I sat and watched about 15 minutes of Hart Aber Fair...the state-run/public-TV program on ARD here in Germany. It's their Monday night forum on 'hot' topics in the German news.
Last night? Oddly, they spent most of the show chatting on German wolves.
Yeah, just plain regular wolves, which are making a come-back in the rural regions of Germany. As you can imagine, there are the pro-wolf people and the anti-wolf people (the Red Riding Hood crowd, as I will refer to them).
They actually assembled a decent group of experts on this wolf issue. But you just sit there and think about the forty-odd problems that frustrate Germans today, and if you mentioned wolves to some middle-class working-class group of Germans....it wouldn't rate even in their top three-hundred issues. For environmentalists? Well, they might put it near the top five problems facing Germany.
It's a pretty simple discussion. Wolves were hunted out and laid to rest probably about a hundred years ago. All this Red Riding Hood worry-business disappeared by the end of the 1800s. What people could generally say was that wolves represented a serious threat to farmers by attacking their sheep, cattle, etc. A pack of wolves could go through some valley and seriously damage the local economy over a one-month period.
The wolf experts tend to say that wolves made their comeback.....perhaps in the 1960s as hunting was controlled, but really took off after the Wall came down. I noticed last week a mention that suburbs around Paris are now reporting sightings of wolves. The pro-wolf crowd wants the trend to continue. So they got plenty of chat time nationally with this forum on Hart Aber Fair.
My sense? All of this will continue on....until one day, some 'bad' wolf goes and drags some two-year-old German kid from some backyard....off into the woods. Then wolves will return to the bad animal list and the big hunt will start back up. Course, this is probably twenty years in the future. Just my two cents on the topic.