Are you an avid reader with a passion for animals and nature? We’ve got just the book club for you!
Started last May by OneKind volunteer Gertie, our book club have read an array of interesting books together, including Foxes Unearthed, The Unexpected Genius of Pigs and The Last Wolf. Every 8 weeks, we meet via zoom to discuss our chosen book, and then select another book to read and discuss. You’ll need to have access to zoom to join in with our discussions, and everyone is responsible for getting their own copy of each book. We always recommend buying local, if you can!
If you’d like to join our Book Club and receive emails about updates, please join our mailing list by signing up for our email communications and join our group on Good Reads.
With each book we read, we ask one of our members to write a book review. Check out OneKind supporter Catherine’s great review of our latest book:
Book Review of ‘The Last Wolf’ by Jim Crumley.
In ‘The Last Wolf’, Jim Crumley argues the case for the reintroduction of wolves to the Scottish Highlands and attempts to separate fact from fiction for this much maligned animal. No easy task when myths and legends of the wolf have been handed down over generations from the dubious account of where the last wolf in Scotland was killed and by whom, to many tales of murderous attacks.
The author challenges many such myths, providing convincing evidence to support his theories of the wolf co-existing with man in to-day’s world. He believes the arguments put forward against the reintroduction of the wolf are old arguments and ‘have been defeated in several parts of the world today.’
He points out that red deer are the natural prey for wolves and they’re better at culling deer than man. Wolves force the deer to keep moving so that the land is not ‘browsed to death’ but allowed to regenerate, encouraging biodiversity back to previously barren land and recreating a balance in nature.
However, farmers would require hefty compensation for livestock losses and there would be conservation issues but the author argues how reintroduction has succeeded in Yellowstone National Park, USA and the limited pack numbers of the Norwegian model. But, in September 2020 the Norwegian Government sanctioned the culling of two-thirds of their wolf population when the animals exceeded their target population numbers. This decision was unexpectedly overturned two months later with a reprieve of 32 of the 47 wolves earmarked for the cull. Similar problems might happen in Britain, should the economy be the deciding factor.
Jim Crumley’s heartfelt empathy with the natural world translates onto every page from the practical fieldwork to the fictional ‘dreamtime’ of the last wolf. This book may help change people’s perception of a much misunderstood animal but perhaps not bring the dream to reality.
‘The Last Wolf’ by Jim Crumley. £9.99 published by Birlinn Ltd.
Written by volunteer Catherine Mowat.