An odd way to attack resolve

Staff ~ The Amherst Daily News
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It's good to hear Fisheries Minister Gail Shea won't let a pie in the face erode her support for Canada's seal hunt. In fact, Shea, a P.E.I. MP, says the incident Monday in which she was struck in the face by a tofu-cream pie thrower only strengthens her resolve to back the hunt.

On the other hand, the suggestion to investigate whether the perpetrators of the act, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, fall under the definition of a terrorist group is pushing the envelope.

Our Opinion -

It's good to hear Fisheries Minister Gail Shea won't let a pie in the face erode her support for Canada's seal hunt. In fact, Shea, a P.E.I. MP, says the incident Monday in which she was struck in the face by a tofu-cream pie thrower only strengthens her resolve to back the hunt.

On the other hand, the suggestion to investigate whether the perpetrators of the act, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, fall under the definition of a terrorist group is pushing the envelope.

That is the case Newfoundland-Labrador MP Gerry Byrne is trying to make. His feeling of outrage is understandable, since this is an assault on a public person in a public forum, plain and simple. When someone lunges at you, you don't necessarily know whether it's a pie or a more serious weapon.

Byrne is asking whether a group that coaches the use of criminal behaviour to further a political agenda could be construed as a terrorist organization under current laws. He's calling on the government to investigate PETA under that premise.

Many consider PETA a somewhat flaky bunch, mainly due to their antics as opposed to their philosophy. But at least in calling for ethical treatment of animals - vegetarianism included, along with use of products not derived from animals - they're consistent.

Contrast that to the hypocrisy of the European Union in taking a stand against Canada on the seal hunt. Europeans haven't quit en masse using animal products - nor abusing animals, as in the case of bullfights still being a passion in Spain.

The stoic position taken by Shea is probably the best course. She has the realistic understanding that the harvest of seals is like the use of any other animals for their products - it's no less ethical and it is a vital industry to many.

The pie-in-the-face slapstick routine of PETA grabs attention. But seals are doing fine generally. There are all sorts of species that are truly threatened and could use some help.

Organizations: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, European Union

Geographic location: Canada, Spain

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