KEEP IN MIND PLEASE: In some parts of this there is personal opinions but I have included facts which can be backed up by research and by searching the internet as well. I've tried to cite sources as much as I could and give sound evidence when possible. I cannot be held completely liable if some information is outdated and I'm unaware but I would be glad to learn the updated information IF you have it accessible.
Now, let's begin!
1. Wolves can be tamed! My 'so-and-so' owned a wolf and it was the best pet I've ever seen! You're wrong if you think wolves can't be tamed!
(This goes along with wolfdogs as well for the most part)
Answer: Yeah, just because you can doesn't mean you should.
Wolves are not meant to be 'tamed', okay? Everyone complains about how few wolves there are in the wild, how we shouldn't hunt them, how they respect us... and yet you want to take one, put it in a cage, teach it to ignore it's own instincts, and love YOU?
So that's okay? To take an animal that you love and destroy it's very nature to appease YOU?
Come on now, don't be a fool. If you love wolves that doesn't mean you need one in your living room. Adopt a dog from the millions out there in the world who already LOVE humans and are used to living with them.
Wolfdogs serve NO PURPOSE (Educational/Ambassador purposes and uses for domestic wolves and wolfdogs aside) other than to fulfill man's desire to control and possess nature. Oh, they may be loved and adored like any other pet but you can't really use one for anything that doesn't risk something else.
Back in the day (as in a hundred or so years ago give or take) in the north wolves and dogs bred by accident most of the time and although their pups were stronger and healthier they also displayed a much larger capacity to be aggressive. Eventually these 'wolf-dogs' they were bred to DOGS to dilute that aggression and make the offspring more docile once more while keeping the strength and endurance of the wolf in the harsh environment.
The last thing you want when you're out on the tundra is a dog that wants to kill you to take over your role as 'alpha' of the pack. Or even worse, the whole pack turning on you because you're suddenly seen as prey or an intruder.
Wolfdogs were first bred to try and serve man but now they're mostly bred for man's own vanity. They're not animals adapted well to living in cities, they don't get along well with strangers or strange dogs, they're big, strong, and immensely territorial. So even if there's dog in there it doesn't deter the wolf from being there as well.
Advocates for wolf dogs will sit there and gab on and on about how their animals are the best and most perfect out there, never bitten anyone, always happy, sweet, caring, loving. What they don't want to hear is their animals has more potential to turn on them than any other canine 'pet'. Not even PIT BULLS are considered as dangerous as a wolfdog. Most animal control places won't even try to catch a wolfdog, they destroy it because once cornered by strangers 90% of the time the animal turns feral and dangerous.
There are more wolves living in cages here in the US than actually out in the wild. It sounds bogus but it's true.
Wolfdogs aren't cool, edgy, or perfect animals. In the hands of those who don't know a damn thing about them they're a ticking time-bomb.
I said if you "ask anyone who owns or has owned a wolf dog if they fully trust their animal, if they say yes they're lying" and that seemed to set people off on some kind of tangent about how I didn't know that and this that and the next thing.
** Cascadeur911 -- "Matter of fact, after reading this I contacted my father, who used to have a husky/wolf cross when he was in his twenties. (Let me just say now that my dad's always had a head for training canines in general, and is the most proficient at it that I've ever met.) The cross lived outside of the house most of the time, and would often go running around for anywhere from hours to days at a time in the woods surrounding where he lived. He didn't have to feed her often, as she was quite good at catching her own food. But she did come home, every time.
2. Man doesn't need to hunt for his food anymore/Hunting for sport is wrong.
Answer: To you.
Which would you prefer:
An animal that has lived its life eating food of it's choice, breathing fresh air, waking and going to bed when it chooses, and living past the age of 2-4 years of age?
An animal that has lived it's life in a 4x4ft cubicle, breathing stale manure soaked air, waking and sleeping when it can, and being lucky to live past 2 years of age?
You see we're a spoiled race. We're spoiled because we're weak. Going out an killing your dinner is old news, it's inhumane to go out, hunt, and shoot an animal but to us it's fine to mistreat and torture certain animals so long as we don't see it happening.
