Monday, August 10, 2015

Wild Animals Belong In Our Hearts & Minds

by Rachel Tilseth
Lack of ethical science in our government wildlife agencies is prevalent today more than ever. Or is it? Is there science in wildlife management but is this science lacking empathy for the creatures it manages? Let’s look at the leading expert of chimpanzee behavior, Dr. Jane Goodall, who refused to call her subjects by a number. Dr. Goodall gave every single chimpanzee she observed a name and refused to call them “it.” Please take a minute and view the video on this topic called, “Being With Jane Goodall”

Our government agencies that are in charge of wildlife lack empathy. This is true because how else can they justify the millions of wild animals they “removed” or “harvested” in the name of management. Government wildlife technicians have some sort of wildlife degree that quality them to do the work. But are they expected to act with a lack of empathy in order to manage these wild animals? They view these wild animals as “non-beings” and refer to them as “it’s” for the purpose of management.

It’s a cold reality and never more apparent than in today’s conservation ethic. This is obvious with our WDNR allowing wolves to be chased down by large packs of free ranging dogs with out any rules, regulations and little or non existent enforcement.

Wolves, a once endangered species is now an “it” harvested as a game animal without any thought of them belonging to a family. Where did this coldness towards wild animals start? This has been the norm for far too many decades and or centuries.

the following is one widely accepted definition of wildlife conservation.”Wildlife conservation is an activity in which people make conscious efforts to protect earth’s biological diversity. Does managing for biodiversity mean that human beings have the right to manage other beings as things to “harvest?”
“Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our Abrahamic concept of land. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” Aldo Leopold, “A Sand County Almanac.”
There you have it called “land ethic” and its a community we all care about and live in. Wild animals are “beings” that live within communities just as human beings do. Using the word “harvest” psychologically removes the emotional responsibility of taking the life of a living breathing being.
Ethical Hunting has been used as a method to feed our families for centuries but that has changed.

Hunting in today’s world has become recreational for fun and entertainment. Something to do out of doors in nature to recreate. This is all managed by our government agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Managements Division that have become: hardened towards the life of the creatures they are suppose to be conserving.

Our government agencies go through the motions of acquiring scienctic knowledge but they lack the emotional integrity to fully apply the science. And this becomes “the heartless” anti-wildlife management we see today.

The following photo of the postcard is from Dr. Jane Goodall and was sent to me in 1998 in response to a letter I Sent her about Wisconsin’s Wolf Recovery Program.



*Much appreciation and thanks goes out to wonderful friend for inspiring this blog post(who wishes to to remain anonymous).