Apathy, Cowardice, and Ignorance are the Deadliest Weapons of All (Wolf Song Of Alaska)

February 12, 2013

I thought this would be a timely re-post considering the apathy, cowardice and ignorance that continues to surround wolves.


May 24, 2010

This one of the best articles I’ve read on wolf persecution and it’s root causes. The author, Edwin Wollert/Wolf Song of Alaska/Education Coordinator, puts it all in perspective. 


Apathy, Cowardice, and Ignorance are the Deadliest Weapons of All

by Edwin Wollert/Wolf Song of Alaska/Education Coordinator.

“Previous versions of this article have appeared on the Wolf Song of Alaska web site, and also been submitted to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

I tell my philosophy students on the first day of each semester in every course I teach that my job consists of helping them to become better thinkers. And in my studies of philosophy, I am often returning to the ancient Greeks, the creators of the first systematic rational philosophies as well as of the world’s earliest known democratic society, and there are some basic considerations in that part of history which are really the topic of this latest summary about wolf and wildlife education.

Democracy does not merely thrive and benefit from participation. It actually requires participation. And it must be active and ongoing. Apathy is precisely what kills a democratic organization, far more effectively than a hostile competitor or differing ideology could ever hope for. And this applies to all aspects of a democratic group: politics, policies, beliefs, and economics.

On the topic of economic interests, consider this: eleven years ago I went on a wildlife safari to the equatorial African nation of Kenya. Now I will not compare that ecosystem to Alaska’s, nor its wildlife to Alaska’s: vastly different climates, topographies, and species occupy each region. But what really stuck out, as we eagerly took to the field twice a day to look for the larger creatures, was the fact that during that trip I learned about a policy of the KWS, the Kenyan Wildlife Service, which is that country’s national agency for protecting and managing wildlife.

Field agents of the KWS are allowed to shoot poachers: on sight, without offering any warning. And when they shoot, it is not to scare or intimidate, but to kill. It is actually humans hunting other humans, legally. Poachers and rangers alike have been slain since Kenya first put its wildlife under such protection. The KWS would prefer to arrest and prosecute poachers, and frequently does, though more extreme measures have been deemed justifiable on some occasions.

How could a policy like this possibly be justified? you might wonder. This strong policy is based on Kenyans reaching a simple realization, in two parts: first, that Kenyan elephants, zebras, giraffes, lions, leopards, cheetahs, crocodiles, wildebeests, warthogs, rhinoceri, buffalo, hippopotami, various species of antelopes, and other “game” species are literally worth more, financially, alive than dead, and second, that the reason they are worth more is because people from other countries are willing to pay to visit Kenya for the specific purpose of seeing these creatures in their own habitats, bringing much needed wealth into the country by doing so.

Thus, there is no more legal trade in that nation in animal pelts, or horns, or, in the case of the elephants, in ivory. When the poaching policy was first instituted, the KWS invited CNN, the BBC, and the other major international news media to broadcast a live burning of millions of dollars worth of elephant tusks, to show that the organization was serious. That ivory could have been sold through illicit markets. It could have been turned into a hard currency, like dollars or euros or yen, which might have gone quite a long way in a country which is considered part of the “third world.”

So why would I share such a story with those of you who have already indicated at least a passing interest in Alaska’s wolves? I am not actually recommending that Alaska adopt a similar no-holds-barred approach to poaching intervention (although one might imagine that poaching would dry up rather quickly if we did, and yes, poaching does occur in Alaska). The reason for such an extreme measure is that a nation like Kenya is rather financially poor, and it needs the hard currencies brought in by visitors who are able to spare their disposable income on wildlife interests, while Alaska is instead part of the world’s wealthiest nation.

Rather, I relate the background of the KWS to point out one key detail: in Alaska, “our” wildlife is likewise worth more alive than dead. And this means all of it, not just the bears, or the moose, or the caribou, or the marine mammals, or the eagles and fish, but the wolves as well. With that in mind, there is an essential principle at work here which must be reiterated, since it keeps being ignored or glossed over by politics and the taking of sides, and which is non-economic even though it has economic considerations. The principle is this: an ecosystem must have predators.”

To read the rest of this excellent article CLICK HERE


Photo: wolf wallpaper

Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus, Alaska wolves, Howling For Justice, Wolf Wars, wolf intolerance

Tags: aerial gunning of wolves, wolf persecution, wolves in the crossfire, Alaska wolves, Wolf Song Of Alaska

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank you for submitting this very interesting text.

    “The principle is this: an ecosystem must have predators”

    How true, but the problem is:
    Humans want to be the only predators and they do not tolerate any competition besides himself.

