Scapegoating Wolves

Scapegoating: “Process in which the mechanisms of projection or displacement are utilised in focusing feelings of aggression, hostility, frustration, etc., upon another individual or group(wolves); the amount ofblame being unwarranted.”

Wolf haters never seem to take the day off.  They are busy as can be hating wolves and trying to make sure wolves pay.  As wolf advocates await Judge Molloy’s decision on restoring wolves ESA protections, we watch in disbelief at what is happening to wolves.  The Idaho state legislature passed a resolutionasking the Governor to declare a state of emergency in Idaho because among other things, wolves could become a threat to people, especially children. I’m not kidding.

Wolf attacks on humans are exceedingly rare. The wolf is the least dangerous of large carnivores of the same size and weight. They are extremly shy and fearful of  humans and with good reason.  Any wild wolf would  rather be a hundred miles away from people.

I hate to break it to the resolution makers in the Idaho State Legislature but domestic dogs are a bigger threat to people and children  then wolves will ever be and I’m a dog lover but facts are facts.

Dog attacks are attacks on humans by feral or domestic dogs. With the close association of dogs and humans in daily life (largely as pets), dog attacks—with injuries from usually very minor to significant, and very occasionally severe to fatal—are not uncommon. Attacks on the serious end of the spectrum have become the focus of increasing media and public attention in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It is estimated that two percent of the US population, 4.7 million people, are bitten each year.In the 1980s and 1990s the US averaged 17 fatalities per year, while in the 2000s this has increased to 26. 77% of dog bites are from the pet of family or friends, and 50% of attacks occur on the dog owner’s property.

Are we going to be issuing edicts to lock up all the children because dogs are a threat to them?  I’m kidding of course but does anyone see how hysterical the rhetoric has gotten?  It’s like a badly written fairy tale.

Next we have US District Court Judge Winmill giving the green light to IDFG so they can land helicopters in the Frank Church Wilderness to collar wolves.

Let’s throw The Wilderness Act out the window because IDFG needs to gather more information about wolves.  The Wilderness Act states:

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

Wolf collaring is such a priority in the Frank Church. Uh-huh.  The one place wild enough where wolves can actually get away from people. We can’t have that. They must be perpetually harassed and tracked and of course collar GPS signals are used to locate wolves for “control actions”, IE. killing them. All so necessary.

Once again, another example of state game agencies doing the bidding of the rancher barons, who refuse to be pro-active protecting  their livestock.  Instead it’s much easier to call Montana FWP or IDFG to come and kill the wolves.

So who is looking out for wolves interest in state government? I’m hearing crickets. It’s the same scenerio that got wolves exterminated the last time around. The ranchers hated them and wanted them gone, so the feds went out and poisoned, trapped and shot all the wolves. Now the same climate of hate is rearing it’s head again.

Wolves are the ultimate scapegoats for people who apparently are unhappy with their lives. Sometimes angry people will kick their dogs if they’re mad at the world, or yell out their car windows in fits of road rage if someone cuts them off?  Well instead of kicking the dog, they can kill the wolf, or kick the wolf, or curse the wolf. or blame the wolf. or damn the wolf, or persecute the wolf.  It must be nice to have the wolf to kick around, since they have no voice, it’s so easy.

It’s the same mantra repeated over and over again.  The wolves are eating all the cattle, the wolves are killing all the elk when this is patently untrue

Wolves, large grazing animals, and beaver have successfully lived side by side for thousands of years. It is only when the first Europeans arrived in North America that this balanced co-existence changed. When prey species drop in number because of food availability or weather conditions, wolf numbers drop as well. Wolves have smaller litters or may even starve to death.

But people can repeat anything they want and call it truth. By changing the subject and constantly talking about livestock and elk it takes the focus off wolves and what’s best for them.

I for one am sick of the whining, the lies and biased media reports about wolves. And they call wolf advocates emotional.  Please.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus, howling for justice, Wolf Wars

Tags: wolves in the crossfire, Wilderness Act, Frank Church Wilderness

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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Nabeki,
    You’re missing a group, the people who just don’t care. Those who see the wolf as a thrill, a challenge, something to get that five millisecond rush of pride and adrenaline over the kill.


