“I had no idea” The Dangers of Apathy and Willful Ignorance

05 Feb
Ilse "The Bitch of Buchenwald" Koch

Ilse “The Bitch of Buchenwald” Koch

Definition of APATHY from Merriam-Webster Dictionary

: lack of feeling or emotion : impassiveness
: lack of interest or concern : indifference

Definition of Willful Ignorance:

A decision in bad faith to avoid becoming informed about something so as to avoid having to make undesirable decisions that such information might prompt.

Ilse Koch. Unless you are a student of history or a victim of this woman you probably have never heard this name. She was also known as “The Bitch of Buchenwald.” For those unaware Buchenwald was a Nazi concentration camp located near Weimar Germany. Koch, the wife of the camp commandant, was a sadist in the truest sense of the word. She would handpick camp prisoners with distinctive tattoos, subject them to torture, and after being killed have their tattooed skin removed as a “trophy,” or “souvenir.” Koch also kept a collection of human organs and allegedly had lampshades made from the skin of her victims.

Following the liberation of the Buchenwald camp by American soldiers in April, 1945 the American commanders on scene rounded up officials and residents of the nearby towns and marched them to the camp to see the handiwork of their fellow Germans. Many citizens fainted at the sights they encountered, while many more feigned ignorance as to what was occurring just up the road from them. Most of the citizens claimed that they had never knew that the camp had been a mass killing factory.

What the citizens were claiming is the very definition of willful ignorance. The reality is that most if not all were more guilty of exhibiting complete and total apathy as to what was happening around them. The crimes perpetrated by Ilse Koch and those like her stun the conscience. Is it really this easy for a person to be a sadist toward their fellow man? If how many treat animals is any indication the answer is a resounding yes.

“I had no idea.” That is not just a phrase that the German residents near Buchenwald spoke. This is a phrase that I hear often when speaking to people about what is occurring to wildlife in our own state. While I am not big on using Nazi comparisons, I will not hesitate to equate it the sadism that is occurring on our wild lands. While it is hard to believe that the German citizens really had no idea as to what was occurring in the camps, I do not find it all that surprising when Wisconsin citizens express total ignorance as to what is happening to our wildlife. Over the past couple of decades a cruelty cartel comprised of extremist hunting groups, their lobbyists, and their bought and paid for legislators have completely hijacked the control over our wildlife and wild lands. This happened right under the nose of both living wildlife advocates and even moderate hunters. There were a few lone voices, such as Patricia, but overall no one appeared to know that this was occurring.

This is what most people claim to not know anything about:

Killing contests are perfectly legal in Wisconsin. That’s right one of the most deplorable forms of “recreation,” turning killing into a scoring “sport,” is completely legal in Wisconsin and actively encouraged. This is occurring all over the state. The contests usually include who can kill the most and largest of raccoons and coyotes. To consider this “recreation” in this day and age is shameful, but it is perfectly legal. The response I get from people who first find out about these killing contest is “How can this be legal?” It is legal because of apathy, or willful ignorance. These “contests” fly right in the face of the garbage the DNR and their puppet masters spread about “conservation” and “heritage.” One thing that I will never understand is how killing can be considered “conservation.” But our society buys into this fallacy and assumes that agencies such as the DNR actually care about our wildlife and wild lands. For the most part this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here is a recent example of a coyote killing contest sponsored by a tavern called “Jackson Clinic” in Mauston:

COYOTE HUNT – Sat., Feb. 2nd
Sign-in by 6 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 1st; Weigh-in at 7 p.m. on Saturday
DJ at 8 p.m.
1/2 pot for Biggest
1/4 pot for Smallest
1/4 pot for Most

This post on Facebook is followed by pictures of Wiley Coyote to make light of their killing contest. Most have no idea this is legal and occurring right in their own backyard.

The next activity that most people are apathetic or ignorant about is trapping. There are a little over 8,000 trappers in Wisconsin. Of these 5,000 “reported” that they killed almost 600,000 animals in 2011 alone. 600,000!!!!! And those are just the ones that they “reported.” Trappers are the first to claim that they are “ethical” and “respect” the animals that they trap. Here is an example of how much trappers “respect” the wolves they trap in Wisconsin:

Most people have no idea how trappers “dispatch” the animals they trap or how long they languish in that trap. Here is one preferred method:

Trapper Sadist Trapper Sadist 2 Trapper Sadist 3

This again is all perfectly legal. Remember this is “conservation” and “recreation” at work.

Finally we have the activity of hounding that I have covered here many times. Here is an example of how bear hounders “respect” the animals that they torment:

The most disturbing part of everything depicted above is that all of these activities are legal in Wisconsin. Most will say “I had no idea.” That is the problem. It is the willful ignorance or apathy of our fellow citizens that allow this to occur. Just like with the atrocities that occurred at Buchenwald most people have no idea what is happening in their backyard or if they do they turn a blind eye to it. This has to to change. We can start by organizing and participating in every hearing or meeting that promotes the sadism like seen above.

