“The Grey portrays these intelligent, family-oriented animals the same way in which Jaws portrays sharks,” PETA writes in a statement. “The writers paint a pack of wolves living in the Alaskan wilderness as bloodthirsty monsters, intent on killing every survivor of a plane crash by tearing each person limb from limb. Yet wolves aren't aggressive animals, and as Maggie Howell, the managing director of America's Wolf Conservation Center, says, 'Wolves don't hunt humans—they actually shy away from them.'”
PETA also took offense that the filmmakers, talent and crew ate wolf meat as part of a bonding ritual as they tackled the filming.
For their part, the filmmakers say they meant to build drama, not animosity towards wild canines that once roamed nearly all corners of the globe, but have dwindled dramatically in numbers as they've been hunted and squeezed into restricted territories
"I don't think the film will make people fear wolves, but I'd like to make them respect wolves and by extension, nature itself more,” writer/director Joe Carnahan tells the Greenspace blog at the Los Angeles Times. “I'd like the movie to remind people that we're just visitors here."
While thousands of Europeans were killed by wolves between the 1500s and 1800s, the number dwindled to 21 reported fatal wolf attacks since 2000. Most have been in rural Russia, but recent attacks also include one wolf-related death in Saskatchewan, Canada, and one in Alaska -- the 2010 mauling death of teacher Candice Berner, who was out jogging near Chignik Lake, Alaska.