SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS, IN THE NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE — State and federal law-enforcement officials have urged hunters to stay away from exotic-animal ranches in Texas, after an “animal-rights manifesto” began circulating on the Internet earlier this week. A nationwide manhunt in under way for the document’s author, an animal-rights activist named Monty Gelstein.
“Mr. Gelstein presents a clear and present danger to trophy hunters in Texas,” a high-ranking federal official told The Daily Maul on condition of anonymity.
In his manifesto, titled The Conservation of America’s Hunters, Gelstein writes: “For other species to thrive requires the sacrifice of some of our own.”
Gelstein’s manifesto appeared on the Internet on Sunday night, after 60 Minutes aired a segment titled “Big Game Hunting,” in which CBS News’ Lara Logan told viewers, “It’s open season on close to 100 species of exotic game all the time (in Texas), because exotic animals are considered personal property.”
Officials believe that the 60 Minutes report, specifically the views expressed by hunters in the segment, “triggered” the release of the manifesto, in which Gelstein writes: “Wildlife conservation is a euphemism for sanctioned slaughter.”
In Logan’s 60 Minutes report, Charly Seale, executive director of the Texas-based Exotic Wildlife Association, said, “Hunters are the main conservationists in this whole equation.”
“Can you call yourselves conservationists when, you know, your purpose, your intent, the thing that’s driving it, is to hunt the animals and to kill them?” Logan asked Seale in her 60 Minutes piece.
“These animals thrive,” Seale responded, “because of that value that they have to the hunting community.”
Asked by Logan, “How can you kill something you love?” Seale explained, “I can do that for the simple reason that I know it’s for the welfare of every one of those animals, you sacrifice one so that many more are born and raised from calves all the way up to the big trophy male or the big trophy females that we have.”
The above-mentioned high-ranking federal official told The Daily Maul, “That’s the kind of rhetoric that really raises the ire of animal-rights activists.”
In Logan’s 60 Minutes piece, Seale said, “Our biggest enemy are the animal-rights people. They don’t understand what we do.”
Officials believe otherwise.
The high-ranking federal official told The Daily Maul, “What Texas trophy hunters need to understand is that they now have an enemy who is hunting them.”
State and federal law-enforcement officials have cautioned hunters against underestimating what they believe is an “imminent threat.”
“We’ve been told by several prominent forensic psychologists that Mr. Gelstein’s pacifism does not extend to hunters,” the high-ranking federal official told The Daily Maul. “There will be those who think that hunting rifles will protect them from Mr. Gelstein. Those folks are going to end up stuffed and hanging on Mr. Gelstein’s wall.”