It’s time to recognize that we are the “beasts” and that the word “inhumane” has no meaning. Humans invented and perfected cruelty and are about to demonstrate their humanity once again. In this case, it’s in Wyoming, U.S.A., where hunting of wolves is set to begin on Sunday, tomorrow. Also gassing, trapping, and aerial gunning.
As I write this from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, I watch two bull moose grapple in the willow flats. Huge animals with enormous racks and legs like aspen trunks, they fight by giving each other a few pushes, then backing off, stopping to munch, then nudging a little more. Eventually one gracefully retires, leaving the other to enjoy his mastery of the meadow by foraging there for a long while.
I compare this to the way humans do battle, within a culture and with other cultures we do not understand. Differences inspire fear, and fear generates a hate response. Humans don’t push and retire. When we hate, we obliterate. We exterminate. We poison. We gas. We amass our full complement of weapons because we can.
And wolves, misunderstood, feared and hated, are about to bear the brunt of our inhumanity. But let’s not kid ourselves. This is humanity. The ultimate predator uses merciless force to control his territory.
We justify this in various ways, including one which permeates Western civilization: the Bible. Dominion and control. This is what humans are supposed to wield over all God’s creatures. Sometimes I wonder about the translation from Aramaic. Whatever those words meant in the original, could a creating force have intended us to destroy? Rather, the language must imply a responsibility to protect and succor.
Does extermination bear the divine seal of approval? If there is a heavenly court of justice, I’m hoping wolves sit on the bench.