    • Yeah, John, that is all they have -a 5 millisecond rush of pride, nothing else. Must be a poor life.


    • Very sadly true John.



  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Howling4Justice: Scapegoating Wolves:


  3. “But people can repeat anything they want and call it truth. By changing the subject and constantly talking about livestock and elk it takes the focus off wolves and what’s best for them.”

    Right on Nabeki, you could apply this tactic to anything, say, requiring people to believe the world is indeed flat. Political propaganda/advertising- if said enough it is true? I think not. Idaho politicians are crazy and irrational.

    Wolf advocates are emotional? What is stating a state emergency due to wolves? Talk about emotional.

    This propaganda needs to be fought with the truth- by illustrating just how violent the wolf haters are and the resulting carnage on native wildlife. I say native- it does not matter if the wolf traveled down from Canada or we borrowed Canadian wolves to reintroduce into the states- we had exterminated the original wolves, what else are we to use? This practice is done with most endangered species, not just the wolf. Where are you ancestors from? Ireland, England, Sweden, Norway originally? We all share this planet.


    • g…..
      I’m going to continue to write posts abouts wolves true nature. For the Idaho legislature to say wolves could become a threat to humans is so ridiculous…when domestic dogs bite millions of people a year and kill at least twenty people. I love dogs as you know and am a big dog lover but just making the point how hysterical it’s getting. Did you ever dream it would get this bad?



      • No, not at all Nabeki. I thought people here in the west were generally intelligent, fair and rational now. I never thought the states would be able to “manage” the wolves well, because of the historical scapegoating of them, but I didn’t think it would be this bad. I want the nightmare to end now.

        Those that hate wolves are the leftovers from 100 years ago – the same people that killed most of the buffalo and oppressed the Native Amercians.


      • Well said. They need to stop killing America’s wolves. They’re a national treasure not a pest to be eliminated.


        For the Wolves, For the Wild ones


  4. Keep putting the word out. You are on target. It is tough to watch the misinformation flowing among the politicians and you know the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are under the gun to perform the gruesome task that is dictated to them. The biologists at fish and game are good people trying to keep their jobs. They know better than to follow this line of thinking but don’t want to be fired from their jobs. Wildlife Services has outlived their usefulness killing predators. It will take time for the country to wake up and see the senseless killing of predators in the West doesn’t jive with the declining livestock industry. Wildlife Services should go kill exotic species if they need to release some testosterone.


    • Hi Leonard,
      Thanks for your support. I know there are good people at IDFG and it must be hard to have to deal with the policies that are being handed down. It all starts at the top and Governor Otter and his commissioners have made it perfectly clear how they feel about wolves. We just have to keep on speaking out and the tide will turn.

      Nobody knows for sure how many wolves were killed during the extirpation in the 19th and 20th centuries but they estimate over 2 million. Now we can’t live with 1500 wolves in three large states, Montana being the third largest in the lower forty-eight.

      I think people are waking up to what Wildlife Services is doing and they’re not going to stand for it. Groups like WildEarth Guardians, Big Wildlife and Predator Defense are working to stop WS and expose their cruel methods of killing not just our predators but other native species as well.

      Wolf advocates have to speak loudly. As David Mech said:
      “If the wolf is to survive, the wolf haters must be outnumbered. They must be outshouted, out financed, and out voted. Their narrow and biased attitude must be outweighed by an attitude based on an understanding of natural processes.” -L. David Mech

      For the wolves, For the wild ones


  5. Recent history shows us that wildlife management in Montana is a sham. Just look at the number of wolves killed to satisfy cow growers and now the State caves in again to the ranchers by sending our wild Yellowstone bison to Ted Turner.
    A more appropriate name for Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks would be “Montana LIVESTOCK, Fish Wildlife and Parks.
    I wonder how the wildlife “biostitutes” that work for this agency can sleep at night?


    • Well said CLF. The bison belong to the American people, not Ted Turner. How sad.






    • So true CLF…thanks for the link.



  7. […] Scapegoating Wolves ( […]


  8. […] to anti-wolf myths because wolves have become scapegoats for anti-government feelings. Many anti-wolfers believe reintroducing wolves was forced on them […]


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