Monday, April 03, 2006

NL Seal Hunt: Isolated outpost in the eco-wars

This has been submitted to the Telegram for publication
It’s easy to see ourselves as a persecuted people during the annual March protest of the seal hunt. In fact, the battle waged by Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Society against the Newfoundland and Labrador seal hunt is only one minor outpost in a larger global battlefield. For them, the seal hunt is just the local stop on the global save-the-earth tour.

When we ask why Watson et al choose to pick on us and not other apparent animal injustices like pate de foie gras, veal farms or abattoirs, we miss the point that they already do exactly that. They fight their eco-war on many fronts, under many names and in many places.

Watson is part of a international network of eco-warriors dedicated to the cause of protecting the earth from the effects of the human footprint. His fellow travelers include PETA who believe animals should not be used under any circumstances, the Animal Liberation Front who rescue animals from "abuse" and cause financial loss to animal exploiters, (usually through the destruction of property) and the Earth Liberation Front which commits economic sabotage to stop the exploitation of the natural environment.

These groups and others lie and break the law to "protect the environment". They ram ships, set bombs, criminally harass researchers, trash research facilities, spike trees to injure or kill wood harvesters, and generally do anything they feel is justified.

Human injury is not a deterrent. Death is mere collateral damage in their campaign to save the earth and the animals that live on it - injury or death is the medium for their message. These proud eco-warriors are ideological eco-terrorists who cannot be convinced of the error of their cause or the means they choose to wage their fight.

These groups do not act in insolation from each other. They are closely related and share information, resources and personnel.

Today, traditional environmental associations like the Sierra Club and the US Humane Society have been infiltrated and taken over by this loose association of full-time, fanatical and dedicated extreme activists. Their strategic goal is to extend their reach by increasing the resources available to them to increase the impact of their point of view.

In the end it’s irrelevant whether we use rifles or clubs to kill white coats or bluebacks or fully grown seals in order to continue our traditional way of life or preserve important cod stocks. When we take umbrage at being called cruel and ruthless and object to McCartney misstatements, we fight the wrong fight because we miss the big picture.

This fight is not personal. In believing it is, we engage the protesters in ways most advantageous to them. When the Premier and local populist personalities react by blindly advocating boycotts against Costco for daring to drop seal products from their shelves, that only reinforces the misconception that this is a fight that centers on us versus them. The $100,000 allocated in the provincial budget for a pro-seal campaign will yield many times that amount in donations for the anti-sealers. It will only put us further behind if used to simply defend the hunt rather than attack the protesters.

These blindly ideological eco-terrorists should be made to answer for the damage they continue to cause around the world. Paul Watson and his partners in crime need to be exposed for what they are.

No comments: