AR-News: an answer i got about the wolves in Alaska--to whom shall i send it friends?

סמדר rumsiki at
Tue May 4 21:15:03 EDT 2004

From: ClubVeg at 
Sent: Monday, May 03, 2004 11:42 PM
Subject: Alaska

Dear Smader,
Thank-you for expressing your concerns about the wolves in Alaska. We share your concern for those wolves and for all other animals whose lives are taken away from them. Club Veg promotes a vegan diet to save the largest number of animals, however, this does not in any way reflect a lack of concern for other animals. As an all-volunteer organization, we spend all of our free time doing what we can to help save animals. 

The trip that Friends of Animals emailed you about was planned two years ago, long before their boycott was called. We would not have planned a trip if there was a boycott in place when we planned it. While the 14 vegans who are going on the trip could get a refund for the trip minus an administration fee, they could not get their non-refundable airfares back - thus, cancellation would cost them anywhere from $800 - 1000 each. In addition, there could be legal ramifications for the travel agent, the tour operator, and Club Veg if we were to cancel due to the loss people would incur. Furthermore, people might then use their non-refundable tickets anyway, giving their money to businesses that do not oppose the wolf hunt. 

It's important to know that the tour operator in Alaska is vegetarian, and very opposed to the wolf hunting. When we go to Alaska, we will be supporting a veg business that actively opposes the hunt. Our tour operator has even been interviewed on the front page of the daily newspaper in Anchorage about this terrible situation. He has actively lobbied and opposed the hunt. If we hurt his business, we hurt his ability to make a difference in Alaska. 

We all agree that what is happening to wolves in Alaska is horrible, and that a boycott is a good idea. However, we believe that rather than hurting the small eco-tourism operators who actively oppose the hunt, because this hurts their ability to be able to put their money into efforts to oppose it, and it hurts people who are on our side, we should be focusing on the large tour operators who regularly bring thousands of people to Alaska. The cruiselines, for example, regularly have more than 1500 people aboard, while the larger tour operators have hundreds of people coming each day. We think it would be a better use of time to focus energies on those organizations that do not oppose the hunt rather than putting your efforts into stopping 14 vegans from going to Alaska on a one time basis, and giving their business to a vegetarian business that actively opposes the hunt. 

While we are in Alaska, we plan to do a great deal of education about this issue. We will be meeting with a vegan group in Alaska to talk about strategies. In addition, we will be bringing information to give to all those we come into contact with to educate them about the issue. For those of us who arrive early or leave late, we will be going to the governor's mansion to make our feelings known (we arrive and leave on weekends.) 

Again, this trip was planned two years ago, long before the boycott was called. We made this clear to Friends of Animals when they first contacted us. We never would have planned it if there already was a boycott in place. We plan to make the best of the situation by doing everything we can to increase awareness and oppose the wolf hunt while we are in Alaska. We hope that you can understand the difficult position we are in. 

Amie Hamlin
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