Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Free speech takes a hit in B.C. | Main | Maxime Bernier back in politics? »

Saturday, October 24, 2009

So a seal walks into a club…

Hmm... the star of one of my guilty pleasures is creating a hubbub about the seal hunt. Barf. Fortunately someone isn't so naive:

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea called Anderson's remarks disappointing and suggested she spend time with East Coast sealers to understand the hunt's importance. "Hollywood celebrities are not going to dictate policy in Canada because we make decisions that are based on science and consultation with Canadians," Shea said in a telephone interview.

One of the biggest arguments I hear from hippies that vehemently oppose the seal hunt is that they are cute and that they kill baby seals. In the world of make-believe, even facts don't take the hysteria out of their argument.

Anderson said baby seals are bludgeoned in front of their mothers before they have their first swim, but Shea said the killing of baby seals hasn't been practised in Canada since the early '80s. Activists focus on it because it tugs at the heart strings, Shea said.

I love you Pam, but you're not exactly the sharpest Crayon in the box. Apparently Perez Hilton is into the craze as well:


[Cross-posted at The Right Coast]

Posted by Dane Richard on October 24, 2009 in Current Affairs | Permalink


North Atlantic peoples have been clubbing baby seals for milleniae.

If there is a more humane way to kill them, I'd like to know about it.

My main beef is we can't by baby seal heart even at specialty meat or seafood shops in the West.

As for Perez Hilton's participation in this matter, I would pay to see Michaelle Jean eat his heart.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-24 6:29:09 PM

Perez Hilton will surely get laid by some ardent teenyboppers with this mindless, incidental little plug.

luckily for everyone, our naive but sweet third-world romantics, dressed in their third-world attire (cornbraids, piercings, rasta caps etc), betray their thoughtless disdain for Western Civilization and free markets, and lose credibility at every turn.

when i see them on tv, i don't know whether to curl my upper lip with contempt, or say "awww, they're so cute".

so run to Mommy State kiddies. maybe she'll make those bad men with clubs go away.

Posted by: shel | 2009-10-24 7:21:57 PM


^ this is a first.

...clever, Pam, clever. ;D

Posted by: shel | 2009-10-24 7:28:54 PM

I don't know, anything Perez Hilton supports should be viewed suspiciously. I don't know much about the subject, where is the market for the pelts? I can't say I have ever seen anything make out of baby seal skins.

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2009-10-24 7:42:11 PM

Myth #1: The seal hunt is humane
Year after year, observers report abuses such as the hooking and dragging of live seals across the ice, seals clubbed or shot and left to suffer on the ice, and seals skinned while conscious.

You're an idiot. The first thing any hunter does when he notices his prey is still alive is kill it. Alive, it can escape, and there goes his bounty. And not even the most psychotically cruel hunter alive would attempt to skin living game, as the squirming makes the task both difficult and dangerous.

And these "observers"; are they impartial scientists, or activists? The latter are never to be trusted, about anything. The one-sided determination that distinguishes the breed is not conducive to objectivity.

Myth #2: The seal hunt is sustainable
Seal catch quotas set by the Canadian government are much higher than government scientists’ estimates of what is sustainable, and these quotas are allowed to be exceeded. A recent study by IFAW scientists found that the current management approach risks depleting the harp seal herd by as much as 70% in the next 15 years.

Again, these are activist statistics; they aren't worth spit. (IFAW=International Fund for Animal Welfare). If you want to make a convincing protestation, you're going to have to come up with independent sources.

The DFO often states that the harp seal population has tripled since the 1970s. However, this ignores the fact that between 1950 and 1970 the harp seal population was reduced by as much as two-thirds from seal hunting. Since 1995, harp seals have been killed at levels similar to those that caused a dangerous decline in the past, and the DFO now admits that the population has decreased.

The quota for harp seals in 2009 is 280,000, down from 325,000 in 2006. Sealers are typically allowed to exceed their quota only if they have not met it the previous year. Contrary to popular belief, hunters do not catch their limit every season. For instance, in 2000, they harvested only 92,000—less than a third of their quota for that year.

