Within our culture runs an animosity towards the werewolf. It is so ingrained and pervasive that most people do not even realize it. In America the werewolf has been stripped of his rights. Murdering a werewolf is considered acceptable or even beneficial. Consider some current examples of the werewolf in media:
-As a symbol of lack of self control: In cartoons it is common to see a character that is overcome with lust for the opposite sex to transform into a wolf man. He will then make catcalls and gyrate to show that he is nearly out of control with lust and lacking in common decency.
-As capable only of tyranny as a social order: In dungeons and dragons and also Everquest the wolf man is not allowed as a player character. The reason given is that they are savages lacking social order and they ability to work with others.
-Shown as vulgar and base creatures: In the "Scary Godmother" series the werewolf is ugly and lacks any kind of self control or politeness when it comes to candy and other bodily pleasures. He is also a loafer and lives without paying his share or learning any lessons unlike all the other characters.
-As subservient to vampires: In "Underworld" and other crossover movies the werewolf is dominated by the vampire to the point of being slaves. While the vampire is certainly more evil, the werewolf is shown to be weaker and lacking the intelligence, culture and bearing of the vampire.
-Representing pure evil: In "The Howling" The evil werewolves are perfect in their wolfen features while the good werewolf at the end transforms into something more like a teddy bear. In "Teen Wolf" The werewolf is friendly and good but all of his wolfen features have been removed. He looks more like a caveman.
When the common dog, whom is man's best friend, is elevated to a more intelligent level human love for him turns to hate and fear. Why is the werewolf shunned in such a way? In order to answer this question we must first understand the distinction between human rights and animal behavior.
"What are rights and whom they apply to?" All intelligent individuals deserve the right to life and along with this right comes the corresponding responsibility of respecting the lives of others. We will begin by examining the question of whether a normal dog is deserving of rights. A dog cannot observe the rights of others, thereby failing in his responsibilities. Without responsibilities there can be no rights. But, the werewolf is intelligent. We must examine the werewolf in light of this and determine if individual rights are applicable to him. The werewolf is fully intelligent and shape shifts at will, he is not a creature of evil who is helpless to his own urges. If an intelligent being is merely a shape shifter then clearly they are entitled to human rights. However, because of ignorance and fear there is often a different and darker view of the werewolf. The other view is, as the man who transforms against his will into an animal and looses all reason, following only his animal/evil desires. Even this pitiful creature is deserving of consideration. If the werewolf is part animal and part man then the question is not quite as clear but still answerable. We must determine that even this type of werewolf has rights because to turn our back on the animal half is to turn our backs on the man as well.
Now that we understand that humanity has stripped the werewolf of his rights and demonized him, we can seek the reason for this hate. I believe that the key lies in human self love. When our self love is taken to far, to the point of arrogance, the idea that anything besides ourselves possessing a soul is offensive to us. Most offensive of all, is the thought that our friend the dog might actually wish to have a will of his own. You need only carry this a little further to realize the affront to our human self love is personified in the werewolf. Hopefully, this revelation can cause us as a people to be more accepting. We need not fear other beings of rationality.
In light of the above we have formed H.O.W.L. (Humans Opposed to Werewolf Labeling) to help raise awareness and put an end to the labeling of werewolves as savages. As said by Kierkegaard, “Once you label me, you negate me.” When people speak of the werewolf in a disparaging way they continue the misunderstanding and ensure that the werewolf remains a savage in the eyes of humans. If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause then click below to purchase a sticker or magnet. You can use these to show your support and let the world know that you as a human oppose werewolf labeling.