January 27, 2023

Bread and Circuses

*Editor’s Note* – This article first appeared in the Bethel Citizen:

Bread and Circuses

It was the Roman writer Marcus Tullius Cicero who wrote, after the fall of the Roman Republic, that: “The evil was not in bread and circuses, per se, but in the willingness of the people to sell their rights as free men for full bellies and the excitement of the games which would serve to distract them from the other human hungers which bread and circuses can never appease.”

In giving in to fat bellies and entertainment, the distraction has destroyed what was once a hunger for knowledge born from facts and replaced it with romantic narratives of intellectual garbage. Too many of us have become automatons – we are told what to think not taught how to think.

I read recently an article Online from a media outlet in Iowa. Two men had shot and killed what they believed were coyotes in two separate counties on different ends of the state. Some in Iowa demanded an investigation to prove both of the coyotes to be wolves – a federally protected species. After a DNA test, officials stated the two animals were, in deed, wolves.

When officials made their statement about the event, one has to wonder if our educated wildlife officials have feasted too long on bread and seen too many circuses.

First, the director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said the two hunters would not be charged with harming an “endangered” species, because, “We understand this to be a sensitive topic.” It should not be a “sensitive” subject. Because wildlife agencies have abandoned scientific wildlife management and replaced it with the demands of a handful of very loud, well-funded animal rights groups, they have perpetuated the issue and made it “sensitive,” void of science. A very good friend of mine, and former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist describes what has taken over scientific wildlife management as the marriage of Romance Biology and Environmental Voodoo.

Second, the director said that because his department has decided not to press charges, “it will be unpopular with some.” Why? Should wildlife managers apologize because the United States Federal Government has and is forcing wolves into landscapes where humans have settled. The states have no say in the matter, while the expectations are beyond anything reasonable. Two men, hunting coyotes in Iowa, a state that officially does not have a population of gray wolves, failed to identify a wolf over a coyote. Also understand that the wildlife officials couldn’t visually identify the two dead animals but by a DNA test.

It was never intended that the Endangered Species Act, nor do I think it was the reasoning of our Founding Fathers, that such draconian measures be foisted upon a citizenry that they should fear government reprisals against humans while attempting to protect an animal species. How can there be liberty with such repression?

If things continue as they are now, DNA testing will soon be the only way to distinguish what kind of wild canine runs free. This is a man-caused dilemma sure to destroy the wolf and coyote species. Canines, regardless of the labels we have put on them, will in-breed. Forcing wolves, coyotes, domestic dogs and other hybrid canines into the same habitat, only serves to destroy, not protect, the wolf specie. Separation is the only way to protect the wolf specie. Forcing shared habitats with other wild canines will destroy them. Promoting togetherness of wild canines with domestic dogs, not only creates cross-bred offspring but most often alters the behavior of the animals. These changes can disrupt and destroy the animals we aim to protect. I don’t think that’s what we want.

Demanding wildlife managers protect every animal in the woods, serves only to destroy some while protecting others. We manage wildlife for man’s benefit. Mother Nature does not do that.

When we have reached a point where the only way to determine a species’ existence and/or origin is by DNA testing, perhaps something has gone a bit wrong. To continue to protect canine predators in such numbers they commonly interbreed, spells disaster for the species. Proper management will correct that problem for the benefit of all.