Meatless Monday: Melania Capitan, proud defender of hunters’ rights, commits suicide, friends blame online trollers

Melania Capitan was a defiant defender of the right to hunt but her passion came at a cost. The Spanish woman was constantly targeted by animal rights activists who harassed her in online forums.

That harassment didn’t end even with Capitan’s death. She committed suicide last week and Capitan’s friends cite the toll trollers had on the 27-year-old mental health.

On Instagram, Capitan had almost 10,000 followers and she regularly posted photos of herself posing with weapons and the animals that she had killed.

Following Capitan’s death, the president of the Spanish Federation of Hunting filed a criminal complaint with the country’s public prosecution office citing animal terrorism and their attacks for contributing to Capitan’s death.

The complaint said the criticisms against Capitan targeted her personal liberties and because hunting is a right in Spain, anyone who criticized her was violating her rights.

Before her death, Capitan said she has received 3,000 hate messages and had sought legal advice.

“Even though I have been receiving attacks since 2015, now the situation has become unsustainable,” she said.

Online, commentators against Capitan’s hunting had threatened her. One said “We’re going to shut you up with a bullet in the forehead” while another posted: “I hope someone gives you a beating that leaves you four months in a coma”.

Even after her death, her Facebook page was flooded with comments praising her death.

“You have done a favour to humanity! Bye Bye,” one wrote.

“Ciao Mel! You made a favour to nature,” said another.

“Who is hunting now in hell,” it goes on.

Capitan, before her death, championed. hunting and tried to promote it among youth and women.

Hunting is like love, like eating or sleeping, something necessary,” she wrote.

In an interview in May of this year, Capitan told the Herald of Aragon  that the harassment had gone from being just online but to actual physical confrontations.

Even though I have been receiving attacks since 2015, now the situation has become unsustainable . Three people from an animal platform came to my work to talk to my bosses and push them.”

In the week leading up to her death, Capitan posted images from her best friend’s wedding celebration.

 

 

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