For the Wolf

Gray wolf. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

As the world deteriorates ecologically and societally, we are seeing in Montana’s new wolf “hunts” a march of barbarism and contempt for life unfolding before us. The kill having been authorized after Montana’s own Democratic Senator Jon Tester supported the State determining what it does with wolves, it has begun, with a mother wolf and two wolf pups of Yellowstone’s Junction Butte Pack already destroyed.

Bumper stickers expressing the callous nature of the killers brazenly show two wolves in a rifle scope’s crosshairs, with the caption “Smoke a Pack a Day.” Let’s not be lulled into construing such vileness as mere differences in values.

Such acts steal another’s right to life, allowing the thief to believe themself a great hunter for having “taken” the wolf. Never mind that the splendor of that wolf is snuffed out at all, and never mind that it furthermore was done in defiance of fair chase hunting ethics. There is nothing potent or masculine in this, nothing indicative of a brave or great white hunter.

This is part and parcel of a narcissistic and grandiose vision of Dominance of Nature that not only is tragic for the majestic and soul-stirring grey wolf, but is also demonstrative of the growing totalitarian and paranoid positions being taken on many issues in today’s world. We cannot grant a pass to those engaged in acts of hatred, appropriation, and exploitation. They must be called out for what they are. These are craven and detestable acts, and we should not mince words about it.

Joseph Scalia III, Psya.D. is a psychoanalyst, environmental and social critic, living in the northern reaches of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. His environmental writings and interviews have appeared in numerous journals and podcasts in recent years. He is the author of Intimate Violence: Attacks Upon Psychic Interiority and numerous psychoanalytic journal articles. Scalia is in private practice in Livingston, Montana, and is President of Gallatin Yellowstone Wilderness Alliance, as well as a past President and current critic of Wild Montana (né Montana Wilderness Association).

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