Heal Our Planet Earth

Open letter to Girl Guide USA about MN girl scout duck shoot

14 Jan 2007


The beluga whales in the St. Lawrence Seaway were so polluted that their carcasses had to be handled as toxic waste. What if, to generate a market for beluga whale meat, the government is feeding this poison to elementary school children in their school lunch program?

This is not happening in North America, yet (although highly unhealthy foods of other descriptions are being served in schools as we speak - that's another story), but it is happening in Japan. Whale-meat consumption in Japan is on the wane. A good thing, for both whale and people. Whale meat is loaded with toxins such as mercury (which seriously damages the nervous systems of fetusses and children), PCB and dioxin (the most potent carcinogens known to science). Randomly sampled whale meat in Japan regularly turns up analytical readings of mercury above 20 ppm (parts per million), 50X Japan's own maximum allowable concentration of 0.4 ppm. And what does Japan do? It labels supermarket whale meat as "health food", and feeds whale meat to elemenatry school children in their school lunch program, meanwhile doubling the quota of their pirate whaling. In other words, Japan is violating its own health protection laws, and deliberately poisoning its own children, for no higher purpose that to sustain a dying tradition and industry. Indeed, whaling for Japan is ethics fourth, health third, profit second, tradition first.

This deliberate poisoning of children has itself become a tradition, not just Japanese, but also American - recall the targeting of youth by the tobacco industry. And not just poisoning the body, but also the heart and the mind. As we speak, a dying America tradition is desperately and deliberately poisoning the hearts and minds of our young people in order to sustain itself. It is the waning tradition of sport and trophy hunting, which nonetheless has a life of its own. To save and rejuvenate itself, it has launched a desperate yet wide and effective campaign to create a new generation of juvenile hunters, some as young as 4 years of age, targetting schools and churches, and now, the boy scouts and girl scouts.

It has recently come to my attention that the Girl Scouts of Cannon Valley located in Northfield, MN, plans to hold an "Aim High for Girl Scouts Continental Shoot" at Traxler's Preserve on January 27 as a "fun" way for hunters to help raise funds for the America Girl Scout Council. Approximately 10 ducks per person will be released for the shoot. A raffle and other games of chance are offered after the gourmet dinner included in the package. What next? Kindergartens?

Upon questioning, Girl Guide U.S.A. (GSUSA) consultant Rae Schopp wrote: "This event was not sanctioned by GSUSA. We have expressed our concern and the council has agreed not to sponsor such an event in the future." My immediate question is what "in the future" means. Does it mean that the January 27, 2007, "Aim High for Girl Scouts Continental Shoot" at Traxler's Preserve will still be held, and for the second year in a row, inspite of our previous protestations?

If the answer is "yes", we will not feel obliged to remain silent in spite, and in fact because, of our long standing respect for the boy/girl scout traditon. A press release has already been drafted, and will be sent out to local, national and international media on Friday, January 19, if by then the event has not definitely been cancelled.

I have always been heart-warmed by GSUSA's standing statements that hunting is offensive and the organization does not advocate hunting. I hope its reputation is not tainted by this rogue council misusing the Girl Scout name and polluting the Girl Scout movement.


Anthony Marr, founder
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
4118 West 11th Ave.,
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6R 2L6

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