Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Should the U.S. arm rebels in Zimbabwe? | Main | Poll shows 'in-and-out' scandal has hurt Tory credibility »

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Is the bad international publicity reason enough to call off Canada's seal hunt?

Canadasealhunt_5106_2 Marni Soupcoff and Michael Coren debate this question in “Face-off: Sealing our fate.” Soupcoff says “yes” and Coren says “no.”

If the seal hunt ever does succumb to political and economic pressure, it won’t just be the sealers who lose.  Jamie Tarrant reports for the Western Standard that the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) rakes in roughly US$16 million in annual donations from its anti-sealing campaigns.

In “Seal protest makes a killing,” Cyril Doll also reports for the Western Standard that Canada's $30-million per year seal industry is a great fundraising event for animal rights groups.

If that’s not enough seal hunt news, you can watch sealer Wayne Dickson on YouTube. Dickson pulls no punches as he blames Paul Watson and other anti-seal hunt activists for the deaths of four sealers in the "Tragedy of the L'Acadien II."

Posted by Matthew Johnston on April 26, 2008 | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d834515b5d69e200e551fd31348833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Is the bad international publicity reason enough to call off Canada's seal hunt?:

Comments

I doubt abolition or abandonment of the seal hunt would cripple Paul Watson and his band of eco-nuts for long. They would just move on to some other cause designed to extract money from well-meaning but gullible folks (and there are plenty of those around).


That said, Canada should probably ban the seal hunt and compensate the sealers in some way for the loss of this portion of their livelihood. The bad will this hunt generates for all of Canada far exceeds whatever economic value this hunt has for the tiny portion of Canadians who partcipate in it.

Posted by: JMD | 2008-04-26 2:54:16 PM


I wonder what seal meat tastes like...

(And yes, I'm pretty sure they don't beat the seals to eat them -- but is that just because seal meat tastes bad?)

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-04-26 3:07:12 PM


Ya got to beat them suckers to tenderize the meat, don't you?

Seriously, there are too many seals anyway, they eat our fish, and create more sharks who will mistake the odd 66 year old swimmer for a seal. I say we increase the seal hunt and ship off the meat to those asian countries with the food shortages because all the tree huggers have convinced people to grow corn to use as fuel, rather than for food.

Posted by: Markalta | 2008-04-26 3:17:24 PM


It's just not ever going to change for the seal hunt. Watson has won and that's it.
If they club the seals and drag them in a stunned state then proceed to skin them as claimed, who in any humanity can condone such practice? I can't and never will. These are creatures of the wild and should be left alone. Nature will balance things out and have no consideration for human greed.

If the cod fishery is in a slump, try something else. Nature cannot supply an endless catch for fishermen when other species need the same catch for survival.

As for compensating sealers, we've been compensating the Atlantic fishermen for years. It's a seasonal employment, fish then dole and hurt feelings if it's mentioned.

Surely we have bigger fish to fry than to have this adverse publicity around the world for the few who are affected.

That the seal hunt is cruel is not even debatable.

Posted by: Liz J | 2008-04-26 3:22:14 PM


Liz: That man must kill to eat is natural. Killing is ugly, but it is called the "food chain" for a reason.

Terrence: You can compare seal to duck/goose. It is very greasy if you don't prepare it right. As a matter of principle, I only ate the ugly ones, so there was more food for the cute ones.

Posted by: abc | 2008-04-26 3:48:38 PM


Man does not need anywhere near as much meat as is consumed. The animals in the wild are much more efficient at killing their prey than what goes on in the abattoirs where they whack on the head and then slit the throats of the live cattle.

Yeah, we are at the top of the food chain and it ain't pretty, whether they're ugly or not.

Posted by: Liz J | 2008-04-26 5:42:59 PM


Be careful Liz.

You're in danger of dictating how much we should consume. In a free market, we believe in supply and demand, not someone dictating how much we need. If there is a demand for seal, then harvest them.

Posted by: abc | 2008-04-26 6:15:04 PM


Liz: Why should we care about what the Euro-weenies think? Screw them and leave the fishermen alone. Like I said there are too many seals and they eat too many fish...we are part of nature too, or did you think that humans were outside of nature?

