow the Light to use us, or not, and allow darkness to spread.’ I find it helps to recall these strong ‘lights’ in our past. If we meet with any success here in Alberta…we will immediately share it with you! Anna-Marie
    F/B .albertawolfdefenders.

    • Thank you Anna for the eloquence of your comment. We must fight on even when things look the darkest. I find strength in your resolve, it keeps me going to know we are all in this together for the wolves.


  19. Reblogged this on Carinas space and commented: <3

  20. Beautifully written and vividly expressed! Thank you Stephen for writing this and sharing a dream of what I truly believe many of us, who appreciate and love the natural world, would want. Thank you for sharing Nabeki <3

    • You’re very welcome Paul V and I couldn’t agree more, beautiful and on target writing. He’s someone I follow regularly.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,

  21. If it has an aura, then there’s a place for the aura to go when the body’s dead! I know how to see auras. I’ve seen the aura of the wolf. I’ve seen the aura of the human. Let me tell you, they are different!

  22. What Beautiful Words. I Can Only Hope That When I Die I Can Join In That Peacefulness With Them.

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