Paul Watson Compares Seal Hunt to Holocaust

As Canada announced in March that it would proceed with a seal hunt this spring in which up to 320,000 seals would be killed, animal rights and environmental extremist Paul Watson compared the seal hunt to the Holocaust.

According to Toronto Star columnist Kelly Toughill, Watson was responding a Newfoundland Memorial University student on whether or not Watson and seal hunters could reach a compromise. Watson’s reply was that,

I would not have compromised with the Nazi over the fate of the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto and I do not believe in compromising with the thugs who kill these seals.

In a response on his web site, Watson countered,

I think this is a good analogy. It is not a question of comparing Jews to seals. It is all about compromising with evil. I, in fact, honour the defenders of the Warsaw Ghetto. They were brave men and women who stood up to tyranny with courage against hopeless odds. In that movement against the NaziÂ’s, those who compromised led their people to defeat and death. The statement was about not giving in to compromise and was not a criticism of the Jewish struggle. If I offended the sealers with the analogy, then that was my point. If I offended anyone of the Jewish faith, then I apologize for the unintended slight.

Yet more evidence that Godwin’s Law extends will past the confines of the Internet.


The big lie about the harp seal hunt. Kelly Toughill, The Toronto Star, March 26, 2005.

Response to Kelly Toughill of the Toronto Star. Paul Watson, March 28, 2005.

Paul Watson Fails in Bid to Take Over Sierra Club

On April 21, the Sierra Club announced the results of its vote for five open spots on the group’s board of directors. The anti-immigration/pro-animal rights slate promoted by animal rights extremist Paul Watson garnered only a small number of votes and were defeated.

Of 176,616 Sierra Club members who voted, only 14,527 voted for David Pimental, 13,090 for Dick Lamm, and a paltry 9,765 for Kim McCoy.

And speaking of Kim McCoy, she is of course the animal rights activist who claimed earlier this year that there was absolutely no connection between the animal rights and anti-immigration activists who were seeking seats on the board, saying,

. . . there is no alliance between animal rights people and “anti-immigration” people. Honestly, the two movements could not be more separate, and these allegations are nothing more than an attempt to distract from the real issues and power struggles at hand in this election.

As I noted before, McCoy forgot to tell that to Paul Watson who both on his website and in interviews complained that the anti-immigration candidates were being unfairly slighted as racists and professed his own anti-immigration views. On his web site, Watson posted a FAQ in early April addressing this issue,

2. What about the accusations that you are supporting an anti-immigrant and anti-immigration position?

I am not anti-immigrant and I am not anti-immigration. I am in fact an immigrant. My position is that I support the policies of the Sierra Club that were in effect from 1965 until 1995 which called for the Club to support population reduction and to address the factors contributing to population increase. Immigration is one of those factors. In 1996, the Club adopted a cowardly-head-in-the-sand policy of neutrality on immigration for fear that the issue was politically incorrect.

There are already limits on immigration. My position is that these limits should be lowered to achieve stabilization. The population of the United States is increasing at a rate of 1.1% per year and at this rate of growth, the population of the United States will reach one billion by the year 2100.

In an interview with the Associated Press after the results of the Sierra Club election were announced, Watson went further saying this was the most important environmental issue for the 21st century,

Watson said the Sierra Club cannot afford to ignore the population issue.

“It’s the most pressing environmental issue of the 21st century,” Watson said. “I find it cowardly for any environmental organization to avoid talking about the issue of human overpopulation.”

Yeah, Kim — the animal rights and anti-immigration movements are just world’s apart.


Sierra Club Leadership’s Candidates Win. Terence Chea, Associated Press, April 21, 2004.

2004 National Board of Directors Election Results. Sierra Club, April 2004.

How Stupid Does Kim McCoy Think People Are?

Kim McCoy, one of the animal rights activists who is part of Paul Watson’s plan to seize control of the Sierra Club board of directors, has posted the following statement about her candidacy on her web site (emphasis added),

Animal Rights and Human Population

An additional misconception that I would like to clear up is that there is no alliance between animal rights people and “anti-immigration” people. Honestly, the two movements could not be more separate, and these allegations are nothing more than an attempt to distract from the real issues and power struggles at hand in this election.

In recent weeks, I have heard animal rights activists being falsely labeled as “anti-human.” This is simply not true. The animal rights movement is a movement of compassion for all species. Certainly this would include humans as well as non-humans, and for this reason, I (and many animal rights activists) fully support and champion the promotion of human rights. However, the fact remains that human population is the single largest threat to life on earth, and if nothing is done to slow or reverse the growth of human population, it is inevitable that all species will suffer, including both humans and non-human species. A wise friend recently said to me, “One of the most wonderful things about promoting vegetarianism is that we can claim with all honesty that what is best for us is also best for the animals and the environment.” I could not agree with this statement more, and I will add that, from my perspective (looking at the big picture), this is fundamentally true of the human population issue as well.