Posted by: Markalta | 2008-04-26 8:56:12 PM


To JMD and the others who support this barbaric ritual: Canada has been compensating the seal hunters all along. If the sealers had an ounce of brains, they would find them selves something a little more 21st century to earn a living instead of doing what the cavemen did by bashing things to death. You people should quit whining, you get enough handouts as it is. The only ones that support the seal hunt is you lot from the east coast and your stupid Loyola Hearn and Danny Williams and a few other losers that haven't yet evolved. I hope the seal hunt ends and I'm sick of hearing about the those poor seal hunters, they knew the risks of going out in their boats. I would think that accidents and death comes with the territory. You'd think they were heroes the way you people carry on, they got the same media attention or more than the Canadian Soldiers who die fighting, they are the real heroes, not a bunch of club wielding morons with the intelligence of cavemen. Suck it up and shut up!

Posted by: Cat | 2008-04-26 9:47:04 PM


Ooh, sounds like Cats seal skin boots are on a bit too tight.

Posted by: markalta | 2008-04-26 11:32:49 PM


Would it be crueller than letting global warming permitting the cute baby seals to drown?

No, of course not. Because global warming DOES NOT EXIST!

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-04-27 11:30:42 AM


Government should butt out. Seals are not endangered, in fact the problem is over population. If there is no market or use for the end product, then it will decline or stop completely.

The problem is all the sidewalk environmentalists who know and understand nothing whatsoever about nature. Walt Disney productions are NOT nature folks.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-04-27 11:47:02 AM


Markalta made a point that I've been wondering about for some time. The overpopulation of seals might be responsible for the unusually big jump in shark attacks. It might also be why the killer whale population is seeing a healthy growth.

I suppose it doesn't make much difference how things balance out. The cod stocks were wiped out by commie trawlers, not seals. If the unemployed fishermen can earn a living clubbing smelly worthless furballs, good for them. Why is a club on the head evil, while being eaten alive is "nature"?

I've never tasted seal Terrance, but it smells like ass.

Posted by: dp | 2008-04-27 12:59:20 PM


To markalta, what an absolutely ridiculous remark, something that I would expect from the likes of you.

Posted by: Cat | 2008-04-27 4:39:19 PM


To quote Denis Leary:

Know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna get myself a 1967 Cadillac El Dorado Convertible, hot pink, with whaleskin hubcaps and all-leather cow interior and big brown baby seal eyes for headlights... yeah! And I'm gonna drive around in that baby at 115 miles per hour, getting 1 mile
per gallon, suckin' down quarter pound cheeseburgers from McDonald's in the old-fashioned non-biodegradable styrofoam containers and when
I'm done suckin' down those greaseball burgers I'm gonna wipe my mouth on the American Flag and then I'm gonna toss the styrofoam containers right out the side, and there ain't a goddamn thing anybody can do about it.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-04-27 5:49:00 PM


Cat wrote: “To JMD and the others who support this barbaric ritual: Canada has been compensating the seal hunters all along. If the sealers had an ounce of brains, they would find them selves something a little more 21st century to earn a living instead of doing what the cavemen did by bashing things to death.”

Unfortunately for emotional dishrags like yourself, Cat, policy is based on truth and ethics, not on emotion. Because you find something barbaric does not make it so. Barbarians are where you find them.


Cat wrote: “You people should quit whining, you get enough handouts as it is.”

Yes, unlike environmentalists, who get handouts for doing nothing at all, unless you consider moving sandwich boards from one streetcorner to another work.

Cat wrote: “The only ones that support the seal hunt is you lot from the east coast and your stupid Loyola Hearn and Danny Williams and a few other losers that haven't yet evolved.”

I was hoping you’d play the evolution card, Cat. You see, the true measure of humanity is not in emotion, which is present in every species down to the tadpole and even lower, but in its unique ability to think, plan, and learn. People who make decisions based on economics are more evolved (if perhaps less compassionate) than those who make them based on emotion. The throwback is you.

Cat wrote: “I hope the seal hunt ends and I'm sick of hearing about the those poor seal hunters, they knew the risks of going out in their boats. I would think that accidents and death comes with the territory.”

