Grasshopper no 2, Spring '94


I shivered recently after reading Jerzy Lesniak's article in Gazeta Krakowska (the Cracow Newspaper) titled "The beavers are working." picture

Recently, beavers have been introduced into the areas spanning the Lower Beskid mountains all the way to Gładyszów. They have now established themselves in these areas. They are very well entrenched in these areas and are slowly migrating to surrounding areas, damming numerous rivers and streams in the process. The article was worded in guarded terms but for interested conservationists it says a lot if we read between the lines.

Lesniak writes that the beaver's habitat has proved to be a huge tourist attraction, which has disrupted the peace and quiet of these creatures. This tourist attraction is further reinforced by the infrequent sightings of these elusive creatures, and the demand for its valuable fur!!! The activists of local hunting clubs took advantage of the interest generated by the press to bring to attention the damage being caused by an increase in the number of wolves in the area. They claim that wolves have been responsible for the attacks in the area on sheep, other farm animals, and even dogs. The Main Hunter of this area is angry with conservationists who support the protection of wolves. Further, they feel that it will lead to a staggering depletion of woodland and domestic wildlife. I think to myself - what type of greedy wolves are these? A couple of sheep, a few dogs, have been attacked. Woodsmen claim that wolves have been attacking their sheepfolds. Rubbish! Hasn't the shepherd thought about the fact that sheepfolds have to have a stockade and a door? In what way does the shepherd think that these predators open doors? With their tails?

In the text it is clearly inferred that the reporter at every given moment stalked herds of deers and boars and even saw a lynx. I have never seen a lynx in the wild, but to this day I have not forgotten the sight of a lynx hanging from a hook in a hunter's lodge, with blood dripping onto the floorboards. I remember that it was shot to adorn the study of a sporting gentlemen (as the city boys from Warsaw have been called). I also remember very well when this type of situation led to the decimation of the wolf population to the point where they could be counted on the fingers of one hand. I remember.

While all of this is going on, in the West they have been busying themselves with something else. Well-known models and celebrities have been making sure that their voices are heard in the press in the campaign against the wearing of fur. Even Naomi Campbell and Kim Bassinger are against furs, and they are well known people in this country. The large cities in Europe run advertising campaigns against the wanton killing of animals for fur. Why are they defending the rights of animals in this way? Because if a celebrity is seen to be against the fur trade, then it is most likely that their public will use them as a role model and follow their example. This form of awareness has been in use in the Western media for quite a number of years.

And here in Poland? The price of beaver furs is still increasing. And despide of it unters and trappers want to solve problems already solved by nature. It is enough not to disturb.

Dietrich Schneider

reprinted from "Zielone Brygady" no 5(59), May 1994

Grasshopper no 2, Spring '94 | Contents