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Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat


Never Cry Wolf

I found Farley Mowat's "Never Cry Wolf" ten years after it had been written. It was on the assigned reading list for a comparative animal behavior class I was taking. The year was 1973, and I was still in college. Never Cry Wolf had an intense affect on me, and I trace my interest in environmental issues back to that introduction to Mowat's work. Ten years later, Mowat's book became a popular Disney movie.

Twenty years after the movie was released, the flagship for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was dedicated and named the Farley Mowat. This week, that same ship was illegally boarded by Canadian authorities while captain (Paul Watson) and crew were attempting to chronicle the horrors of Canada's annual baby seal slaughter. Paul Watson was one of the original founders of Greenpeace. In March, the Farley Mowat was boarded by Japanese whalers. Watson was shot in the chest. His life was saved by a bulletproof vest.

Farley Mowat was the man who introduced me to the injustice of animal abuse. Wolves are the most humane of non-human mammals and live in loving well developed family groups. Read Never Cry Wolf and I guarantee that you will share my profound appreciation of these gentle intelligent creatures.

Canadian authorities once suspected that wolves were destroying caribou herds. Mowat taught them something they did not want to know. Man was the mass murderer, not wolf. Hunters with guns, not wolves with sharp teeth. Sure, they ate an occasional caribou. Native Inuit Canadians respect the wolves. They thin out the herd by eating the sick and infirm. In that regard, wolves keep the herd strong. Mowat observed that the major food source for wolves in the Canadian wilderness was field mice, not caribou.

Which brings us to the Wisconsin wilderness and the latest dairy industry animal abuse story. The dairy industry is blaming its financial ills on wolves. What nonsense. Milk marketing geniuses are now terrifying cheeseheads.

In today's attached article, take note when the farmers admit that bones are rarely fround from missing cows. When you get to this sentence in the attached story, note the irony:

***"Tandler said he is selling most of his cows because he can't keep up with the gas and feed expenses along with losing money on animals."***

The United States Department of Agriculture compensates every dairy farmer for a reported missing cow due to a wolf attack. Anybody smell a scam?

Canis lupus will soon lose their lives to the the lies offered by homo sapiens.

Yesterday's Leader Telegram (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) (April 16, 2008) reports:


The spring Conservation Congress hearings are scheduled in every county at 7 tonight. Questions ask if there should be a wolf hunting season and if people can shoot wolves on public land.

Wolf attacks haunt farmers
Hunt question tackled amid calving season
By Chris Vetter

Judy Antczak is nervous. In about three weeks, she is expecting about 60 calves to be born on her 150-acre farm, 20 miles east of Rice Lake. She knows that not all the animals will survive.

A growing wolf population in the area will nab a handful of the newborn calves, Antczak said.

'The wolves are here every day,' she said. 'We don't see them but we see their tracks. The wolves have been here all year. They were howling on the fence line in the middle of the day.'

Antczak has a permit to shoot wolves, but so far she hasn't been successful. She has lived on the farm since 1961, but she's only seen problems with wolves in the past six years.

"I'm worried because there is getting to be so many of them," she said.

Antczak said she has lost about 20 animals on her farm to wolves.

'The wolves can get to just about anything,' she said. 'They killed one right behind a house here. Last year, they killed an adult heifer. That's the biggest one we lost."

Adrian Wydeven, an ecologist and director of the state's wolf program, estimates there were between 540 and 577 wolves in the state in 2007. His organization will meet next week in Wausau to go over population estimates for this year.

'We've seen increases almost every year since 1985, but it seems our wolf population has leveled off this year,' Wydeven said, citing a cold winter as a reason for some of the older animals dying this year.

Wolves in the state were 'de-listed' in March 2007, meaning the Department of Natural Resources now allows homeowners to obtain permits to shoot wolves on their property. Any wolves that are killed must be turned over to the DNR within 24 hours, he said.

'It does ease people's minds, that they have these permits,' Wydeven said.

Last year, the DNR trapped 38 wolves and another three were shot by landowners, he said.

Drew Tandler has a 210-acre farm 10 miles north of Weyerhaeuser, and he also has seen a number of cattle vanish in the past four or five years. One year he should have had 30 calves but wound up with just eight.

'They went somewhere,' Tandler said. 'The cows were pregnant.'

The wolves work together to corner cows, he said.

'They pushed (a cow) out into a swamp, and they took the calf right from her,' Tandler said.

Tandler said it often is difficult just to find the carcasses because the wolves destroy the animals so completely.

'A calf was ripped apart, torn in all directions,' he said. 'There's a lot that are killed that we never see.'

Tandler agreed with Antczak that this time of year is the worst, when calves are being born.

'(The wolves) can smell the blood in the air when the cows are calving, and they are right there,' he said. 'He'll howl for other ones to come, and they'll come. I've heard this happen time and time again. When they howl, I'll shoot a gun up in the air.'

Tandler said he is selling most of his cows because he can't keep up with the gas and feed expenses along with losing money on animals.

Antczak said one of her frustrations is that she gets reimbursed from the state for lost animals, but it often is a several-month wait.

Wydeven said the DNR just sent out a press release stating that a dog was killed by wolves in Forest County. Last year, wolves killed 13 dogs in the state.

One of the questions at Conservation Congress hearings tonight whether there should be a hunting season on wolves. Wydeven said he sees that as an eventual way to control the population, but he said the number of permits would have to be limited to prevent too high of a harvest.



In the state of Wisconsin live 5.6 million humans, 1.2 million cows, and 45 dozen wolves.

That averages out to about 7.5 acres per human, 35 acres per cow, and 77,629 acres per wolf (one wolf for every 121 square miles).

The census bureau does not list the number of young girls who walk through Wisconsin woods wearing red riding hoods.

Robert Cohen
http://www.notmilk. com


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