If you think all hunters just go out, shoot animals,take its skins, and leave the rest you are sorely mistaken and really need to talk to actual hunters who do it for a living.
Hunting boosts not only the economy it also holds the natural balance of nature. MAN is part of nature and just because we live in fancy houses, use fancy phones, and defecate in toilets doesn't mean we serve any less purpose in the grand scheme of things.
So you can be fine with letting animals be tortured so you can eat your burger but detest anyone who goes out an kills a deer and eats it, but bear in mind that with every protest there's always another.
This leads me to the other argument posed: carnivore shamers.
3. I'm vegetarian/vegan and I don't believe any animals should be killed for food.
Answer: Okay, so eating vegetables and non-animal products means you gain a 'get out of jail free' card and allows your reasons to be more important?
Unless you are absolutely sure every thing you eat and buy is 'fair trade' material then you actually supporting something you may not even know about. Slave labour and underpaid workers. Yeah, I'm talking about those people in Indonesia who work for 1c a day making countless shoes, shirts, pants, and toys. Mexican workers being exploited and picking vegetables for hours on end only to be paid $1-$5 a day.
You want to talk righteousness in the face of hunting because it's wrong? How about looking down at your shoes and realizing where they came from, who made them, and if they were treated fairly?
Being a vegetarian doesn't give you any right to dictate or even demote people who want to hunt their food and eat meat. It doesn't allow you clearance to be mighty and say 'all animals are precious and should live!'.
How about you look up what would happen if man NEVER hunted again? What would happen if man left nature alone and never touched it. What it would mean to the ecosystem if man and his weapons were taken out of the picture for good.
More animal species would go extinct at alarming rates due to their numbers growing far beyond capacity. Predators would take over and run down prey numbers to dismal numbers. Without man watching over the Earth it would indeed crumble. We are a part of the system, we are it's guardians. As the higher life forms it is our duty to protect, preserve, but also take precautionary measures to protect this Earth. This means keeping certain animal numbers in check and this means hunting.
**EDIT: Multiple people have made the argument that nature would be fine without man, and maybe so, but still... stop mongering about mankind being the bane of all problems. We're part of the Earth's ecosystem just as much as the wolf, tiger, deer, and crocodile. When you say anything about man's involvement in nature, there's always this group of people (HUMANS) who argue against that in every way possible, saying man destroys everything and were just a bunch of big lumbering idiots burning and breaking everything in our path.
Humans aren't bad creatures and we're not going to destroy the planet. Get over it. We're destructive, yes, but we're not stupid. Our intelligence is what keeps us from doing that kind of thing. The o-zone depletion -- our reaction? Try to work on building more economical vehicles less reliable on fossil fuels. Cutting down the forests -- our reaction? Replant what we take, map out cutting areas, and create actual 'farms' for lumber.
This isn't to say ALL humans are smart and nature-conscious but a lot of people are. MORE people than you think.
Man IS part of nature's balance. We're needed her to keep that balance. Stop acting like if we were gone everything would be perfectly fine. The balance would be upset and something different would arise. It wouldn't be 'neat' or 'cool' because you wouldn't even be here to see it. Don't fool yourself with Utopian fallacies just because you're more akin to animals than mankind. We are animals.
Sorry to sound somewhat pushy but I am so sick of the human-shaming that comes with any debate about animals. It doesn't make a rebuttal more sound, it just makes you sound like you're ashamed to be what you are. It also kind of insults the who human race to pretend they're all stupid and cruel, basing this accusation upon the actions of a few bad eggs. (Even if you're a Therian or any other animal-kin, this body you're in right now is HUMAN. Just saying.)
That said, let's move on...
Man evolved to be omnivores, living off of various food sources easily so there was a better chance of surviving hard times. Some animals did this while others could not. About 70% of carnivores can actually eat roughage, they don't because it doesn't give them the protein rich diet they need to live healthily. Study bears for a while, you'll see what I mean.
A vegetarian diet, while it may be 'healthier' on a certain scale, is not actually the way man was designed to live. You CAN survive on a vegetarian diet IF you know what you're doing but you need to know what to use to substitute meat's proteins.
