Written by: Heather Clemenceau
Today, many supporters of Story Book Farm Primary Sanctuary were feeling about as nervous as a bunch of long-tailed monkeys in a room full of rocking chairs! Today, at 10am, Justice Mary Vallee dismissed the case stipulating that Darwin would remain at Story Book. While the case of Nakhuda v. Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary will not exactly fade away anytime soon, at least the lives that were on hold while waiting for the trial and the verdict will now be freer to move forward. And despite it being Friday the 13th, the day turned out to be a very lucky one for Darwin the IKEA monkey. For one thing, he now won’t have to have his canine teeth removed. He’ll also be free to socialize with other monkeys, now that the risk of him being returned to Yasmin Nakhuda is gone. Up until this point, introducing him to other monkeys would be considered risky, since he could potentially lose that friendship if he had to leave the sanctuary.
Now that he is completely free to be socialized with other Story Book monkeys, he can begin to experience the emotional development that would not have been available to him in a home environment. While life in a sanctuary cannot possibly replicate the ideal conditions in nature, he will now be able to live as much like a monkey as possible.
You can read Justice Vallee’s reasons for the judgment below:
However, in the land of revenge and retribution where the mob rules, the Truth is still buried under conspiracy theories of judicial, police, and even animal control corruption. Some time ago, I read the following commentary about hate messages, written by Paul Watson, and thought how relevant it was to the Darwin case. Story Book proprietor Sherri Delaney, her family, volunteers, and supporters have experienced all manner of disparaging harassment, which continues even as the verdict was announced.
There are, it seems to me, two sources of this conflict. One is just ideological differences – some people feel that everyone has the right to own a monkey, while others maintain that monkeys are best left to their own devices in
The Scopes Monkey trial is perhaps best known today for serving as the inspiration for the play, Inherit the Wind, and the movie of the same title.
their natural element. If you’ve read the recent exchanges between Story Book supporters and Nakhuda supporters, these differences become apparent.
A second source of conflict are those who have chosen regular harassment via social media as their chosen mechanism of activism. Threats to take Darwin back from the sanctuary by “alternative means” and grossly offensive language have been hurled against Story Book supporters on a regular basis. The result has been to raise the level of emotion and defensiveness for everyone. Now that the trial is over, we have to find ways to marginalize and ignore these elements.
Paul Watson is best known one of the most determined, most active and most effective defender of wildlife. For 35 years, Captain Watson was at the helm of the world’s most active marine non-profit organization – the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He has a way of dealing with hateful messages that everyone on both sides of the trial can learn from.
Paul Watson~On Dealing With Hate Messages
“Every day I receive a dozen or so nasty messages, most of them simply irrational hate messages, the usual and predictable rambling on about trivial inanities, tossing insults like they actually think such silliness is going to cause me trauma or something.
What they don’t understand is that I appreciate receiving their spiteful messages because I have always been of the opinion that the only people who are never criticized are people who do essentially nothing.
Activism invites criticism, ridicule, hate messages, and threats. Open your mouth and people will disagree with you. A few however feel compelled to dress up their disagreement with ad hominen attacks, insults and threats. Some people just cannot stand the fact that other people do not think the same way they do or believe in the same thing they do.
I have absolutely no emotional reaction to insults or hate messages. Insults from people I do not know are meaningless. In many cases they are simply amusing.
Facebook and other social network site have given rise to the craven types who lash out from the safety of obscurity. They feel they can say whatever they like to whomever they like because no one can see them (well, except for the NSA).
Very few of these people would have the courage to make such insults to your face. Their motivation is their cowardice. All trolls are cowards, that IS their one defining characteristic.
And as cowards they are hardly deserving of respect or even recognition.
Each day I delete a few silly comments and often as not ban a few haters. In fact I appreciate their verbal attacks as a means to identify them so that I can toss them into the trash heap of banned individuals.
I never respond to them because they are not worth responding to.
Now if they don’t bother me you might ask than why am I even bothering to write about this.
