To the Editor:
Re “Science, Mythology, Hatred, and the Fate of the Gray Wolf” (Editorial Observer, April 13): Verlyn Klinkenborg is correct that it’s not just the behavior and biology of wolves that will determine whether they survive. It’s also our own attitudes and actions.
And our choices about wolves have significant implications beyond the wolves themselves. Wolves are an indicator species not just ecologically, but symbolically as well, a connection to a time when humans were one species among many, and a reminder that we are one small part of a larger world.
Those who find this reminder threatening or inconvenient are first in line to shoot wolves.
This is a dangerous mind-set. The belief that we are separate from and better than the natural world is what drives us to destroy the very environment we depend upon.
Wolves provide us with an opportunity to discover whether we can coexist with another species, rather than destroying it. And as go the wolves, so may go the world.
Berkeley, Calif., April 14, 2009
The writer is the author of a novel about the beginnings of the relationship between humans and wolves.