Man is a hunter, plain and simple. No getting around it. We still ALL hunt whether it's in the super market 'hunting' the best produce for just the right one, or hunting for a mate/partner and looking for the choice one that can provide what we need as our other half.
You may not see it or want to admit it but you hunt too.
Is it wrong to be a vegetarian? No! Is it wrong to be a meat eater? No! Choices are choices and don't let a lifestyle dictate so strongly about your personal views.
You love animals, fine. You think all of them deserve to live, great! You wouldn't personally want to kill an animal, alright.
What you believe won't always be what others believe. Hunters don't usually cram their hunting down people's throats but animal rights activists have no problem cramming their 'never kill' notions down theirs. Damning them, demonizing them, humiliating hunters for doing what they want to do.
4. Man kind is so selfish! All animals should be left alone and allowed to live and recover in peace without man going in with our guns and killing them when they're suffering in numbers.
Answer: You can argue all you want about how evil mankind is, how stupid we are, how horrible we are but the fact remains that WE are the dominant species on this planet. We have the power to WIPE EVERYTHING OUT very easily. You can argue that we've exploited this power and now the Earth is suffering, that we're over populated and volatile for the Earth, that WE should be destroyed.... but you'd be incredibly wrong and naive.
Man kind evolved with the Earth, we also evolved to survive.
You don't want people to tell the truthful nature about animals but you have no qualms with damning mankind for the 'wrong' he's done with nature? Come on now, you're forgetting homo sapiens are animals, we are animals too. The only thing that separates us from apes is our more adapt brains and anatomical upgrades like more dexterous hands and bipedal posture. Our intelligence is unmatched by any other species on this planet. Yes, some animals show a remarkable intelligence but that intelligence is STILL primitive to our own. We learn at an alarming rate and we are survivours. That's why we're the most dominant species on Earth.
Man's intelligence hasn't just helped man, it's helped the whole Earth. If it weren't for us having the intelligence to rethink our mistakes and learn from them many species would have gone extinct long ago. We'd be sitting in a 'Wall-e' like world probably surrounded by disease and famine, most of the animal species on this Earth would be GONE.
You can argue all you want about how horrible we are for doing our job as keepers of the balance but truth is you can't because when you get down to it, we're not so bad after all.
We've saved just as many lives as we've taken, and for many saving lives is their only goal. You talk about hunters being cruel in inhumane but they're really not. Not all of them.
Demonizing mankind for making mistakes is pointless and not to mention counterproductive to any progression or education in the future. You are a human being whether you want to admit it or not. You are a guardian of this planet and as such you are part of something bigger than just activism.
Don't damn the human race for it's mistakes, be thankful we learned from many of them and are looking to do right.
5. "Wolves have not killed without being provoked in some shape way or form"
Answer: Don't preach this if you don't know the facts.
"Attacks due to provocation have occurred, usually involving shepherds defending their flocks, though none recorded fatalities. Unprovoked attacks by non-rabid wolves are rare, but have happened. The majority of victims of unprovoked healthy wolves tend to be women and children. Historically, attacks by healthy wolves tended to be clustered in space and time, indicating that human-killing was not a normal behavior for the average wolf, but rather atypical behavior that single wolves or particular packs developed and maintained until they were killed.
Excerpt taken from Wikipedia -- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_att…
There is also a list of confirmed fatal wolf attacks, the latest being on Saturday, July 10, 2013 in Srinagar, India where a 9 year old boy was fatally wounded by a wolf.
6. There are so few wolves in my area yet people still continue to hunt and kill them because they invade their ranches, flocks, and farms. Can't we just relocate them?
Answer: While relocation is a good idea in some locations it doesn't work at all. Wolf territories can be up to 14 sq mi (35 km) in expansion and depending on the pack size and the availability of food that territory can be immense. Eventually that territory will overlap into mankind's world and that's when there is a problem.
Healthy wild wolves tend to stay away from man if and when they can but depending on how compact an area is eventually wolves will become more accustomed to living beside man and again, this is when the problems happen. A wolf that doesn't respect boundaries is a dangerous problem which is why most of the time they're killed.
If you can catch one and relocate it far away from civilization then wonderful! There's nothing better than giving an animal a second chance.