The first step is to attend the spring hearings of the deceptively named “Conservation Congress” on April 8th. These elections are held in each county in the state and ALL, are allowed to attend and vote. While the media and pro-hunting groups try to minimize the fact that the non-hunting public can participate and run for “delegate” positions, we indeed can. This year in addition to all of the usual killing more, more, and more proposals there will be a question asking if there should be a law banning the use of dogs against wolves. I implore you to attend your county election and take along as many friends and family as you can to vote against the killing proposals, vote for the ban of dogs against wolves, and elect pro-living wildlife delegates. Here is the information about the elections:

We can no longer be apathetic or willfully ignorant to what is occurring in our backyard. Our wildlife is under siege by the most extreme elements of the hunting/trapping community. If we do not organize and fight back more and more animals will be tortured in traps, ripped apart by packs of vicious dogs, and killed to score “points” in a disgusting contest. If history teaches us anything it is that we cannot just feign ignorance or be apathetic to injustices and sadism. If we don’t speak out nothing will change and we will have surrendered to the killing cartels and the sadism they promote.

Now about the “trophies” Ilse Koch took from her dead victims and human skin lampshades……….. I will let you figure out where I am headed with this.


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11 responses to ““I had no idea” The Dangers of Apathy and Willful Ignorance

  1. Bobette Traul

    February 6, 2013 at 12:16 am

    I saw that coyote contest in the WSJ and cut it out. I was going to tell you about it. Pathetic.

  2. Suzanne Dunham

    February 6, 2013 at 5:25 am

    Thank you for keeping us informed about the horrors that go on in Wisconsin!

  3. Diane

    February 6, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Really great piece of journalism. My husband & I toured Buchenwald concentration camp. Along wiith us were multiple groups of students. In Germany all school children must tour a concentration camp so children will learn it’s horrors & not repeat the mistakes of the past. Here our children may receive credits for hunting & trapping classes while disregarding our own past of extermination of passenger pigeons & the near extermination of buffalo & wolves.

  4. Bobette Traul

    February 6, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Read the WSJ today’s article about this family that thinks the 2nd amendment is a God given right. Yikes! That stuff is passed down from generation to generation, like hunting.

  5. Aubrey

    February 6, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Thank you for writing your blogs and being a voice for wildlife. I will be sharing this on my Facebook so that more people see the truth.

  6. gannonned

    February 7, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I “liked” this, and then decided I should clarify that I like that you’re bringing it to light. Keep pushing. Heard a lecture last night on wolves, but it is good to be reminded that coyotes are killed wholesale and the hate of wolves is systemic in that, if not wolves then coyotes or bears, or…raccoons?

    • rali74

      February 7, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      I hear what you are saying. It’s hard to “like” anything we read that points out such horrors. Coyotes have it really bad and it is sheer ignorance behind their persecution. Their persecution has nothing to do with “management” or any of the other garbage being spouted. Some people just like to kill and coyotes just happen to be the animal that they can get away with tormenting the worst. I honestly don’t know how I can sheer the same DNA with these people. My thought process and theirs are light years apart. I just hope that our evolution continues because it seems like most humans are headed toward devolution.

      • gannonned

        February 7, 2013 at 4:38 pm

        I posted a blog entry called Risk and Reward on my own blog a while back, mostly about art, but I mentioned that many young to middle age individuals want to be lauded for their wealth or their trophy hunting or what have you, because acquiring these things used to require some risk, but really these are myths built on fiction. Wealthy people build more wealth on the fact that they start out ahead from the beginning from capital that they inherit. And there is no risk in hunting anymore, shooting animals in traps and hunting them with packs of dogs. Someone I don’t know wrote a very poignant comment under my post about how the most avid hunters using dogs and hunting wolves etc. are fulfilling a kind of twisted mythology they have inherited from tradition, manifest destiny and wrong-headed interpretation of religious texts. In their minds and with their family and friends they are somehow proving themselves “worthy” in some bizarre way. The problem we face is untangling these false myths, hero ideals and the ideas of what makes someone “worthy” or “noble”.

  7. laina

    February 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    That racoon’s face looks almost pleading. Like my dog would look to me for help. I couldn’t watch the video. Right now it seems like we are at a turning point. Will there be any effort to save wildlife, or will we just eradicate it completely and have a few lingering “specimens” in cages and captive breeding programs? Is there anyone of stature in Washington who even cares?

    • rali74

      February 10, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      The anti-predator forces will make sure there are plenty of deer, elk, moose, etc to kill for their amusement, but all predators are in extreme danger in this country. They have seen that Obama has been absolutely spineless when it comes to protecting wildlife so they are going to push it as far as they can as evidenced by the insane laws being proposed in Idaho and Montana. We can only hope that Obama’s replacement for Cowboy Ken will make a difference, but I am not holding my breath.


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