Killer Whales and Coyote…..?
Yes…..they have much in common!
So to start….I invite you to watch the new film that came out in 2013 called Blackfish. It is a documentary regarding the cruel capture and life of misery that baby orcas experience. Why? These amazing beings, who are highly social, have a capacity for deep emotional bonds, and have unique languages in each pod, and who swim the great oceans of our planet, are placed in a tank in order to perform silly entertainment for humans.
Who wins here? SeaWorld is a multi-billion dollar business that takes advantage of our humanity’s awe of these amazing beings to create great wealth for a few. Who loses? By all means the Orcas lose…..and our children lose. When we take our children to SeaWorld, we support the continued capture and misery of these wild beings….AND we are teaching our children….that this is our relationship with them….that we can use them any way we want…..take their freedom away…take a baby orca away from its mother…that this is OK. By tacitly teaching our children this, we deny them the understanding of who these great whales are, and the true wonder of that understanding.
What do Orcas have to do with Coyote? They are both powerful, highly intelligent, major carnivores on our planet, with complex social lives, and deep emotional bonds. As a society of humans we allow the imprisonment and abuse of Orcas…either by supporting places like SeaWorld or by our silence … and as Americans we allow the intense persecution and cruelty to our continent’s Native Wild Dog… Coyote…by our silence.
So what are we teaching our children about these “Other Nations” as Henry Beston refers to those lives on our planet other than humans?
photo by Pierre Giard
WHO IS THE REAL MAINE HUNTER…..?
Well for one…this photo here shows you the real Maine Hunter…
Nature has equipped Coyote with all she requires to do her work as an
effective hunter of her wild prey …
But Coyote is joined by other Real Maine hunters as well…I have spoken to a few of them just lately…and here is what they had to share with me.
A long time hunter poignantly said, “A real hunter respects the animal they kill.”
Another shared his experience of spending a whole day in his deer stand, and of all the life in the forest that he took in….waiting and watching. He expressed it like this… ” I felt like I was part of it all….not separate from it.” He used no “gimmicks” or baits used in drawing the wild ones to him. He waited for them to come….and he waited.
Another shared how he wanted to be an example to his two sons as to what true ethical hunting is about; and he spoke of respect and admiration for his fellow wild hunter, Coyote……
It appears that RESPECT is an integral part of a real Maine hunter’s relationship with wildlife.
So who are these individuals who take delight in the cruel slaughter and exploitation of our Coyotes here in Maine? These individuals are NOT hunters, though they attempt to identify their cruel activities with the real hunting community. And as they exploit Coyotes year round, day and night….they are also exploiting all of our wildlife by their invasion of all of their lives, creating frightening noises and unnatural lights….when all wild ones require some time to be left alone, in order to find their food , care for their young….and rest.
LET ALL OF MAINE RETURN TO A TRUE HUNTING TRADITION….one that many of our hunters already practice
Coyote photo by Jym St. Pierre
In his new book, Feral, George Monbiot wrote ~ “Rewilding the landscape is an opportunity to rewild ourselves, and fill the world with wonders of which we have been deprived, and alongside which we evolved.”
Stare at this wild coyote for a few moments…..she is wildness….
Let us delight in her wildness ….let us not allow ourselves to be so domesticated that we lose touch with her wildness.
And in her book, Silent Thunder, Katy Payne wrote ~ “I was thinking about what is lost when wildness is lost, and realizing that habituation is not just a slight modification of wild nature. It is a huge step toward tameness, in which all kinds of odd circumstances are accepted as normal.”
Protect our Coyotes in Maine from human exploitation and cruelty….this disrupts the dignity of their wildness … and in doing so steals something precious from ourselves.
Coyote pup by Jan Myers
Coyote Pup….Born now in our Maine Landscape….Born with all the Gifts that Nature has bestowed on her …..for her to participate in creating healthy ecosystems here.
SO WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HER….DO YOU HAVE ONE?
When Darwin discovered Nature’s great design of evolution, he was very afraid to publish his findings for many years. WHY? He knew that his findings would challenge the POWERFUL WORLD VIEW that humans were completely separate from the rest of nature, and that all of nature was here for us. Along with this world view were the entrencehed beliefs that non-human beings thus had no feelings, no thoughts, no pain, no grief, no culture, no relationships.
We know now that so much of what we have believed in the past that belonged only to humans….is shared by many highly advanced beings. And Coyotes are one of these advanced beings.
We feel pain….they feel pain. We have fun…they have fun. We play….they play. We grieve for the loss of those we are deeply connected to……they grieve for the loss of their own. We teach our children….they teach their children. We want to live in peace….they want to live in peace.
So it is over 150 years since Darwin shared his findings…. But has our human behavior toward other sensient living beings changed….and if not Why?
Where ever you are right now …take a Moment…Look out the window. What do you see? Do you all not observe a tiny expression of our Earth’s amazing life? How connected do you feel to what you observe?
E.O.Wilson, a leading Ecologist has written, “We did not arrive on this planet as aliens. Humanity is part of Nature, a species that evolved among other species. The more closely we identify ourselves with the rest of life, the more quickly we will be able to discover the sources of human sensibility, and acquire the knowledge on which an enduring ethic, a sense of preferred direction, can be built on.”
And so I would suggest that our generation is on the Threshold of deciding the direction we wish to take. So I could be writing about any number of topics here, right? But no matter what topic I am writing about, it is really all about only One….and that is our relationship to the life of our planet. E.O. Wilson again speaks of our sharing an ancient language with all life….that is DNA…we are all connected in a remote and complex ancestry. And our futures are all bound up with each others.
Carnivores are our Teachers, or I would say our Mirrors into ourselves and where we stand in our relationship to all life. How do we treat them? Why do we treat them in the way we do? Why does our society allow the slaughter and immense cruelty to continue for over 500 years on our American continent? How do we see the interface between the Wild and our Domestic world? Are we willing to share the Land with them?
Coyote is a great Teacher ….they always have been. Our Native Peoples have always known this, and thus Coyote was the major character in their myths used to teach their people. So Coyotes have expanded their range, filling the empty niches of our once great wolf population, and healing the wounds of our Maine landscape. How does it feel to you to live in proximity once again with one that is wild and free? How does it feel to be privy to the language of a wild being?