I've been writing so much about this on other sites that I stood to be accused of blog haunting. I thought it best to retreat to my own space for a while.
MES is a seal hunt protestor from the United States. If you want to know where, simply take a pin and drive it into the centre of the continental United States; it'll be as far away from either ocean as you can be in North America. MES is the archetype of the Seal Protest Movement. She devotes her full time (by her own admission) to the Seal Hunt. She fails to devote any of her time to any local Animal Welfare concerns. Nothing in her community, her state, or her country is worth even a tiny bit of her time. MES is a product of the anti-seal hunt public relations machine. She saw a horrid video of seals being killed when she was just seven. It permanently etched her memory and scarred her innocence. I have to wonder at who would allow a seven year old to witness the killing of an animal. I am tempted to blame it on American culture that adores violence in media but is shocked by a nipple slip... but I don't know if this is the case. Just my attempt at understanding the whole thing.
MES seeks anything on the web related to the seal hunt. She is a persistent poster to sites that even vaguely mentions the seal hunt. Her words are nothing new: "baby seals", "skinned alive", "barbarians", she uses celebrity quotes as if they should be held with a higher authority than us mortals. Their information is largely straight from the GreenPeace Anti-Sealers Manual of the 1970s (before founder Paul Watson was asked to pick up and leave). MES has one agenda - "Stop the Seal Hunt".
"But what if we determine that seals are being harvested in the most humane way possible?"
"What if we show you the economic benefits to rural Newfoundland and Labrador, what if we show you how thoroughly the animal is used, for oils, furs, meat, medicinal products"
Nothing really matters. There is no argument that MES can accept that will erase those horrid images from childhood. And luckily for Paul Watson that is just the type of person he needs. Blind Faith. The money machine of the Seal Hunt movement depends on extremes. How well would a campaign do that has a sign reading "Reforms in the Seal Industry Now!" Doesn't work; how about "Stop baby seals from being skinned alive!" That'll work, where is the red paint - we need lots and lots of red paint.
Occasionally they get caught in their own web. I recall in last season's storm of activity that there was a sealer on the ice who had a confrontation with a protester. The fact that there should be a boundary around the sealers to allow them to work and minimize confrontation does not seem to matter to Capt. Watson's Posse. It produced a highly published video of poor old Dr. Vlasak in a shoving match with a sealer. It made for great video - just like the old days. People were enraged. Who provoked whom? Innocent Dr. V just taking some photos, just an innocent tourist.
The Sea Shepherd Society was quick to rally support behind Dr. V. They published the photo, names and phone number of the sealer. He received harassing phone calls and threats. His family heard horrendous, brutal threats of violence from unseen faces in distant lands. Only after the fact do we realize that this mode of attack is Jerry Vlasak's game. He provokes violence for good video. He condones violence. He is considered a terrorist in some countries and denied entry. He told a conference in 2003 that ‘if a person is targeted for assassination, that kind of fear and intimidation is an effective tactic...’ Same guy on the video being shoved by a sealer. I wonder what happened there? Capt. W. eventually had to reluctantly resign Dr. V's seat and issue a statement (after quite a bit of time)
The problem with the extreme view is it will inevitably run amok. Out of the control of even the great Shepherd. When this happens Watson is prepared to cut the tumor lose, the catalyst for surgery is when the media begins to shift ever so slightly out of his favour. He lives for the camera. Is it any wonder that actors are quick on this bandwagon?
Back to MES: Does she condone the use of violence like Jerry Vlasak? Does she condone the publishing of that sealer's name, photo and contact information? The fact is MES is a real person. Her name, contact information - it's all available. Is it fair to feed her private information to the public? Do I encourage harassing phone calls and disturb the sanctity of her home? My upbringing tells me not to do it. We are not barbarians after all...