There is a lot at stake here, and our planet and its inhabitants need forward-thinking advocates who will speak on their behalf, even in the face of controversy and unpleasant accusations. My hope is that the goodhearted, gentle souls who fight against injustices in this broken world will turn inwards and really think about this issue; think about the repercussions of failing to address human population growth; think about the kind of planet they would like to see for their children and grandchildren, and for the offspring of countless other species of plants and animals. Addressing human population growth from a purely ecological perspective is entirely consistent with the protection of human and non-human rights and does not damage either movement, but failing to do so will.

Watson’s alliance with immigration foes has caused some consternation and criticism among liberal-leaning activists, so McCoy’s effort to say that there simply is no such alliance is understandable. But she might have clued in Paul Watson, since the Sea Shepherd site endorsed all three of the leading anti-immigration candidates for the Sierra Club board in a February press release,

The Sea Shepherd Endorsement for Sierra Club Directors

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is endorsing the following distinguished candidates for the 2004 election to the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club.

We urge our supporters who are members of the Sierra Club to look for your ballots in March 2004 and to consider voting for the candidates listed below.

. . .

Governor Richard Lamm

Why: Because as a three time elected Democratic Governor of Colorado with an excellent environmental record, Dick Lamm will be a strong and distinguished voice on the Board. Governor Lamm has been a long time supporter of the Sierra Club.

Frank L. Morris

Why: Because as a retired State Department foreign service officer and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation he brings both a knowledge of international affairs and minority concerns to the Sierra Club Board. His ballot statement talks about helping the Club with one of its longstanding internal challenges, diversifying its membership base. “I seek a leadership position in our Club because I deeply share our core values of protecting the planet,” he wrote. “I will effectively represent us in settings not always open to our message-in minority and disadvantaged communities, in Congress, and in leading the defeat of President Bush.”

Dr. David Pimentel

Why: Because Cornell University entomologist Prof. David Pimental is a respected ecologist and expert on the impact of human population growth on eco-systems. The Sierra Club needs the expertise of Dr. Pimentel.

Lamm, by the way, shares some of the animal rights animosity toward medical technology and research. As he put it in an infamous 1984 speech, “We’ve got a duty to die and get out of the way with all of our machines and artificial hearts and everything else like that and let the other society — our kids — build a reasonable life.”


Personal statement from Kim McCoy. Kim McCoy, Undated.

The Sea Shepherd Endorsement for Sierra Club Directors. Press Release, Sea Shepherd, February 12, 2004.

Paul Watson Attempts Takeover of the Sierra Club

Paul Watson’s announcement last summer at AR 2003 that he was just three seats away from controlling the board of the Sierra Club suddenly started getting a lot of media attention in early 2004 as the Sierra Club’s April election deadline comes closer.

The Sierra Club, of course, has a $95 million budget which Watson wants to control in order to push his agenda. According to the Center for Consumer Freedom, Watson said at that time,

One of the reasons that I’m on the, um, the Sierra Club board of directors right now is to try and change it Â… we’re only three directors away from controlling that board. We control one-third of it right now. And, uh, once we get three more directors elected, the Sierra Club will not, no longer be pro-hunting and pro-trapping and we can use the resources of the $95-million-a-year budget to address some of these issues. And the heartening thing about it is that, in the last election, of the 750,000 members of the Sierra Club, only 8 percent of them voted. So, you know, a few hundred, or a few thousand people from the animal rights movement joining the Sierra Club — and making it a point to vote — will change the entire agenda of that organization.

According to Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope, about 18 percent of Sierra Club members fish or hunt, and Pope worries that those individuals would be driven from the organization and that it would end up marginal,

It’s important to have hunters and fisherman in the Sierra Club. We are a big-tent organization. We want the Sierra Club to be a big-tent organization. We want the Sierra Club to be a comfortable place for Americans who want clean air, clean water, and to protect America’s open spaces.

The most amusing commentary on the controversy came from FARM USA’s Alex Hershaft who distributed a letter charging that it was, in fact, the hunters and fisherman who were trying to take over the Sierra Club rather than vice versa. According to Hershaft,

The Sierra Club, with 750,000 members and a $95 million annual budget, is being hijacked by the hunting, trapping, and fishing cadres in the forthcoming Board election. Their leaders have been urging members to join the Sierra Club in droves. We can not do any less.

Hershaft parted ways with reality long ago, so this claim should not surprise anyone.

According to Hershaft the three candidates the animal rights activists want to win are activists Kim McCoy and Robert Roy van de Hoek as well as Cornell University Professor David Pimentel.

Pimentel is part of the other group that is trying to hijack the Sierra Club — an organized effort by right wingers and extreme environmentalists to turn the Sierra Club into an anti-immigration organization. A few years ago this coalition managed to put up to a vote by the members a proposed anti-immigration stance that they wanted the Sierra Club would take, but that failed. Along with Dick Lamm and Frank Morris and promoted by racist web sites like VDARE.Org, the anti-immigration effort has also seen the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Morris Dees enter his name as a candidate for the board in order to protest and highlight the anti-immigration effort.


