Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Some Random Thoughts on Seal Hunting

Seals, they are creatures you don't see everyday. When the tour guide yells out their name in French it is rather amusing to adolescent boys and immature newlyweds. If you saw a seal crossing the street you would probably point it out with something approaching excitement. Now, imagine that you were an Inuit hunter or an East Coast fisherman and you saw them almost every day. Here, to illustrate I've copy and pasted some propaganda from the IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) website and substitued squirrel for seal:

"Hundreds of thousands of baby squirrels will be clubbed or shot without mercy this year alone—an annual squirrel slaughter subsidized by the Canadian government.

95% of the squirrels killed are less than 3 months old. Many will be left to die under the ice . . . some baby squirrels may even be skinned alive

The majority of Canadians oppose the squirrel hunt, but are forced to pay for it.
Hunting squirrels is not justified by economic or environmental reasons. It’s driven by votes.

Scientists agree that the size of this hunt puts the squirrel population at risk."

Did that tug at your heartstrings? I hope not. Seals aren't endangered . . . kind of like cows.

Is it just me or does it make absolutely no sense to say that the majority of Canadians oppose the seal hunt and then come out and say that the hunt is entirely driven by votes? I mean, Canada is democratic, right?

Wrong. According to Morrissey, formerly of the Smiths, Canada is currently up there with China as the "cruellest and most self-serving nation." Morrissey is calling for a boycott of all Canadian products, because, you know, all of us are out there on the ice clubbing baby seals. As for the fisherman who earn money hunting seals? "Construction of German gas chambers also provided work for someone - this is not a moral or sound reason for allowing suffering."

Rant time. I am disgusted with these people who continually compare animal hunts to genocides and the Holocaust. People like this are the same ones who raved for the protection of the gorillas in Rwanda while hundreds and thousands of people, of human beings, were being slaughtered. I honestly have only one thing to say to the people who consider animals to be on the same level as humans: You are absolutely ridiculous. To compare an Inuit fisherman to a Nazi is completely, horrendously, and monumentally imbecilic. To compare a seal to a Jew is ineffably beyond that.

If animals are to be held to the same standards as humans then we must mobilize quickly to stop preying mantises from consuming their young and these absolutely barbaric wolves from consuming caribou. In fact, on the subject of seals, we should start growing kale to feed to them so that they don't slaughter all of these innocent herring. Seals really need to be incarcerated for that sort of behaviour.


mutoni said...

aren't our jails already over-crowded enough? I don't think we have any room for these criminally-minded Seals.

This is a real problem.

BvO said...

Well said, good sir. Well said.

PietHarsevoort said...


As Christians we are concerned with the proper, stewardly use of all creation (despite what Lynn White argues to the contrary). Thus, there is certainly a place for criticism of such things as cruelty to animals. Perhaps it is indeed unstewardly to kill animals like seals to make fur coats for ourselves when alternative materials are available.

This is a matter which deserves some thought, but the rhetoric of organizations like the IFAW and individuals like Morrissey is so cartoonish and smug that the real issue is buried under mounds of simplistic, extremist speechifying.

Suzanne den Boer said...

I love a good rant. Well said. Do you realize the significance of the date March 30, 1952? It was fifty-four years ago, to give you a hint, and without this event you wouldn't be here. I am just being silly, but in all seriousness you should give Mom a call tonight or tomorrow. Maybe you are already planning to. You can delete this posting.

John den Boer said...

MMM . . . yes of course. I was just about to call.

Anonymous said...

I think the seal hunt is like any other type of hunt, be it cattle, chicken, pig, etc. None of them are pretty. But pristine white ice flows make a much better photo-op - really shows off the blood nicely.

I wish that celebrities would get their facts straight on this issue - I've heard so many 'statistics' lately. No matter what someone's stance on an issue is, I'll respect them if they have sought independent evidence, listened to both sides, and made an informed decision, instead of merely believing what was handed to them on a fact sheet. I saw a press conference with Pamela Anderson today, and she admitted that she's never spoken with anyone involved in the sealing industry, although she 'knows people who have'. Yet she's an international spokesperson rallying against the seal hunt. I don't think the McCartneys had spoken to sealers either, and that frustrates me. I'm sure the people who do this for a living would welcome the chance to be heard.

Speaking of... check out this poster:

Save the Baby Veal: Avoid Cultural Prejudice


"... all cultures have a relationship to animals and ... people in southern urbanized settings should not look down their noses at people whose cultures and economies are still closely tied to the harvesting of animals in the wild"

The poster is meant to give southerners a little glimpse into what it might feel like to have their own culture and animal practices judged harshly by outsiders.

National Inuit Youth Council: http://www.niyc.ca/comment.php?comment.news.218

John den Boer said...

Hey anonymous, thanks for your input. I agree with Piet that wisdom has to be used when harvesting seals. You're also right, there's a definite prejudice among urban southerners who have never seen seals or who have no experience with the northern culture.

Are you a northerner, by any chance?

John den Boer said...

The poster is pretty funny . . . what a cute calf, it's a shame people so brutally slaughter and eat them.

Nikki Gerrits said...

Good Rant. I'm sad I missed it at the time it came out. I ranted myself when I saw the McCartneys on CNN. All I say to those people is: give me a break!

Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read » »

Who deh?