Most people in the AR movement honor Dr. Martin Luther King, many worship Jesus Christ, and a few laugh at western inventions of "Confucius says...". Here is something they all said that should give us pause.
"Let no man pull you low enough to hate him." - MLK
"Love your neighbor. Forgive your enemy." - Jesus
"The potential and power of forgiveness are infinite." - Confucius (loosely paraphrased).
I will be slammed by some for what I'm about to say, but I will say it. The AR movement, theoretically based on COMPASSION and indeed brimming with compassion, is, alas, also overflowing with HATRED, which many confuse with RIGHTEOUS ANGER.
Other than the omnipresent compassion, righteous anger is the starting point for most to join the movement. It serves as the CAUSE of and motivator for steel-like determination and cool-headed action. Hatred is not a cause, it is the COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE CONCLUSION.
Let's take the Anti-Hunting movement, starting with the very basic - personal safety, I mean mine, and general strategy. Most of those hurling hatred and death wishes upon hunters on the internet, even targeting CHILDREN, and at that often anonymously, have never confronted a hunter face-to-face, much less 100 at a time, in real life. I would not be alive today had I done the same back in 1996, when I undertook an 8-week, 50-stop, anti-hunting road tour in which I debate, in townhall settings, large groups of hostile hunters no less than 40 times, up to 130 hunters at a time, over 100 twice, over 50 at least 10 times, the average being about 40 hunters per confrontation. Did I ever raise my voice in these debates? Not once. Did I use hate speech? Never. I showed my DISAPPROVAL by means of LOGIC. For example, when a hunter defended himself as a "conservationist", I asked him, CALMLY, whether his motivation was pure conservation for the sake of the wildlife, or whether he "conserves" so that there would be more animals to hunt - for HIM. I also said, calmly, "Most of you have proven to be good shots, and claim to be anti-poaching. So, in the name of conservation, why don't you go and join an anti-poaching force to help conserve the rhino or the elephant? Rather than spending major bucks to hunt a rhino or elephant as a 'conservation' measure, which would be reaped by the hunting guide-outfitter, why don't you donated the same amount to the anti-poaching effort instead, which would have gone ten times farther?" This pretty much silenced them on the "conservation" issue for the rest of the debate.
There is also the crucial matter of STRATEGY. There were people present at the debates who were more or less non-committal. In such a confrontation, my main aim was not to convert the hunters present, but to win over those hitherto on the fence so that they will sooner or later come down on our side. Even more important was that there were usually media reporters present; my farther aim was to win over their readership, meaning thousands at a time. Had I used socially unacceptable hate speech against the opposition, what I would have achieved was to drive those on the fence to get off on to the other side, plus giving our side a black eye.
Resulting from the tour, hunting became the hottest topic of the year in British Columbia, with most fence-sitters getting off on to the Anti-Hunting side.
Paul George, then the head of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee (WCWC) of which I was a campaigner, wrote: "... his calm and unflappable style infuriated the opposition." I believe that many in the opposition hated my guts, but because I did not vent and rant, neither did they. Speaking of the "black eye", I was ambushed in 1998 by a hateful hunter who gave me not one but two black eyes (exactly, 3 facial bone-fractures including a buckled eye socket). You know what? The incident was widely reported and discussed, even in hunting circles. The black eye, again, was on them.
I don't hate them, but I do use their own hatred against them. Conversely, kindly do not give them any of our hatred for them to use against us.
I leave the higher reasons against hatred to the Great Masters.
If you see merit in this post, especially for the benefit of the movement, please like and comment, and share it out far and wide. Thank you.
Anthony Marr, founder
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)