UPDATE: February 12, 2011
I received a very kind comment from Louise du Toit and I wanted to share it with everyone:
I want to express my sincere gratitude for your beautiful article concerning my humble efforts to raise more awareness for the suffering wolves of the world. I am truly very fortunate to have such a fantastic circle of beloved and compassionate friends; their immeasurable support is always a great encouragement to me to continue my fights for the well-being of all living creatures with faith and hope. May we always be united in our mission to stand up and speak out for the suffering wolves; may our voices of protest against their persecution be heard around the globe; may we do our utmost best to oppose any injustice to these incredibly wonderful beings.
LONG LIVE THE WOLVES OF THE WORLD!
Louise du Toit
I received a Facebook message several days ago from Louise Du Toit, a wonderful, talented singer from South Africa, who lives in Greece. Louise care’s deeply about animals and wildlife. She’d written messages to several Oregon Senators protesting the anti-wolf bill that was introduced by Senator Whitsett, which seeks to strip gray wolves of their ESA protections. The reply Louise received from Oregon Senator Ted Ferrioli was so rude I almost couldn’t believe what I was reading. Apparently many other people were shocked as well because the story is all over the news. Good. I’m glad the world is finally seeing how wolf advocates are treated, no matter where they live.
Thank you Louise, you’ve brought much-needed publicity to the gray wolves’ plight by caring enough to reach out across the ocean with concern and care. Not only did Senator Ferroli insult you but he insulted the Greek people and all wolf advocates around the world, who are raising their voices in protest. I’m sure he never thought his rude words would become public. You’re a hero for having the courage to share his disdainful message with the world!!
Ferrioli to European wolf advocates: Go away, morons!
Published: Wednesday, February 09, 2011, 8:24 PM Updated: Thursday, February 10, 2011, 9:15 AM
Oregon Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli doesn’t cotton to foreigners offering legislative advice.
When Louise du Toit, a singer from South Africa living in Greece, wrote the John Day Republican asking him to oppose a bill sponsored by Sen. Doug Whitsett, R-Klamath Falls, that would remove wolves from Oregon’s endangered species list, Ferrioli whipped out this reply:
“Are you kidding? Why do you expect that input from [European Union] residents make any difference at all to me? I’ll be supporting Dr. Whitsett’s bill (he is a VETERINARIAN). By the way, perhaps I should be writing to EU ministers to stop bailing out Greece. Clearly it has become a haven for morons.
Ferrioli’s response enraged wolf advocates from around the U.S. and in Europe who wrote to demand that he apologize. “To think that we, as a nation, have voted such rude and closed minded individuals as yourself into office, is unfortunate,” wrote Susan Williams of Salt Lake City.
Ferrioli, who received a slew of identically written e-mails opposing Whitsett’s bill, isn’t feeling abashed. He’s confident his largely rural constituents in Eastern Oregon are adamantly against re-introducing wolves. And his home county, Grant, officially declares itself to be a United Nations-free zone, which gives you a sense of how the locals feel about listening to outsiders.
“I appreciate the fact people may think I live in the global village,” said Ferrioli. “I do not.” Furthermore, he said, folks in Europe simply “don’t have a dog in this fight.”
Du Toit, whose songs include “Ode to the Wolves,” said in an e-mail to The Oregonian that she has been “fighting vigorously for the suffering wolf populations of Sweden” and that it was “totally natural to me to stand up for the precious wolves of Oregon.”
Wolves are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, so there’s debate about whether Whitsett’s bill would have any immediate impact. But supporters of the bill say it is part of their effort to halt the spread of wolves, which they say pose a particular menace to livestock.
Du Toit wrote back to Ferrioli that his curt reply made her think that “you feel quite insecure about the strong influence that we as non-U.S. citizens might have.”
And she added this kicker: “There are NO borders in our fight for endangered species.”
Ferrioli didn’t stop there.
“You are delusional if you believe US elected officials will bow to activist pressure from outside our borders,” he fired back. “Let your friends, family and fellow Europeans in their thousands write passionate emails. We will ignore them.”
I guess he’s not so cocky now.
Sen. Ted Ferrioli: ‘I offer my sincere apology to the citizens of Greek extraction’
Video: Courtesy Louise Du Toit
Posted in: Wolf Wars
Tags: Louise Du Toit, Greece, Oregon Wolf Advocate hero, Senator Ferrioli, rude behavior