Did we ask you what you were sick of? Do we make laws based on what Cat is sick of? Aren’t we being a wee bit narcissistic? But what you say is also true of direct-action protesters, so I assume you won’t mind if we torpedo the next protest boat that comes along?

Cat wrote: “You'd think they were heroes the way you people carry on, they got the same media attention or more than the Canadian Soldiers who die fighting, they are the real heroes, not a bunch of club wielding morons with the intelligence of cavemen.”

Which still places their intelligence above that of a squawking hen like you.

Cat wrote: “Suck it up and shut up!”

The hunt continues in spite of your opposition. Take your own advice, sweetheart.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-04-27 9:20:07 PM


Good stuff, Zebulon. Did you know that until the 1970s automatic transmission fluid contained whale oils? Even more politically incorrect?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-04-27 9:22:28 PM


"That man must kill to eat is natural. Killing is ugly, but it is called the "food chain" for a reason."

You're falling into the naturalistic fallacy, abc. Besides, it's not at all true that man "must" kill to eat. I haven't eaten meat in nearly 15 years and I'm doing just fine.

In a way, I agree that the seal hunt issue is blown out of proportion, only because those who oppose it generally don't oppose all of the other inhumane practices that we deem acceptable. If you want to see inhumane conditions, take a look at a chicken farm. But of course, chickens aren't cute so that's okay.

ZP - I hate to come across as entirely humorless (I actually think Denis Leary is quite funny) but don't you think that attitude, if taken seriously, is quite sad? There was an article on here during Earth Hour, the gist of which was "I'm going to turn all the lights in my house on - take that, hippies!". Is it really so terrible to care about the environment, or to think that we should be a bit more careful with our resources? Markalta asked if humans were
"outside nature" and honestly, I think we are. We have the capacity to destroy the planet in a way that no other species does, and although it's been asserted that it's "natural" for us to have to eat meat, the way that we raise and kill our meat is anything but natural. With great power comes great responsibility, and having the attitude that you should use as many resources as are available just because you can is immature and selfish.

Posted by: Angela | 2008-04-28 8:11:53 AM


"That man must kill to eat is natural. Killing is ugly, but it is called the "food chain" for a reason."

You're falling into the naturalistic fallacy, abc. Besides, it's not at all true that man "must" kill to eat. I haven't eaten meat in nearly 15 years and I'm doing just fine.

In a way, I agree that the seal hunt issue is blown out of proportion, only because those who oppose it generally don't oppose all of the other inhumane practices that we deem acceptable. If you want to see inhumane conditions, take a look at a chicken farm. But of course, chickens aren't cute so that's okay.

ZP - I hate to come across as entirely humorless (I actually think Denis Leary is quite funny) but don't you think that attitude, if taken seriously, is quite sad? There was an article on here during Earth Hour, the gist of which was "I'm going to turn all the lights in my house on - take that, hippies!". Is it really so terrible to care about the environment, or to think that we should be a bit more careful with our resources? Markalta asked if humans were
"outside nature" and honestly, I think we are. We have the capacity to destroy the planet in a way that no other species does, and although it's been asserted that it's "natural" for us to have to eat meat, the way that we raise and kill our meat is anything but natural. With great power comes great responsibility, and having the attitude that you should use as many resources as are available just because you can is immature and selfish.

Posted by: Angela | 2008-04-28 8:11:54 AM


Angela wrote: “You're falling into the naturalistic fallacy, abc. Besides, it's not at all true that man "must" kill to eat. I haven't eaten meat in nearly 15 years and I'm doing just fine.”

What is fallacial about an evolutionary truth, Angela? Man is an animal with a mid-length gut, no four-chambered stomach (hence no ability to digest cellulose), and teeth equally adapted for meat or vegetation. Men, like bears, are omnivores, and meat remains the best and most convenient source of protein. By the way, when you say you don’t eat meat, does that include poultry and seafood as well?

Angela wrote: “In a way, I agree that the seal hunt issue is blown out of proportion, only because those who oppose it generally don't oppose all of the other inhumane practices that we deem acceptable. If you want to see inhumane conditions, take a look at a chicken farm. But of course, chickens aren't cute so that's okay.”

