Pediatric Annals

Letter to the Editor Free

Why Wolves?

David Horwitz, MD


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Click here to read the article

To the Editor:

Why a wolf? In Dr. Stanford Shulman's editorial in the October 2015 issue,1 he highlighted six stamps issued by the United Nations. The stamps are intended to illustrate six different forms of violence using a wolf as the villain.

Despite wolves and humans having a long adversarial relationship, they almost never attack humans. Wolves are natural enemies to some animals and because of this humans have attacked and killed them almost to the brink of extinction.

Ending violence against children and adolescents is imperative, but that violence is caused by humans not wolves. Let's raise awareness another way.

It is shocking that the United Nations should not be sensitive to this issue when designing a stamp series to “end violence against children.” The entire series can be seen online.2

David Horwitz, MD

Clinical Associate Professor in Pediatrics

NYU School of Medicine

Address correspondence via email:

Disclosure: The author has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.



  1. Shulman ST. The great migration of 2015. Pediatr Ann. 2015;44(10):395–401. doi:10.3928/00904481-20151012-01 [CrossRef]. doi:10.3928/00904481-20151012-01 [CrossRef]
  2. UN Stamps. 2015 End violence against children. Accessed November 6, 2015.


We thank Dr. Horwitz for his comments about the depiction of a wolf to represent forms of violence against children and adolescents on each of the 6 United Nations stamps illustrated in the October 2015 issue of Pediatric Annals. I have no insight into the specific reasons that the artist chose to include the wolf as a villain. Man's relationship to wolves ranges from their being considered near-deities in Japanese and Norse mythology, their being associated with Apollo, the Greek and Roman sun God, to being thought of as one of the animal world's most fearsome natural villains—attacking domestic animals and livestock. Dr. Horwitz is correct of course: violence against children and adolescents tragically is almost always perpetrated by humans.

Stanford T. Shulman, MD

Virginia H. Rogers Professor of

Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago




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