This week's pie-in-the-face attack on Fisheries Minister Gail Shea is an unfortunate incident that demonstrates the low level of tactics some groups will stoop to to gain publicity for their message. In this case, it was People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA,) which had a supporter shove a pie into the face of Shea in protest of her support of the Canadian seal hunt.
No, despite what fellow MPs like Gerry Byrne might think, it was not an act of terrorism. No dangerous intentions were laid in that tofu cream pie, and no physical harm was caused to the minister. Yes, such attacks are against the law, and suspected pie slinger Emily McCoy should have her day in court.
But did her message get across? Shea and other seal hunt supporters are now even more staunchly behind their position, angered by such a seemingly unnecessary act. Throwing a pie at a little lady from Prince Edward Island does not gain as much sympathy for a cause as it would if it were hurled at, say, a pitbull like Transport Minister John Baird.
In the days following, there has been plenty talk about the pie incident, but very little debate about the seal hunt that was being protested. If anything, the traditional hunt gained more sympathy from those annoyed by the incident.
If organizations like the PETA really want to stop the seal hunt, they should go about it in a proper fashion, by lobbying people to stop buying products made from seals, and lobbying countries to stop accepting them, like they successfully did in Europe. Without a demand for the products, the hunt would become unprofitable and pointless.
Throwing pies might grab a headline for the day, but proves little else.