The Moose in The Moose, the Wolves in the U.P.

By Natalie Przybyla, Staff Writer
Photo Courtesy of Andris Visockis

Ahh…Aquinas. The place where people try to live in a sustainable no-waste environment. Aquinas does not harm the planet. Aquinas does not kill— what is that? A taxidermied moose?! Aquinas what is wrong with you?!

Many people have been arguing over whether or not the taxidermied moose in The Moose is sustainable. On the “take it down” side, we have the ethical vegans, the city-slicking animal lovers and the anti-hunting committee that was somehow born out of PETA. On the “leave it up” side, we have the ethical hunters, the country-dwelling animal lovers and the hyper-conservative NRA supporters. All-in-all, this whole situation is a complete mess of hippie versus republican— and although I could kick back on this one as a moderate, I have an objection.

Quick background on me: I was raised in Northern Michigan by a hunter and trapper. I hunted and trapped with my father starting at the early age of nine. I discontinued my yearly hunting and trapping in order to focus more on school and sports later in high school. I became a vegetarian at the age of 17 and have been ever since. Despite my rejection of eating meat, I always let my father know I still support the ethics in hunting and trapping.

Quick background on moose in Michigan: According to the DNR, the moose population in Michigan has been low— like really low— for nearly 75 years. This has been because of a few reasons including, but not limited to, humans, the growing wolf population, and disease. This decline was extreme in the 1930’s and since then, disease and humans became less of an issue to the moose.

Now what’s the deal with the wolves and what do they have to do with the dead moose hanging on the wall? Wolves are considered endangered. That being said, the wolves are also endangering farmers and Upper Peninsula pet owners. Wolves have actually been doing great in Michigan in regards to population. The wolves have surpassed the Federal Recovery Program for 15 years, but they are still on the endangered list.

So, why are there no moose? Because there are too many wolves. Why are there too many wolves? Because people cannot hunt the wolves even if they are causing environmental problems. Why are people not hunting the wolves? Because people have the idea in their head that being sustainable is not touching the world and its creatures. And then why— stop.

The thing about the taxidermied moose is that hunting— within certain regulations— is in fact very sustainable. Humans have become the top of the food chain. It is our responsibility to Earth to help balance nature. Had we thought of this before, the wolves would not have killed so many moose and 16 dogs in Chippewa County since 2012.

With regulation, the wolve should be hunted. This will in turn help the moose thrive. Eventually the moose will make a comeback, and when that day comes, it will be the human’s duty to hunt both the moose and wolves so nature remains in balance.

About the Writer…

Natalie Przybyla, Staff WriterNatalie Przybyla is a sophomore Women’s Studies major and loves music, art, feminism, and meeting new people. She likes to think of herself like Kanye West thinks about himself.

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