2. The Predator-Prey Relationship
Back to Wolves, Man, & Truth
Now about predation. Yes, the old boy has to eat. He, according to our standards, is cruel. He according to our standards is vicious. But when he is in his own world he complies with the most dominant law of all, “Survival of the fittest.” He is no worse or better than any other meat eating animal, including Man.
The food chain begins with the tiniest swamp creatures, the insects, then the tiny reptiles, the tiny rodents, the smaller birds, then to the larger reptiles, the larger mammals, the larger birds, both waterfowl and land based birds. From there we must go to the larger mammals, the deer, the moose, the goats, the elk, all preyed upon by both Wolf and Man.
Man, being the more indiscriminate predator, oftentimes taking the very finest trophy animals as opposed to the Wolf’s being unable to prey upon this category of game animals due to the fact that the game has evolved to outrun, outfight, and evade them with their very primitive natural weapons, which are opposed to our modern hunting equipment. Thus the only vital difference in Man’s and Wolf’s predation.
So let’s face it. Let’s put the truth where it belongs. Predators? Yes, aren’t we all? From the tiny North American Shrew, weighing a quarter of an ounce to the North American Eastern Timber Wolf, weighing from 75 to 100 pounds at maturity.
Now, who needs first shot at the prey animals? Man with his domesticated meat animals, cattle, hogs, chickens, turkeys, etc., or the evolutionary ancestor of the dog, the animal that developed the game animals to their finest?
True, it is sport to pursue the game animals, but aren’t we using an unfair advantage when we use high powered telescopic sighted rifles? The snowmobile? The aircraft? Personally I believe that the use of the bow and arrow give the game a much more sporting chance, as does the Wolf. This is not to say that I am anti gun hunting. Far from it. But shouldn’t we share with the natural predator, rather than envying and deploring his meager borderline existence in the only stronghold he has left in North America USA?
Do you scatter your camp leavings of edible content? Do you scatter your gut pile so as to feed the gnawing pain in the little predators and scavengers? I hope so. Each is a vital link in the food chain. Each does as evolution has dictated that it do, without malice. The Wolf does what it must do, without malice. Man tends to do what his conscience or lack of conscience dictates, AND, in many cases, with malice.
Is the Wolf really so inhumane? I don’t believe so. Go to any packing house where food animals are butchered for meat. Observe certain methods of killing. Observe them shackling a sheep or cow through the hamstring, swinging the utterly terrified creature up with its head just off the floor, then the cutting of the jugular vein, while the creature bawls and bleats in absolute knowledge of the fact that it is being killed. Am I against this? No, people must eat. Nothing can replace the fats and proteins from animal carcass.
But why condemn the Wolf because it sometimes is not even so efficient as mankind? Oh yes, the little Bambi worshipers cry out against killing such beautiful creatures. Yes, they sob big tears of sorrow and recrimination, and sordid self righteousness. But put those dear sweet little Bambi lovers out into the wilderness, let them go hungry for a week and by God they will kill and butcher little Bambi and eat from him before the meat is cooked and growl just like the Wolf as they forget the dear sweet little guy. Don’t tell me about the primitive. I’ve seen just THAT, and I didn’t tell you the most gruesome details of these happenings either.
Dangerous? Yeah. Predator? Yeah, but so are YOU. Just because humans can get into a fine automobile, burn the precious contents from the bowels of the Earth and dash down to the supermarket, plunk down some worthless tokens of Man’s greed and risk injuring or killing someone or somebody, both going and coming, is no true sign that we are innocent little Bambi lovers.
Instead, in each of us under a thin, yes a very thin veneer of supposed civilization and domesticity lurks the yet Neanderthal Man — the Cro Magnon Man — just as much a predator as ANY wolf. Believe it. I have seen the most sensitive, most kindly, dear little old lady revert right back to the “Wild Ones” when the chips were down and nature required it for survival.