In My View Fall 2004
On July 4, a Florida letter-writer to The New York Times said she had called off her trip to Alaska after learning that “Alaska’s policy, under Gov. Frank Murkowski, allows private citizens to kill wolves by shooting them from low-flying planes.”
The Boynton Beach resident wrote: “It’s ironic that a state that touts wildlife as its greatest tourist attraction now offers gun sights as a lure.”
The letter-writer is one of more than 100,000 people who joined Friends of Animals and others to boycott Alaska’s $2 billion-a-year tourism industry until the aerial wolf-shooting scheme is cancelled.
This fall, FoA is continuing to challenge the legality of Alaska’s wolf-killing program in the Superior Court in Anchorage, and we’re organizing a second wave of Howl-In protests after Nov. 1, to impact the summer 2005 tourism season.
To publicize our message, we’ve developed two print ads that debut inside this Act•ionLine, along with a compelling 60 second TV spot produced using 3D computer graphics, live-motion video, and narration. The TV spot (also suitable for movie theaters) can be viewed on our Web site. The script reads:
This past winter, Alaska wildlife officials issued permits allowing hunters in small aircraft to chase wolves to exhaustion, and to kill them.
The airborne gunners kill the wolves to reduce competition over animals that humans want to kill, such as moose.
And they do it for a thrill.
Friends of Animals and others have pointed out well-documented errors in official claims which show moose populations are artificially low.
Yet 147 wolves were killed last winter alone, and another 500 wolves are already targeted this year.
Thousands more will be frightened, wounded and shot in coming winters — unless we can convince Alaska to end this massacre.
Contact: Friends of Animals Tel: 203-656-1522 www.friendsofanimals.org
A new book by Jon Coleman, Vicious: Wolves and Men in America, chronicles the 300-year persecution of wolves by European Americans. As Benjamin Schwarz, a book reviewer wrote in the September 2004 issue of The Atlantic Monthly:
“These canids were not merely annihilated: they were dragged behind horses until they ripped apart; they were set on fire; they were hamstrung; their backs were broken; they were captured alive to be released with their mouths or penises wired shut; their intestines were torn open by hooks hidden in balls of tallow left for them to eat.”
Coleman explains that viciousness toward wolves was an expression of “revenge, anger and dominion.” He asserts that wolves were destroyed “to safeguard livestock, to knit local ecosystems into global capitalist markets, to collect state-sponsored bounties, and to rid the world of beasts they considered evil, wild, corrupt, and duplicitous.”
The reasons held today by Alaska’s Board of Game and Gov. Murkowski to force aerial wolf-shootings are perhaps no more evolved than those of wolf-haters throughout history. This type of governance shames not only Alaska, but our country as a whole.
Coleman notes: “The predators continue to fire imaginations, ignite controversies, and elicit savage behavior; their grip on American culture remains fierce.”
We agree, and ask for your support of FoA’s interventions and Howl-Ins for Alaska’s wolves. To hold a Howl-In, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or send a letter to our Connecticut headquarters.
Please also write Gov. Murkowski and tell him you’ll boycott travel to Alaska until his campaign ends.
Gov. Frank Murkowski
P.O. Box 110001, Juneau, AK 99811