The following is an excerpt from the classic fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood:”
One woman told of growing up on her family’s farm. She remembers being able to play by the stream without fear.
But now, with wolves around, it is a different story for her grandchildren. They came to visit one day. They brought their new puppy. As they bounded out of the car toward the house, two wolves emerged from the creek and snatched the puppy as the shocked children helplessly watched.
They are now afraid to go to grandma’s house. They have nightmares.
Others told similar stories.
Children waiting for the school bus sit in cages to be protected from wolves. Nine ranches in the current habitat area have been sold due to wolf predation – too many cattle are killed and ranchers are forced off the land.
Oh wait. That wasn’t from “Little Red Riding Hood.” That was from a recent column in the Albuquerque Journal written by a woman named Marita Noon from a company called “Energy Makes America Great, Inc.” The fear-mongering then continues to this:
Had I been called to speak, I would have addressed the lunacy of the plan.
After huge amounts of effort and resources have been invested to save the sand dune lizard and the lesser prairie chicken in and around the oil patch of southeastern New Mexico, they now want to introduce a master predator that will gobble up the other endangered species? After all, as many proponents pointed out, “wolves don’t have maps.” They don’t stay within the boundaries of the Fish and Wildlife Service plan, they go where the food is.
As I listened to the presenters, I wondered: “Why do they do this?” People and their property need to be protected.
Instead, supporters whined that capturing wolves and moving them away from communities “traumatizes” them. What about the harm to humans; the traumatized children? Does human blood need to be shed to consider that they have been harmed?
Calls to our elected officials do matter. Contact yours and tell him/her that you want people protected, that humans shouldn’t be harmed by an expanded wolf reintroduction territory.
People shouldn’t lie awake in fear for their families and property.
Ah yes. Where have we heard this before? Whether it is New Mexico or Wisconsin the anti-wolf talking points are exactly the same. Your “grandchildren” and their “puppies” are going to be gobbled up by the big bad wolf. Why is it always grandchildren that wolves want to gobble up? Does that mean your children, nieces, and nephews are safe because wolves have no taste for them? I also want to know why wolves only seem to target the grandchildren and livestock of wolf haters? Not only are they vicious and bloodthirsty predators, but they have vendettas against only those that hate them. Amazing. Why don’t wolves eat the grandchildren of hippies and tree huggers? I guess they aren’t tasty enough or full of enough fear and BS for those big bad wolves to chow down on.
The drivel above is the same type of talking points used by the anti-wolf groups in Wisconsin and their mouthpieces. The most brazen of these attempts occurred in 2007 with the release of a fear-mongering and ridiculous television ad called “Little Red Riding Hood Was Right.” From this 2007 article:
In Wisconsin, The Cattleman’s Association, Wisconsin Safari Clubs and Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association produced a video ad that will be aired shortly on local TV stations. The ad, entitled Little Red Riding Hood was right, is designed to scare the public about the number of Wolves in Wisconsin and the danger they pose to their children. The ad is strewed with misinformation. This group would like to see a cull of at least 200 Wolves to bring the number down to the minimum required for delisting status. Adrian Wydeven, the states Department of Natural Resource (DNR) Biologist, states that the ad’s effort to scare people is “wrongheaded” but agrees that it is time to delist the Wolf. “We aren’t going to go out and start killing wolves when de-listing occurs. I think, overall, we’re about where we need to be right now,” Wydeven said. “But the target goal in our management plan is 350 wolves outside of Indian reservations, and that’s still our policy.” There are currently about 500 Wolves in the state according to the DNR.
More from another article:
It goes on to explain that wolves are attacking dogs and livestock, but in case you miss the not-so-subtle implications, the spot goes on to advise people that they have the right to defend themselves against attacks by wolves. It ends with a wolf overlooking a playground where children are swinging and concludes: ‘The danger may be closer than you think.’
