Rod Coronado believes that the best thing he’s ever accomplished for animal rights was when he played an instrumental role in sinking two Icelandic whaling ships through Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which uses direct action to protect marine habitat and wildlife. Now, the animal rights activist and ex-convict is going on his “Hungry like the Wolf 2014” tour and will be making a stop here in Eugene on Feb. 2.
Coronado is well known among animal activists for his direct-action activism, including sabotaging mountain lion traps and arson. Now, living in Michigan, Coronado has taken on the task of spreading awareness about wolves.
“A lot of people know me because of my past activism so I’m trying to use that, take advantage of that, to get people involved in the wolf issue,” Coronado says.
Michigan became the sixth state to legalize wolf hunts, saying that overpopulation and danger to citizens were the primary reasons. Coronado will be speaking out against the hunts on his tour. While Oregon has not legalized wolf hunts, there has been controversy over the use of lethal control of wolves that prey on livestock.
“It’s the first time in like nine years I’ve been able to be involved in activism,” Coronado says. Prior to this tour, Coronado had been in prison and later served probation for various illegal activities such as burning a seed cooperative at a branch of Oregon State University and setting animals free at Washington State University.
“It wouldn’t take me much to end up in federal prison for the rest of my life,” Coronado says. “I’d rather see all the intelligent, effective activists dedicating themselves to more sustainable tactics.”
One of those tactics, for Coronado, is spreading awareness and empowering people to make a difference.
“I want them to feel like they have a voice and that there still are avenues for them to make a difference for animals in the wild,” Coronado says. “It’s really easy to click a button and send a letter to an agency, but we need to get out there in the field and see what’s being done to wildlife.”
Coronado says his talk won’t be strictly about business. He plans on encouraging and organizing people to go camping in areas that are populated with wolves.
“We have to remember to have a sense of humor and have fun,” Coronado says.
Coronado’s tour, “Hungry like the Wolf 2014,” will be held at 7 pm Sunday, Feb. 2, in McKenzie 221 at UO. Free.