Inspired by Wolves

March 16, 2009 at 9:52 am Leave a comment

Enjoying the early Spring sunshine
Enjoying the early Spring sunshine

Spending the day with the wolves at the UKWCT is always a great pleasure.  Mai, on the left, is one of eight ambassador wolves that have been socialised with humans, and who help us with our task of both raising funds and raising awareness about and for wolves in the wild. 

Getting close to wolves is an experience that I regard as an enormous privilege.   Close enough to be face to face is something that is hugely inspirational for me.  There is nothing quite like the smell of wolf fur, and the way they penetrate you with their gaze leaves you in no doubt that these are animals not to be messed about.  However, if you are lucky enough to have some kind of bond with them, they are very accepting and great fun to be around.  It is possible to have something close to this experience with one’s domestic canid, in my case this is the wonderful border collie cross, Pepper.  But with a wolf, you cannot escape the true wildness within them that will always remain there.   
The bond between humans and animals is something that many of us do not fully appreciate.  As a species we have been swept along by the arrogance of what we consider to be our higher levels of intelligence, insight and awareness – something to do with opposable thumbs and other such theories.  Cartesian Dualism and other science-based mechanistic and rationalistic approaches have pushed us to believe that other animal species are not sentient beings.  Of course, anyone with any iota of common-sense knows that this is not so, but still we philosophise about it all.   Mary Midgeley, who is both a scientist and philosopher, believes we construct this sense of “otherness” to salve our consciences and excuse some of our less palatable behaviours towards others (including other species). 
Of course, we can never truly “know” what we believe we want to know about other species.  But life isn’t always about knowledge and fact; often it is about feeling and emotion, and a deeper sense of having made a connection.   And it is that connection with the natural world that I am passionate about fostering.  
And if you are stuck in in front of a computer reading this, as you are likely to be, given I am making the best use of technological tools, then why not make some time to get out there this week, take a walk, enjoy the sunshine, and simply just be what you are – a member of the biotic community as well as the business community…..  I can guarantee you will feel better for it on many different levels.

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On being inspired… Harvesting the Sunshine

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