Praise pours in from other lands

The initiative by Oiko and Kathimerini was very well received by a large sector of Greek society, and surprisingly, by people in other parts of the world. The newspaper received hundreds of letters of support. These, as well as the letters of protest, are at the disposal of any interested reader. «(The newspaper) dared to attack a complex web of interests, led by the State itself which issues the permits – 300,000 hunters multiplied by 100 euros for the permit in order to wipe out our fauna amounts to how much?» asked the Unarmed Group for Quadruped Issues. Argos, the Thessaloniki Animal Lovers’ Association, called the issue of Oiko «a landmark in the history of journalism» and called for the distribution of unsold copies. It added that «hunters’ main argument in order to justify their criminal activity is that they ‘are descended from the ancient hunter’ (who of course did not hunt for fun nor have state-of-the-art weaponry at his disposal).» «Sincere and courageous effort in the fight by every civilized and intelligent person against the ‘sport’ of hunting,» «congratulations for the courage you have shown» and «in times when our natural environment and the animals are threatened with… extinction» are three typical comments from readers’ letters. The newspaper also received a message of support from the Greek Animal Rights Movement. From Europe, the volume of letters included ones from CIFAM animal welfare group in France, the International Animal Refuge in Malta, and the Friends of Animals in Croatia. Others came from Britain, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, France and Austria. «You have done your country a service, because Greece has a very bad reputation in Europe regarding the treatment of animals,» reads a message from Belgium. A British animal lover who has worked in Greece had this to say: «I’m writing to express (my) deep thanks. In the UK, the majority of the public are opposed to hunting,» she said, adding she had noticed many abandoned hunting dogs in Greece. A Greek American from Washington encouraged the newspaper to continue its «efforts to stop this mass killing.» A friend from Britain compared the reactions to the article with those encountered by anti-apartheid activists in South Africa.