The horrors of assembly-line chicken farming are a relatively recent invention owing to the consolidation of small private farms into corporate megafarms. As late as 1900 nine-tenths of Canadians lived on farms and virtually all chicken production was the common barnyard variety. No, I don’t like to see chickens mistreated either. Perhaps it’s time I considered organically reared chicken, but from what I’ve heard the cost is quite high.

Angela wrote: “Markalta asked if humans were "outside nature" and honestly, I think we are. We have the capacity to destroy the planet in a way that no other species does.”

Tell it to anyone who’s been ravaged by a plague of locusts, or any invasive species against which local fauna have no defence. Humans do not have nearly the capacity to destroy Earth, and most of the damage they do is due to overpopulation, not maliciousness. We are as vulnerable to limits on habitat, food, air, water, and natural waste recycling as the next species.

Angela wrote: “and although it's been asserted that it's "natural" for us to have to eat meat, the way that we raise and kill our meat is anything but natural.”

But these seals are not being raised in crowded farms; they’re wild, and being harvested, like wheat. And we are far from the only species that hoards food, to be consumed gradually over a later period.

Angela wrote: “With great power comes great responsibility, and having the attitude that you should use as many resources as are available just because you can is immature and selfish.”

I won’t argue with that. And if it should come to light that the hunt is unsustainable, I’ll be the first to call for either a reduced quota or an outright moratorium. Given how incredibly politically charged this affair is, though, an unbiased opinion will be difficult to come by. The politicization of science is an unfortunate trademark of our times.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-04-28 6:40:52 PM


Cat said,

"To JMD and the others who support this barbaric ritual: Canada has been compensating the seal hunters all along. If the sealers had an ounce of brains, they would find them selves something a little more 21st century to earn a living instead of doing what the cavemen did by bashing things to death. "

Give it welfare!
The Canadian way!

Unless, of course, aboriginals are exempted from the ban. Then we call it "the Department of Indian Affairs" and lefties will pretend the seal hunt under these conditions are noble and sublime.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-04-28 6:45:36 PM


Cat said

"If the sealers had an ounce of brains, they would find them selves something a little more 21st century to earn a living instead of doing what the cavemen did by bashing things to death. "


Did I mention the that Cat is a bigot with a real hard on for hating aboriginals because he equates them with cavemen?

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-04-28 6:48:07 PM


"What is fallacial about an evolutionary truth, Angela? Man is an animal with a mid-length gut, no four-chambered stomach (hence no ability to digest cellulose), and teeth equally adapted for meat or vegetation. Men, like bears, are omnivores, and meat remains the best and most convenient source of protein. By the way, when you say you don’t eat meat, does that include poultry and seafood as well?"

The naturalistic fallacy simply means that it's false to assume that what is "natural" is also good, SM. For example, it may be "natural" to let the weaker members of our species (ex. premature babies) die rather than expend huge amounts of resources to save them, but I don't think anyone would argue that this is a good idea.

And yes, when I say I don't eat meat that also includes fish and poultry.

"Tell it to anyone who’s been ravaged by a plague of locusts, or any invasive species against which local fauna have no defence."

Think about where invasive species come from, Shane. The brown tree snake didn't swim to Guam all by itself.

"But these seals are not being raised in crowded farms; they’re wild, and being harvested, like wheat."

Agreed. And as distasteful as I may find the seal hunt, I realize that my own sense of disgust is not a basis for policy making. I think that these animals are being treated with far less cruelty than many farm-raised animals, and it's hypocritical to jump on the "anti-seal hunt" bandwagon and then head to McDonald's for a chicken sandwich.

Posted by: Angela | 2008-04-29 10:09:12 AM


Why do they call it the seal hunt anyways? I would hardly consider walking up to an animal that can't defend itself, or even run away and clubbing it to death "hunting". Thats the same as calling golfers "athletes". Glenn S.

Posted by: Glenn Schneidmiller | 2008-05-03 10:15:20 AM


How about "seal harvest" Glenn?

Posted by: dp | 2008-05-03 12:52:16 PM


How about we call golf "drinking and driving"? It has a ring to it

Posted by: abc | 2008-05-03 1:04:24 PM



The comments to this entry are closed.