However, in some cases relocation doesn't do much good and sooner or later the animals will wander back to where they were in the first place.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
7. Wolves never kill livestock unless they have to. They prefer wild game to fat old lazy cows!
Answer: Wrong. Wolves are hunters, opportunistic ones at that. If they find an easy source of food be it a herd of elk or a herd of cattle, it doesn't matter the type of meat they are eating. If it's easy to catch and feeds the pack they'll hunt it, kill it, and eat it. Plain and simple.
It mostly also depends on location as well. If wolves set up a territory near a farm there's no doubt they'll investigate the availability of food within it. To them a bovine looks no less appetizing than any other ungulate.
Wolves usually seem to go after the same individuals in herds of cattle and sheep as they do in wild game -- the young, sick, weakened, and elderly so in all logic this just shows their opinions on wild or domestic meals choices. In some places of the world they've also been known to raid rubbish cans and chicken coops.
Being opportunistic means making a choice without much planning or preference so if a wolf sees a young calf unattended it will go after it. Doesn't matter if it's a cow or a moose calf, food is food when you're a hungry wolf.
While to some it may seem like wolves won't eat fatty foods they actually do. Most wild game is low in fat but rich in nutrient laden meat so wolves are rarely seen eating fatty foods, however wolves have been seen fishing by choice and eating Salmon which are incredibly high in fat content. More so near wintertime where fat means energy and warmth. Granted, the fat we're talking about isn't saturated fats, not ones that make the body expand with its own excess fat. These fats are burnable fats and healthy energy.
So, a fat cow is a prize meal because it's raised to be healthy for humans, meaning it's chock full of vitamins and healthy tissue (for the most part). Wolves hunt what they can find.
8. What's so wrong with people liking/loving wolves?/What's your problem with wolf fans?
Answer: Nothing is wrong with liking or loving wolves, and I have no problem with fans of the wolf. In fact I love wolves a lot myself.
What is wrong is trying to give the wolf this god-like status or that the world will end if wolves aren't saved everywhere.
Some places do not want wolves anymore and a lot of places have no room for wolves anymore. A lot of people have this notion that there should still be wolves on every continent and in every country on Earth but that's just not possible. That's a fantastical notion that will NEVER come alight, not while we're still living here on this Earth.
Most wolf fans I have met are reasonable and well educated in the truths of wolves and wolf behaviour. Many would sooner see the wolf remain in the wild and be an icon of the wilderness than have to only see them behind glass or fences, miserable and captive.
But there are those who go to the extremes on their 'love' for these animals and they start attacking people for not liking them or even talking negative truths about them. They go so far as to protest any kind of hunting, even if it's meant to protect the wolf's food supplies in some areas so they're not wiped out by their own greed and gluttony. They also stretch truths and threats making sensible wolf supporters look unprofessional and often bonkers.
Their behaviours have led people to HATE wolves because they can't stand the wolf's fan-base. They driven people to be anti-wolf because they shove strong opinions and lies in people's faces thinking they're doing good when in fact they're nothing more than crazed vigilantes killing the very cause they aim to uphold.
So no, there's nothing wrong with loving, supporting, and even actively trying to protect wolves in areas where they need it, nor is it wrong to be a fan of the animal.
9. You seem to think so highly of humans, don't know know how cruel and horrible we really are? Are you some kind of Human exceptionalist?
Answer: In a yes and in many ways no. While I do actually accept and embrace being human and knowing that we are indeed the top species on the planet, I don't believe we are completely better or any less than other animals in every, but we are better in many ways.
I think highly of humans because I know damn well that WE are the only ones that can save this planet, believe it or not. I said it before but we are guardians of this world and as such we are the only ones that can save it through our intelligence, ingenuity, and abilities. Are we superheroes? Not really, but we can be saviours.
I know very well about the cruelty of mankind, not only to animals but to his own. Read up on history and you will see that we made just as many if not more mistakes in the treatment of own kind than with animals. In many parts of the world we still are.
10. You're such a hypocrite. You draw wolves too and yet you're describing them like they're monsters and cold hearted beasts!
Answer: I said this already but I'll repeat myself I love wolves but I also respect them for what they are and what they can do. Drawing them doesn't make me a hypocrite if I'm understanding of the truth behind the animal.
