In the last few days social media, at least mine, has been bombarded with protests against the BC wolf cull. Celebrities, like Miley Cyrus, are taking a stand against the decision, the effect of this is that, while they may not understand the situation, or what it means to live in BC, they are drawing attention to the issue at hand: the population of wolves.
I do not know enough about the wolf population, caribou, or elk populations to make an informed stand either for or against the wolf cull. But it is the comment section which I would like to comment on. It is no surprise that people are brave on social media, hiding behind a computer (or phone) makes people feel free to say what they like with no fear: this is old news. What I find shocking is the sheer number of people who want people to take a step back, and let “nature take its course.” My question for these people is, since when are people not a part of nature?
It may be easy to see ourselves as separate from the natural world when we live in concrete jungles. Even living in a small town I have had more than one stand-off with a large buck or a herd of deer in my driveway. In my town it is not unusual for black bears to wander the streets. But even in this town we can segregate ourselves from what happens in the “natural world.” We become focused on what we are doing day to day and see it as something that is entirely separate from what happens in the forest. The truth is that we are not separate from nature. We are dependent on nature, and we are members of the natural world. We are a part of the ecosystem and help to keep that system in balance. While mankind may have exploded in population compared to the rest of the animals, it does not mean we are not, at our core, an animal. We create regulations to prevent over-hunting, overfishing, and overuse of natural resources. To argue that people should take a step back and let nature takes its course is an ignorant comment: we are part of the natural order.
It is important for people to remember where we stand in relation to the world. Seeing ourselves as completely segregated from the animals we live with will only do them more harm in the long run. In my last article I commented on how going out into the wilderness for a week at a time reminds me that I am a part of this world, that, here, I am not on the top of the food chain, nor a ruler of the world. Out in the bush people are vulnerable. I think it is this vulnerability which reminds us of our humanity. So, regardless of your stance on the BC wolf cull, remember that people belong in nature; we are a part of this natural order. We may be overpopulating, but that does not change that we are crucial members of this world. To remove ourselves entirely from this world would be akin to removing wolves entirely: the populations of their prey would explode, meaning what they eat would die off, and eventually, their population itself would dwindle away.
Deanna Roney is an AU student who loves adventure in life and literature