TIERethik - Zeitschrift zur Mensch-Tier-Beziehung


Wolf and man – Sketches about a dramatical relationship
Utz Anhalt

The images human beings create about the wolf tell much about the humans and only a little about the wolf. The cultures of the Antiques saw in the wolf a dark side and worshipped him at the same time as symbol for warriors, death, and enlightenment. In the herdsmen religions of the Middle East, especially in Christianity, this predator, which hunted also the animals of the herdsmen, became an expression of metaphysical evil. This negative image developed to a collective psychosis, especially in hunger periods, wars, plagues und the climatical catastrophe of early modern times in Europe, which did have only a little to do with the animal wolf. The image of wolves American Natives have is contradictionary to this hate. American Natives worshipped the wolf as culture creator, hunting teacher, and leader in the wilderness, as model for social behavior, and as brother.

Keywords: wolf, werewolf, wolf and man, herdsmen, hunting