Keep the Sierra Club Out of Hunters’ Clutches! Letter, Alex Hershaft, January 23, 2004.

Sierra Club: Ever More Radical. Center for Consumer Freedom, September 4, 2003.

Allison Lance Watson Charge with Lying to Grand Jury

On January 14, Allison Lance-Watson — wife of Sea Shepherd activist Paul Watson — was arrested and charged with lying to a federal grand jury investigating a May 2000 arson at a Washington timber company.

Watson was called before a grand jury in October and given immunity from prosecution in order to compel her testimony.

During her grand jury testimony, Watson was asked about the use of a truck that the Watsons rented in May 2000 to haul equipment between Washington and California offices of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Specifically, Watson was asked whether the truck was always in Watson’s possession and whether she loaned it to anyone. Watson answered no to both inquiries. Then, she was asked whether or not Gina Lynn — an associate of Watson’s, was ever in the truck. Watson again answered no.

The problem for Watson is that the FBI has surveillance video tape of the truck at a Washington mini-mart only 12 miles and a few hours removed from the arson. The video tape apparently shows Lynn and animal rights extremist Joshua Trentor in the truck. Moreover, the occupants of the truck dumped five plastic bags full of clothes, ski masks, gloves, and a wrapper from a pair of bolt cutters.

Watson was released after posting bond. If convicted, she could face up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine.


Animal rights activist arrested. Paul Shukovsky, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, January 15, 2004.

Dan Murphy's Excellent Commentary on AR2002

Dan Murphy, the editor Meat Marketing & Technology magazine, wrote an excellent account of an appearance he made at Animal Rights 2002.

Murphy was invited to give a short speech to activists covering areas where industry and activists might have some common ground. As you might expect, Murphy was largely wasting his time. As he wrote,

Not surprisingly, my remarks had about as much of a lasting impact on the more than 800 diehard activists in attendance as the “lecture” I gave my cat Riley last week about not clawing the couch.

. . .

Unfortunately, the overwhelming attitude among speakers, disciples and exhibitors alike encompassed a migraine-inducing mix of virulent anti-meat propaganda, bizarre animal action campaigns and a few frightening glimpses into the mind and soul of crusaders who have truly lost the plot.

Murphy relayed a long litany of things that the assembled activists were against as well as some choice quotes from people like Ingrid Newkirk (“You just look at animals — just look into their eyes — and you can tell they’re people. It’s that simple.”) and Paul Watson (“There is no way to change our laws without using violence, and we cannot shy away from violence as a crucial arm of the movement. We can all put ourselves on the line. It doesn’t take a four-year degree to call in a bomb threat.”)

But Murphy was brilliant in tearing apart a bizarre claim by the Animal Defense League’s Jerry Vlasak who argued that violence was compatible with the nonviolent outlook of the civil rights movement.

“Dr. [Martin Luther] King said that destroying property doesn’t violate the principle of non-violence,” [Violence] is part of every successful social justice movement.” (Jerry Vlasak, of the Animal Defense League). That last quote angers me.

Narrow-mindedness in the service of one’s chosen mission is at least understandable. But some of the animal rights leadership obviously enjoys selling a not-so-subtly packaged message of violence in service to the cause.

When the pro-violence folks quoted above arrogantly tried to claim King as a spiritual ancestor to the extremists responsible for blowing up trucks, bombing buildings and destroying the property of legitimate business people, I glanced around at the SRO crowd packed into the room, and the mostly young, predominantly female and almost exclusively white audience members were all nodding their heads in earnest agreement.

Were the real Dr. King still alive I can only imagine that he would disagree with far greater conviction. I won’t digress too extensively here, but allow me to share just a couple relevant quotes for those losers who have a dream that King would somehow relish their sick sanctioning of property destruction:

. . .

To suggest that arson in the name of the “cause” would be approved by Dr. King — whose own home was fire-bombed by white bigots passionate about their “cause” — is an ignorant interpretation of history at best.

To invoke the name of Martin Luther King on behalf of violent ALF types who are past even the fringe of legitimacy is a venal, bankrupt attempt at credibility that puts an Orwellian spin on a chapter of American social history about which I doubt more than a handful of the activist types at that Animal Rights meeting have more than an MTV-like video clip awareness of its significance.

In fact, using Vlasak’s perverse version of nonviolence, the fire bombing of King’s house was morally acceptable because nobody was hurt — only property was destroyed. According to Vlasak philosophy, somebody who might burn down a black church or firebomb an abortion clinic is not engaged in violence so long as it is only property that is destroyed.

That these sorts of pedantic arguments actually seem to find widespread acceptance in the animal rights movement is indicative of just how marginal the movement is. Nobody outside the movement buys these sorts of arguments anymore than the buy the argument of extremist anti-abortion advocates that destroying an abortion clinic is simply a valid act of defense on behalf of unborn children.


Animal Rights conclave window to weird world of act-out activists Dan Murphy, MeatingPlace.Com, July 12, 2002.