Hmmmm. The Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, SCI, and the Cattleman’s Association. What do these groups all have in common? They are all currently members of the Wisconsin DNR’s “Wolf Advisory Committee” that recommends kill quotas and other wolf “management” policies. How can the general public be expected to take anything that comes out of that committee seriously when a good chunk of their members consider Little Red Riding Hood to be historical fact?
This is from a 2009 Wall Street Journal article that illustrates how misinformation and fables permeate the anti-wolf culture in many rural areas:
“We hate them,” said John Bailey, chairman of the town of 850 and owner of Bailey’s Town and Country bar. He said wolves have reduced the deer population, a major source of income from visiting hunters. In addition to Mr. Schoone’s cattle losses, Mr. Bailey said another farmer recently lost two pregnant cows and a dog to wolves. He said he had heard stories of people being stalked. “I’m really concerned about it, especially small children,” he said.
They always “hear stories” about how the big bad wolf is terrorizing children and other people, but they never have any facts to back those claims up. But when all else fails with anti-wolf fear-mongering we can always use racist code words such as comparing wolves to “street gangs” to get the scared rural lily white folk all riled up. This comment was posted following the Albuquerque “column” along with all kinds of other anti-wolf and fear stoking propaganda:
“i was going to say something but after reading the more ignorant statements from the ill informed wolf lovers i was at a loss for words if only they could look at these wolves as they look at street gangs terrorizing their neighborhoods and doing anything they please maybe they could understand what we are going through with the wolf”
Ah yes the “street gang” analogy has been popping up quite a bit lately among the anti-wolf factions in the Great Lakes and in the West. Kind of like how the KKK is using the unrest in Ferguson, MO to “recruit” for their hate group the anti-wolf factions prey upon that same kind of fear by alluding to wolves as being like “street gangs.”
It is not just hatred of the wolf that is behind much of the lies, fables, and misinformation being spread online and in newspapers across the country. Why would a person representing a group called Energy Makes America Great, Inc. write a “column” stoking fear about the reintroduction of the Mexican Gray Wolf? The answer really is quite simple. The Mexican Gray Wolf is still listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. Even with the proposed gutting of endangered species protections, the Mexican Wolf will still have ESA protections. That would just so happen to get in the way of that “energy that makes America so great.” As their own website states:
Some of the concerns that we’ve worked on include the Keystone XL pipeline, fighting the extension of the Production Tax Credit for wind energy (which did receive a one year extension as a part of the fiscal cliff deal), fighting the listing of the sand dune lizard as an endangered species (which was not listed), and rallying people to attend hearings to balance out the anti-energy sentiments loudly expressed by environmentalists.
Of course. Would you expect any different stance on the Mexican Wolf from a group like this? Much as the Koch front group, “Americans for Prosperity,” put out anti-wolf propaganda videos pretending that the protecting endangered species somehow gets in the way of “freedom” this group appears to be following the very same playbook.
Down the hall, an anti-wolf event was sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, an organization funded by the conservative Koch brothers. The group offered literature by Ayn Rand and screened the documentary “Wolves in Government Clothing,” which equated rampaging wolves with an out-of-control federal government. Said one Arizona rancher at the event: “Is this politically driven? Absolutely.”
An armed guard patrolled — made necessary, Americans for Prosperity said, by death threats from environmental groups.
The issue of public safety loomed large, with much discussion of the kid cages, boxy structures that resemble chicken coops. Photos and video of the cages have been circulated by Americans for Prosperity, although it was unclear how many exist or who requested or paid for them. Local media reports suggest at least some of them were built by students in a high school shop class.
Americans for Prosperity? I have to ask which Americans this “prosperity” is for? I would bet it is “prosperity” for a couple of billionaires in Kansas and screw the rest of us. Those pesky wolves can’t get in the way of big energy so how else do you get the public to lose support for them? Fear, fear, and fear. They are going to eat your grandchildren. They are going to eat your “puppies.” Even worse is that they will eat your grandchildren and puppies at a bus stop. I know because I heard about it from some guy.
Just press the red button on this page to hear the immortal words of The Wire’s Senator Clay Davis that echo my view on these fear-mongering tactics: