St. John's, Newfoundland - Brave PETA protester, 24 year old Emily Lavender, who hails from Vancouver, was dressed up as a seal and waiting outside a hotel for the arrival of Prime Minister Stephen Harper Friday when she was pied by Salty Dog
. VOCM radio
reported that Lavender was also punked by another radio station, K-Rock. Salty Dog is the mascot for Downhome Magazine
. The disguised pie thrower ran away after the incident and no arrests have been reported. Bystander Wallace Ryan told Lavender to leave, saying
“We’re here to point out that PETA has incited violence and hate against Newfoundland and Labrador for years.”
According to the Downhome website, Salty Dog
"... loves to have a great time with friends at events and celebrations. You can always count on Salty to have a good time!"
prank was "done on behalf of all Newfoundlanders" and carried out by radio personality Cousin Jason, who dressed up in a seal suit to join the unsuspecting Lavender.
PETA was happy to take responsibility for the pie-ing of Minister Gail Shea, but has remained silent about Lavender's pie-in-the-face. PETA promoted
the Newfoundland protest, saying the group wanted Harper to
"... use his influence to end Canada's annual seal slaughter, the largest massacre of marine mammals on Earth. During the slaughter, tens of thousands of baby seals have their heads bashed in or are shot. Sealers hook baby seals in the eyes, cheeks, or mouth to avoid damaging their fur. They then drag them across the ice, often while the animals are still conscious. Many of the seals are too young to swim away from their attackers and are killed as their wailing mothers watch and mourn."
If there are Newfoundland residents who are against sealing, they remain silent. Approximately
5,000 to 6,000 people in Newfoundland and Labrador rely
on sealing for income. Because of the economic need for the hunt, there can be some hard feelings and strong words expressed by sealers and their supporters. For example, Labradorian
columnist Jan Dymond wrote in 2008
"The issue of the seal hunt is showing up in the news again. Must be fund-raising time for international animal rights organizations.
I'm not going to go on and on about whether I think seal hunts should continue or not. For me, that's not the point of my anger. I have little tolerance for liars and swindlers; that's all."
It is is not likely that MP Gerry Bryne
will be calling to have the pie-ing of a PETA activist classified as an "act of terror."
Lavender, like Shea, took the pie-ing in stride and carried on with her business.
PETA had anticipated
a "warm reception" in Newfoundland.