To the Journal editor:
A recent Mining Journal editorial entitled, "NRC in best position to decide wolf hunt issue," has propelled this offering of clarification and insight.
The Upper Peninsula Animal Liberation Defense is an animal advocacy group based in the Upper Peninsula. We are not in charge of this campaign, nor are we holding events across the state of Michigan.
That would be the Lansing based, committee to Keep Michigan Wolves Protected. UPALD endorses the coalition, and seeks to serve as a platform of education and activism for fellow U.P. residents not in support of a public wolf hunt.
UPALD is not an anti-hunting group. However, the act of hunting outside of its created means for sustenance and survival, is something we cannot endorse.
In what first appeared to be a fair and balanced attempt at discussing the campaign, The Mining Journal offered a number of what they called, "exaggerated or untrue" claims made by the coalition. UPALD did not make these claims.
We will leave it to those that did to refute them. What concerns us most, is the explicit trust the newspaper possesses for the legislative bodies responsible for the management of our fellow beings.
This brings to mind something that iconic civil rights attorney William Kunstler called, the "aura of legality." Policies created, actions taken, are all done so within our established legal system. Kunstler believed this creates an aura of legitimacy, saying, " therefore society can turn its conscience off, and look to other things and other times."
A 400 word limit does not allow for the discussion here of the innumerable travesties inflicted upon human and non-human beings throughout our past, all under the guise of legality.
In regard to the past, and game management, The Mining Journal appears content with how voters "spoke" back in 1996. What status would the women and African Americans of our nation hold today, had we chosen merely to adhere to what voters and legislators decided upon in the past?
UPALD believes that referendums and initiatives are exactly what President Lincoln envisioned when he spoke of a "government of the people, by the people, for the people."
Through our current management models, whether the delicate responsibility has been bestowed upon us, or merely taken, we hold the very lives of fellow animals in our hands.
It would behoove us to do so, with the very widest of open eyes.