    Unfortunately, humans are not the ones who act act with caution because apathy, cowardice and ignorance are the deadliest weapons of all………………………..


  2. When you have residents of a state (Montana) believe “zombies” have invaded their state you know what the problem is – they are more stupid and uneducated than originally thought. I wonder if Idaho and Wyoming have zombies?


    • WOW Joe .. I can hardly believe this is True .. lol Yes I, too, wonder if Idaho and Wyoming have zombies, too ?


  3. Sent from my iPad


  4. I love all the comments. I follow your blog, but it upsets me to come over too often. I think this is so wrong. And I have read and seen on TV documentaries many of the things talked about. If they didn’t mess with the critters, natural selection would take care of it. I’m not sure what the answer is now, but I have never believed indiscriminate killing is the answer. Thanks so much for all you effort in trying to make people more aware of what is going on.


  5. Seems as if Alaska does not value its visitors as much, nor any of the other states killing all these wolves.


  6. Two new bills would make cattlemen have 20 year permits with no environmental analysis or public participation. See below:

    Please write to your congressman as they are not hearing from the rest of us. Don’t let the cattlemen dictate how we can use our public lands, who lives andd who dies, who gets to pollute and make a profit off of our wild lands! See my lwtter below and use my points if you wish. In fact, use the whole letter. No one has the time to write long letters these days. You can copy and paste into your congresspersons website. Please, please, stand up to these cattlemen bullies:

    Dear Sir: The livestock grazing program is in dire need of reform. It is a giveaway of our public lands to private interests who are destroying them and making a profit from it. We need to raise the fees so it is competitive with other animal raising businesses and have some buyout legislation to get this subsidy off the books. We have nourished the cattle industry at the public tit for too long and now they can’t make a decent profit without us. They are ruining our streams and killing our wildlife. They can’t coexist with our apex predators who make our natural lands healthier because they have to ring out the last bit of profit out of it. It is not their land. It is our land. 
    Recently, some of the worst legislation we’ve seen in years has reared its ugly head again. The “Grazing Improvement Act” [sic] was reintroduced in both the Senate (S. 258) and the House (H.R.657). These bills seek to extend grazing permits to 20 years instead of the current 10, severely limit the requirements for full environmental analysis and public participation, and leave the timing of environmental analyses to the sole discretion of the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture. In other words, the Grazing Improvement Act would be a disaster on the ground and seriously effect our ability to advocate for the protection of plants and animals on 260 million acres of public lands. They just want to run amok on the lands and eat all the grass and leave nothing, not even for themselves later. Just use it up and throw it away according to these bills. The grazing permit program currently loses $1.2 billion every decade in cost recovery for conflicts resolutions. The grazing fee, especially, is raising quite a few eyebrows in the current climate of deficit reduction and spending cuts. There is such a general lack of knowledge about the extent of grazing programs and the significant impacts of livestock grazing that effect our lands that we feel you need to look more closely into these issues.
    Please keep in mind that these grazing permits do not serve the public interest and do not protect our public lands or our wildlife!


    • Thank you Nancy for bringing this to our attention, these people are shameless.

      Excellent letter. I’m so lucky to have such wonderful advocates posting on the blog. The wolves would thank you if they could.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,


      • Nabeki, you have suchh a wonderful site. I come here to learn and commune with people who don’t have to kill animals to enjoy them. There are a lot of them.
        I’m glad I’m not taking up too much space to add what other actions are taking place. But again, this is a novel and unique place where I’ve learned so much!
        Michigan is collecting signatures, everyone. They are doing pretty well. They will put a fantastic bill up for a vote and I’m sure most Michiganians will vote for it. It will stop further hunts. Hope you can sign it or volunteer to get sigs. It’s cold in Michigan and we live all the way out in Oregon. Someone out there help.

        27 Days to Help Wolves

        Michigan’s fragile wolf population is in serious danger after state legislators passed a bill allowing wolves to be hunted for sport and trophies late last year. But thanks to volunteers working tirelessly every day in freezing temperatures, we may be able to stop this senseless killing.
        We’ve collected more than 100,000 signatures to protect wolves. This has been no small feat. But in just 27 days, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected will need to turn in 225,000 signatures to get a referendum on the ballot.

        We have a lot of work left to do to reach our goal. Help us get the word out by sharing our graphic on Facebook today.
        Thanks for all you do for animals.
        Mike Markarian
        Humane Society Legislative Fund

        P.S. Want to do more for our hardworking volunteers in the field? Donate $8 today to give them a hand.


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