It seems my nemesis and I have come to an agreement. We are not best friends by any means, but we do agree to disagree. The attacks were relentless and getting worse by the minute and I was having a hard time understanding why. I now know that there were a lot of assumptions about me just based on some of the Facebook pages that I posted on. I was being judged by the company I keep… hmmm… I suppose that is a quick way to make an assessment and judgement about someone, but it is hardly fair.
I do not hunt, and I never will, but that does not mean that all hunters are horrible people! I disagree with many of the hunting pages; the sick pictures that seem to glorify killing and torturing animals nauseate me, and the comments that go along with the photos also celebrate the torture and death. Sadly, it is the supposed Animal Rights Activists who can take blame for these pages. I am not talking about true activists, I am talking about the “keyboard” activist who have nothing better to do than troll wolf hunting pages and viciously attack the hunters.
August 31, 2012, the US Fish and Wildlife Service determined that wolf recovery had reached its goals and released management of the wolf to the states. Shortly thereafter, pro hunting and pro wolf pages began to pop up all over Facebook. This is how I got involved. I saw some posts by some pages I had joined and supported, and followed one of the links… I was in a state of shock! Why would anyone want to kill one of these magnificent creatures? Why would they brag about it? Killing them just didn’t seem to be enough for some though… There were stories about gut shots, and how the wolf would suffer for hours, even days, as it died painfully. There was even a decal made that said “Gut Shot Every Time.” All of this disgusted me, and I decided I was going to let them know what I think!!! Of course they will listen to ME! So off I went trying to save the wolves by blasting the hunters. I felt so empowered when I gave them a piece of my mind!!! Then the comments started coming in. I had never experience such hate! I was called every name in the book, and accused of some of the most bizarre and outlandish things.
The personal attacks are designed to get you angry. I know that now, but at the time, all I could think was William Tango Foxtrot (WTF), and I got mad! I hung in there trying to remain civil, not always succeeding, determined not to stoop to their level. Why these people took so much time with me was unknown at the time and I had even a harder time trying to figure why I was still there arguing myself. Suddenly, one of the ladies who was trying to show me what they are up against asked, “Mary, could you please post…” a picture she wanted me to see (Mary is not the name), “I have to go feed the horses.” Horses? I love horses! What’s up with this? I signed off shortly after that. The next day I followed notifications back to the thread, and there I read a few comments from a few hunters who were actually defending me! Wait a minute! I went back into the thread and made a couple of comments, and soon they were back. I will ignore the ones I still consider trash today. They are really a waste of time, but there were others who started asking me a few questions. I answered them the best I could, and when I didn’t have an answer, I faked it. This made me as uncomfortable as hell! I wasn’t used to being stumped. It was now time for me to step back and evaluate my knowledge base. I realized that I had let my emotions get away, and I had left myself vulnerable.
So, what did I know about wolves?
- They are social animals that usually live in a pack, run by an Alpha male and Alpha female.
- They only kill what they can eat, and because the animals they usually kill are the weak, very old, or the young, they are actually doing a service to the animals because they are keeping the ungulate herds strong.
- They have been hunted to near extinction before.
- They are beautiful and loving, and do not attack people. Attacks on humans are very rare.
- I watched the Discovery Channel! I have read several Jack London books!
I realized that if was going to prove my point, I had to do more research. I followed links on the page knowing full well that all their data would be very biased, and most of it was, but, it did provide me with several search terms, so I started researching. I found some wonderful pages that were from the Pro wolf side and started reading… I was on a medical leave of absence from work; I had a fast computer and I loved to do research. I do not usually accept things as fact until I can find a collaborating source (the journalist in me). As I dug further, I began to find the collaboration, oddly enough on Pro wolf pages. The collaboration was usually inadvertently supplied, or possibly skillfully hidden, but, there it was! All of it! The more I dug, the more information I was able to find collaboration for. This did not make any sense, I thought! No wonder these people are mad! No, not mad, they are furious because they feel they were betrayed by their government, and left to deal with this huge wolf reintroduction mistake while relentlessly being attacked and condemned by the rest of the world, and the rest of the world doesn’t even try to understand or set aside their emotions to do research for themselves.
There I am with mud on my face because I let my emotions run away with me and also attacked them…
…to be continued