Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Would You Welcome A Wolf?

"I'm thinking of moving to Chicago!"
The title of this blog post sounds like a children's story, doesn't it? But I'm actually asking you. 

The other day the local newspaper had a story about how a dead wolf was found in Illinois. I can't find the story online, or I'd link to it, but it was mostly about people's opinions of a wolf being in Illinois. There used to be wolves in Illinois (and I don't mean the hockey team, haha I'm so funny!) until 1860, when they died off from hunting and habitat destruction, because that is how we roll in Illinois. We pour cement on stuff. 

These days, the closest wolves are usually in Wisconsin (which is weird because I swear when I was a little kid and we used to take vacations in Wisconsin, my parents told me there were no wolves in the state, which could have been to keep me from being scared, except they did tell me there were bears, and even took us to see some at the local garbage dump, because you could do that back then, but I digress...) So the article was about people's attitudes about wolves coming to Illinois. Here's mine. 

First... I love animals, and I have learned some stuff about wolves over the years. I even went to a wolf sanctuary last summer! I know that most of the myths about wolves are not true. Wolves are not mean and bloodthirsty. They do not go around killing for fun. Wild animals generally don't do that. They kill to eat, so they can survive... and maybe they might fight other wolves in order to protect themselves and their pack. For survival.  Wolves like to stick with their pack and keep away from humans. If they do see a human, they don't really want to attack, because they don't want to eat us. They don't recognize us as food. I guess you could compare it to what you might think if you saw, say, a rat. You could potentially eat it and get nutrition. But would you want to? Your instincts tell you that it is not food! 

You might want to take note of the fact that, even in areas of North America where there are wolves, wolf attacks on humans are very, very rare. Between 1820 and now, there have been less than 10 known wolf attacks on humans. Of the ones that did happen, one was by a wolf in captivity, who attacked his caretaker, and the other was a "pet" wolf who attacked his "owner." (The moral of this story is, don't have a pet wolf!) 

And, I know that all of North America originally belonged to the animals. By destroying their habitat and hunting them, we have driven many animals to extinction or endangerment. So I don't like to say something like, "Wolves don't belong in Illinois," because really, it is us humans who don't belong!


I also know that when wolves do attack, it is often because they are hungry. And when wild animals do wander into areas with lots of humans, it is because they are running out of space for themselves, and because they've gotten used to seeing humans. That is why coyotes have started hanging around the suburbs, and even the city. And when they don't have enough food to eat, or enough space to call their own, things like this start to happen. (This article caused me to just about poop in my pants. This is one of my worst fears. I am scared to let my dogs out in the backyard alone, and I hate walking them both by myself, because of this.)

So lets say wolves start coming here. And lets say they try to survive in our little forest preserves. If they start having the same problem as the coyotes here have, they're going to wander off in search of more food and places to live. But if you wander very far in the forest preserve, you eventually get to an area with people and pets. And if a wolf is hungry and looking for food... well... 

I love all animals. But I love my dogs personally, and I do not want them to be eaten alive by wolves. So...

Do I want wolves to come to Illinois? Not particularly. I don't like the idea of coyotes starving and having to eat garbage. I don't want that for wolves, either. And I also don't want my dogs to die. So if there are any wolves reading this blog, please don't come to Illinois... at least, not to Chicago! It is just not a good idea for any of us! 

If anyone disagrees with me, I'd love to hear your thoughts... especially if you can reassure me that the wolves will not eat my dogs! 


  1. Here's the thing: In Michigan, wolves were brought to near extinction. Then they were re-introduced. Now they are flourishing by eating small livestock and that demanded a vote on hunting them. Thankfully, it was defeated. And now Michigan wolves are characterized as "predators." I'm glad I'm not alone as an animal lover who doesn't get upset at extinction. That means no more hunger or suffering for a species because people just can't stop screwing things up for our wildlife!

    1. Exactly! If we could get nature back to the point where wolves could survive the way they are meant to, that would be one thing. But it seems backwards, and cruel, to bring them here just so they can eat garbage and get shot at!


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