I’m currently reading a modern novel – out 2017 – which still perpetrates the bad old myths about ravening and ferocious wolves hunting down humans! Really? In this day and age? But yes, those attitudes and falsehoods still go on. Add in that this writer is a pagan of very long standing … it seems even our own still have their heads all clagged up with rubbish.
For most of our time on Earth, 3-5 million years, we humans lived easily alongside all the big apex predators. Not only that, but we actually learned from them. Cats first, and then wolves, came to investigate us, began to share our firesides, and our food, taught us better ways to hunt. Then, 10,000 years ago some idiot invented farming. Well they certainly got hold of the wrong end of the stick with farming and made it into the ownership thing it quickly became – my field, your field, I want your field, I kill you to get your field.
But still, for a few thousand years at least we lived reasonably peaceably with the rest of creation, even though we had begun stealing habitat from them for our farms.
Then came a huge change, 2000 years ago, we called it christianity.
This new religion, patriarchal like the Judaism from which it grew, began laying down the law through the high-status and much looked up to priesthood that, in order to escape frightful hellfire and go to heaven, we all had to behave in a particular way. And humans quickly began to give away their own powers of discernment and decision to the priests, losing their ability to think and question for themselves as to whether what they were told was actually correct and true. Amongst the law-laying-down that came out of this priesthood was the concept of “good animals” and bad animals” – remember the stories of the lamb of god, the lion and the lamb? This is where the concept of the ravening wolf was introduced. Wolves became bad animals, sheep became good animals – I wonder why?
Easy peasy, it’s easy to make sheep do as their told. Except if you happen to have a flock of Soay sheep; just show Soays a sheepdog and watch them explode three-dimensionally in every direction! But most sheep are tractable, and the high-status rulers and priests wanted to stay high-status and be looked after, so they called their followers their flocks! Arrgghh !!!
Wolves, of course, are not tractable. They have their own families and a very complex society in which they care for each other very well – unlike humans. They haven’t the least intention of suffering under what some lazy and arrogant human wants them to do. They continue on their ancient ways, following migrations that have been going on for hundreds of millions of years – and find human farms and towns and cities in their way. Humans have not only stolen the habitat but have also changed it out of recognition and made it impossible for most of the wildlife to live there. They’ve also made the wolf’s hunting impossible by their conurbations. Then add in that the humans, because they live secluded away from nature in towns with no access to real life, wild life, have no idea how to be with wildlife and are often afraid of it.
Anything we humans fear we tend to hate! Anything we hate we try to eradicate!
Oh dear! We really have screwed ourselves up very badly, haven’t we?
Have you ever looked at going on a wolf-watching holiday? There are several about now but there’s one thing you will find in the spiel from all of them … you may be with them for two whole weeks (or even longer), out in the wild, shown how to behave so there’s a chance of you seeing wildlife, but you may never see a wolf! They cannot and do not guarantee you will see a wild wolf. Why not?
Wolves are very intelligent, quite likely far more so than humans depending on what parameters you use to calculate intelligence. I really don’t think inventing the wheel, the infernal combustion engine, the atom bomb, slavery, government, philosophy, gender discrimination, hierarchy, towns, agribusiness, business in any sense, etc blah, really counts towards intelligence. Especially when you look at what we’ve done with all thos inventions, and how much we desecrate the Earth with them.
So wolves know about us, they’ve watched us over the past 3-5 million years, and watched us go wrong. They know how most humans feel about them, they know that humans are more likely to kill them than try to make friends. And their wonderful acute senses can smell and hear us from a mile away! They don’t need GPS, mics and amplifiers, heat sensors, and all that crap to know where we are. So they avoid us. They see no reason why they should risk their families and themselves to come to see us. Well I mean, after how we’ve treated them, would you, if it was you?
Back to all that intelligence crap … another thing those damned patriarchal religions made us all believe is that humans are top-species. What a load of crap! Is it intelligent to be destructive, not to care about anything but yourself, to believe you have the right to use and kill anything not-you? Sounds like bollocks to me. And then there’s the fact that we’re the youngest species on Planet Earth; every darn thing is older than us, and every darn thing is far better adapted to working-with the Earth and all her creatures and plants than we are.
Gerald Durrell of My Family and Other Animals, was the founder of Jersey Zoo. Originally, the first cage visitors came to had bars up on it and a notice that read, “Behind these bars you will see the most destructive animal on the planet” … behind the bars was a mirror! Says it all for me. Durrell was one of the first folk who, like Attenborough and Packham and others today, championed the change every single human being must make to their beliefs and attitudes and mores if we are to survive, if we are not to completely rape and ruin the Earth.
We must, must, change our belief that we are top species and the best thing since sliced cat-food! If we continue to believe, as the Religions of the Book (the bible) tells us, that we are god’s gift to creation we will kill the Earth. And, with a bit of luck, make ourselves extinct too so they Earth just migh be able to revive herself without the threat of humans.
This cartoon is so true!
Many people won’t like it. It will scare a lot of people – people who have no idea how not to be selfish, no idea of really sharing with the not-human world or, indeed, many of the humans unless they’re part of their tribe. Insularity and exclusivity are their watchwords and the way they live. There are many nations who feel this way, let alone individuals, and the worst thing is that they don’t realise such attitudes spell their own death warrants.
How do we do that? How do we change our beliefs and attitudes? They’re usually so well rooted in us it feels like death to even consider doing so. Add in, we’re inculcated with the concepts of humans-first, last and forever, that wolves are all out to kill us, that jaguars will drop from the branches of tress onto our neck and eat us alive, that apex predators steal our food, that nasty poisonous insects and spiders and snakes are all hunting us down. Sheeeesh! We are a lot of twerps, aren’t we!
So let’s each of us, individually, begin our growth into an intelligent human, let’s learn the truth about wolves, lets spread the word of that truth. And, as well, let us each condemn the cruelty we see around us from the selfish and nasty people who “use” animals, whether it be trophy hunting or horrible industrial farming, or industrial grain-growing that has already stolen ¼ of the Earth’s surface for arable purposes. Did you know that? Probably not, but the figures come from UN statistics so are likely right. Yes, we’ve stolen ¼ of the Earth for ourselves. Arrrrgghhh! So where do the creatures we’ve taken it from now live? Answer: they don’t, we’ve killed them! Then add in the habitat change global warming is causing, with the resultant extinctions of everything – except humans.
Wolves would be our brothers if we can change our attitudes. We could learn from them again, as we did of old; learn about family, about caring, about love, and play, and joy, and how to rning up children, how to work-with the Earth so we all live well rather than destroying as we do now.
Wolf words need to become our words …
#wolves #rewilding #environment #wildlife #ecology