What does the wolf see?

A picture of a wolf and beneath that picture was a statement anonymously written: “a tiger and lion are more powerful, but the wolf does not perform in a circus.”

What if the wolf showed up in the circus and refused to perform as expected - like jumping through fire rings, standing on his feet clapping, etc.? It is a performance; tigers and lions are performers. For their performance, they get a reward and approval from their trainers. For defiance, they get punished. Failing to perform a circus trick will cause the trainer to punish the big cat – they are either hit or forbidden food.

The trainers may say to the wolf: “Big cats are powerful, but they listen and obey. And you, Mr. Wolf, since you have this thing inside you, not a weakness for sure as you are a strong predator, but you have this thing, maybe autonomy, or certain view of the performance, or even you do not like to perform at all, we are at the end a circus; there is only one view of the performance.”

The wolf pondered in quietness and thought: “these are the wildest predators on earth, the lions and the tigers, and here they are, moved and directed by a stick and a yell, to jump from one chair to another, from a fire ring to the chair. Once they jumped, they are fed a piece of meat, for doing a great job”. But is it a great job? The tiger can jump vertically up to 12 feet. Jumping from a chair through a fire ring is no effort to him.” “Aha, the trick is not in the jumping; it is in the fire itself. Tigers fear fire. Jumping through the fire of ring make the audience clap”. “An animal with such strength and aggressiveness care for a round of applauds by that audience! I guess the tiger yearns for the trainer’s approval to avoid the food deprivation and the beating.

The wolf was still pondering the idea of joining the circus. He saw the cage and said, “it is a good thing to get food easily, with minimum or no effort to hunt and get food at each performance. However, the imprisonment and the set boundaries that I must stay within is the abuse I cannot tolerate. Long term captivity in the cage causes madness and zoochosis.”

Deliberating the idea, the wolf continued to raise what seems to be his last question before taking a decision “ to perform in this circus, I will have to break the bond with myself, be someone else, from a wild animal to a domesticated one, like a dog or cat.

The wolf finally decided:

“1. I would never accept the beating or food deprivation as a punishment for my performance.

2. I do not want to break the bond with my nature, a creature who enjoys the space, the wilderness, the independence, the autonomy, the dignity. I do not need humans to run campaigns to boycott circuses to save me. I save me.

3. I do not like cages and imprisonment. The prestige of looking strong, dangerous, and powerful behind imposed bars is not appealing to me. I would instead prefer to be looked at as less powerful but with a spirit that cannot be enclosed.” “I will never join a circus.” “Let the people of Europe, North and South America, and elsewhere look at me with fear or evil or as a revered spirit. That is all the better than a stature of power beyond imagination imprisoned for food and performance."