(Original Earth Day was March 20, 1969)
My good friends Sue and Charlie both grew up in Colorado, and they insist this story is true:
Wolves were multiplying like rabbits and growing fierce as tigers in the remote Colorado hill country. Ranchers were infuriated as their sheep flocks were attacked and gobbled up. They often shot the wolves on sight, which put them at odds with shiny-faced young environmentalist students in the state university. Finally the students persuaded the ranchers to meet with them, promising that they would come up with a solution to the problem.
The meeting took place in a village town hall. The ranchers in the audience were a tough, hardened, weatherbeaten crew, dressed in frayed ranch clothes which had seen many storms. They were also angry, and they were not in the mood to take any crap from The Greenie Babies, as they called the students. However, a crisply tailored student, smelling of men's cologne and with a freshly styled hairdo, strode with huge confidence to the lectern.
"My colleagues and I have discussed your situation," he said importantly. "And we have come up with the one and only solution that can save both the wolves and the sheep." He paused impressively, then announced his plan: "We will castrate the wolves!"
The ranchers were stunned into silence. Then, slowly, they began to mutter between themselves. Finally they chose a spokesman, Vern, the most weathered of all. He stood up, nervously twirling his hat in his hands, tried to speak, and fell silent. "Tell 'em, Vern! Tell 'em!" the other ranchers urged.
Vern finally got it out. "Perfessor," he said, "we don't care if the wolves f--k our sheep. We just don't want them to EAT them."