The reason is this. I hear from many people, especially younger people about how hurtful these comments can be and how they are bullied by people attacking them on their facebook pages or in comments about articles they write or messages they post.
I do tell people to simply ignore such things but despite this many people feel personally victimized.
So my advice to people in this situation is to realize that if you ever wish to achieve anything in life you must understand that whatever you do, there will be people who disagree with you and some of these people have so little personal integrity that they will respond in a manner they believe will be intentionally hurtful.
You should instead view such attacks as a validation that you have said something meaningful. Nothing makes these hate posters (often called trolls) more angry than the realization that someone is articulating a belief that they disagree with.
And nothing frustrates them more than when they are ignored. They want to see your pain. They want to know that they poked you and it hurt. Don’t give them the satisfaction.
Block them, delete them and ignore them.
If they insult you for your physical appearance, ignore them. If they accuse you of being stupid, ignore them. If they insult others you respect and love, ignore them.
They are like mosquitos buzzing in your ear. Annoying yes, but toss a mosquito net over your tent and suddenly that irritating buzz has gone away.
I receive thousands of insults every year. They are as meaningless as bug splatter on your windshield. With your car you turn on your windshield washer and with the internet you click on the ban option and delete button.
Darwin at Story Book
I have known very attractive people who have allowed them self to be hurt by unknown persons calling them ugly. The true ugliness lies inside of the mind hurtling the insults. I have known very intelligent people who have been hurt by unknown persons calling them stupid or ignorant. True stupidity and ignorance lies in the motivation of the trolls seeking to hurt them.
We are who we are, we are not here in this life to fit into the definition of what is acceptable by other people.
People I have known have said to me, “but they are lying about me, what will other people think?
Yes, people lie about other people and this may or may not influence how other people think. The point is it does not matter. The internet is full of lies. Anyone who has a Wikipedia page about them knows that. The media is full of lies as anyone who has had a story written about them knows quite well.
It simply does not matter.
What does matter is that you have faith in yourself and those you know, love and respect personally. What an unknown person says about you is simply of no consequence and if people you know are gossiping about you, well accept it, people like to gossip.
Someone told me, “but people are talking about me.”
As Oscar Wilde once remarked, “the only thing worst than being talked about is not being talked about.”
Let them talk, it validates your existence. They are talking about you because they 1. Admire you. 2. Respect you. 3. Envy you. 5. They are intimidated by you. 6. They irrationally hate you. Or 7. They are simply nuts. (the nut barrel is certainly full on facebook.)
I am in a special category. I have entire facebook pages, websites and you tube sites dedicated to insulting and attacking me. People are actually paid by the Institute of Cetacean Research to insult me online. Personally I feel kind of flattered and amused. They put so much energy into it that I have not had the heart to tell them I simply find their obsession kind of silly. If they actually believe they are having an emotional impact on me, well maybe it’s best to let them continue to believe that, it gives them an outlet for their need to insult and hate and I the case of the professional haters employed by the ICR, I guess it provides jobs to the skillfully challenged.
But the bottom line here is this: Never give any credibility to anything said about you or to you on the internet. People you do not know have zero credibility. They are like poison ivy or poison oak. If you brush up against them it will affect you but if you stay way the problem never develops.
I know it can be difficult if you are young and have self-doubts or if you are struggling with issues like self esteem. But remember, the only person you need to impress is yourself. If Albert Einstein had listened to his critics he would never have discovered relativity. Even his teachers told him he had no aptitude for mathematics. For most of his entire adult life Nelson Mandela was called a violent terrorist, now he is an icon of peace. He refused to let the opinions of others change his heart or mind.
Hurtful, insulting and vicious things were said to Martin Luther King yet he let them slide away like water off a duck’s back. He was above that and so should we all be above that.
No one controls your destiny but yourself. When you focus your eyes on where you wish to go and follow the path outlined by the passion of your heart you can simply steer around any obstacles in your path.
The internet especially Facebook is a minefield of hate. Step around the mines and pursue your dreams and your goals.”