11. Why do you call them "Cold hearted killing machines"? That's mean and untrue!
Answer: Not at all.
Let's break down these definitions one by one, shall we?
Cold hearted -- 'lacking affection or warmth; unfeeling.'
Killing -- 'causing death; fatal'
Machine -- 'an apparatus using or applying mechanical power and having several parts, each with a definite function and together performing a particular task.'
Now, with those all set let's put it together in a definitive sequence: "Lacking affection or warmth while causing death with all parts with definite function, performing a particular task."
So in reality this isn't actually a cruel description of an animal that is a carnivore. It just sounds cruel from a human stand point.
Wolves are built for hunting and every part of their body is evolved and designed to do it and do it efficiently when it has the chance. They know what they're doing when they do it and they are built and designed to do it with proficiency.
They have no shown any emotion during a kill other than happiness upon achieving their goal of catching prey. They do not show remorse, sadness, or even regret after killing, not even young animals. This is the definition of cold-hearted. To kill without an emotional attachment to the think/person you are killing. If wolves did show negative emotions while hunting they'd probably never eat.
12. If you knew people were going to react negatively about this, why did you even bother bringing it up?
Answer: I spoke up about it because I got sick of people misrepresenting not only the animal I love and admire but myself and others who love the wolf as well.
People who paint this obnoxiously bright and sunny picture just to make people think the wolf is some kind of Teddy bear creature but won't dare believe this creature is not without fault.
I knew I'd get slapped with a few 'wolfaboos' here and there who'd defy, deny, and fight me on these truths because that's their way. They're so enamoured with this animal that they don't want to see the bad parts; the real parts.
Negative reactions aren't any less important than positive ones because it shows areas where those who are educated may be able to help those that aren't.
"The best cure for ignorance is education". Some may not want to listen and if that's the case that's on them.
I tried to put out a sound, stern, and strong opinion and some facts about wolves, aiming to try and put my little blip of an article out there amid the masses. In some cases it did give some insight to some who didn't know, but to others it just angered them because they didn't want to hear it.
I knew people wouldn't jump on me about supporting hunting and fail to see the type of hunting I supported (legal, regulated, and properly/respectfully done hunting) and instead choose to attack me on grounds of being supporter of animal killers and poachers.
I knew this but I wasn't about to let that stop me from saying something. As someone who loves wolves and draws them I have just as much right to speak up about them and say what I have to say as anyone else. The reactions of others is something I can't see until it happens nor can I control it.
So because I knew I was prepared and thus the updates and edits were made when need be.
13. From the sound of it you wanted people to FEAR wolves or hate them for being monsters and cruel beasts! Is that what you want?
Answer: Yes and no. If people can't handle the truth about wolves and what they are, the darker side of their behaviour then so be it. I want people to respect the animal and understand that it's not just some cute and cuddly doggy. In ways yes, I do want them to fear the wolf because if they do they may also gain a respect for it and realize this animal is a hunter, a killer, but a survivour! They are cruel when they have to be or when they want to be, that's just the truth. They may not know right from wrong but they don't have to. The wild doesn't dictate prosperity based on emotional decisions, it's dictated on rational and wise ones that lead to survival.
Fear -- "an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat." Is it so uncouth to fear wolves? Is it wrong to fear them? No, because they can be everything in that definition.
However, they can also be amazing and wonderful so long as you respect them for what they are and give them their space and due pardon.
The best way to protect the wolf is to try and educate people who don't know about them and give them the truth about the. The WHOLE truth, not your truth.
"They're beautiful, amazing, and an intricate part of the ecosystem, but they are also dangerous, unpredictable, and wild. They are hunters who hunt and kill other animals to live and survive, but they have been known to have bad apples in the bunch and those bad apples have done bad things to humans. In turn this has led many people and groups to try and find solutions to wolves and their being a problem to humans, most of the reception is positive but not all of it.
Although the future of the wolf is uncertain to some degree, there is hope that one day man and wolf could learn to live in harmony and respect."
(I'll update this as I find more questions and things to address. Still reading through a lot of comments. For now, here's some answers/addresses to the few I found thus far.)