Climate change is also presenting a new threat to the harp seal population by negatively impacting their breeding habitat. Increasingly, poor ice conditions off the east coast of Canada are causing higher than normal seal pup mortality. For example, government scientists estimate that in 2002, 75% of the seal pups in the Gulf of St. Lawrence died due to a lack of ice before the hunt even began.

And what were the mortality statistics ten years ago? Without background data for a comparison, that number is meaningless. Juvenile mortality in any maritime species is often extremely high. And seals are perfectly capable of breeding on dry land, just as polar bears are capable of hunting on dry land. Their preferred land food is environmentalists. :-)

The seal hunt involves thousands of sealers competing for a limited number of seals during a short period of time. Sealers are concerned with clubbing or shooting as many animals as quickly as possible instead of checking to see if a seal is dead before moving on to club or shoot the next one.

Retread of a previous point. Ice floes are small; an animal that is only wounded can escape, taking with it the hunter's bounty. The animal may die later, but that's no help to the hunter. He has a vested interest in seeing that every animal he catches ends up on the block. Otherwise he's wasted his time, energy, and ammunition, and this is not a high-margin business.

Year after year, IFAW hunt observers encounter seals that have been clubbed and left to suffer on the ice, bleeding profusely, crying, breathing and attempting to crawl.

Seals don't cry, you moron. The fluid that leaks from their eyes is there to protect the cornea and has nothing to do with weeping. And have any impartial, non-activist observers also noted these horrors?

During 2006, the DFO claimed to have had 12 monitors for the Gulf hunt, the largest enforcement effort ever. Yet sealers in one region were allowed to take three times their quota without any consequences. In fact the Total Allowable Catch has been exceeded in four of the past five years.

Do you have a source for this?

A recent scientific study (Leaper and Matthews 2006) examining the Canadian government’s approach for determining the population status for Northwest Atlantic harp seals revealed that the current approach to managing the seal hunt risks seriously depleting the harp seal population by as much as 50 to 70 percent over the next 15 years.

Assuming the quotas remain the same as they are today. It's already been lowered once.

The history of wildlife conservation shows that when large mammals like seals have a price placed on their heads – or hides – the end result is almost always overexploitation.

In the 19th century, when there were no attempts to regulate market hunting, that was true. However, the recovery of several large ungulate populations, particularly the white-tailed deer, from near-extinction in the early 20th century, shows that proper management can work. In fact, when the government starts appeasing weepy yuppies, like with the spring bear hunt, populations can actually get out of control. Then the government is forced from replacing a system where civilians pay them to cull surplus animals to paying to cull surplus animals and passing the costs on to everyone else.

Why do they not start by ending the unsustainable and unnecessary hunt for harp seals?

Is this the same Conservative government that has indicated that there is no point in tackling global warming unless emissions standards are applied to developing as well as to developed countries? How will ending the seal hunt make temperatures drop? And what makes you think they won't just move further north?

The rest of your post is just repeating the same horror stories over and over again with a healthy measure of hand-wringing, so to avoid repeating myself I won't respond to it. Now, I'm going to pause so you can label me an insensitive monster.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-10-24 8:26:08 PM

The slaughter of the seals is not by itself economically viable.

Neither is socialized medicine or welfare. The question is whether it would be cheaper and/or more acceptable to just let these men collect welfare for doing nothing.

Most of the meat is left to rot. Some if it is sold to fur farms and some is ground up into animal feed. A few thousand seal flippers are sold for human consumption in Newfoundland. There was also a growing demand for the seal penis bone in the Far East as some sort of remedy for impotence.

Is the meat palatable? The flesh of most fish-eating mammals, the salmon-fed grizzly for example, is not considered sufficiently edible to require hunters to salvage it, even though it technically is edible. No point in going to the trouble to retrieve the meat if no one will eat it. Yes, yes, I know, the Inuit eat it. But there are only so many Inuit.

Since older seals are faster, more aggressive, and can swim, most are shot at a distance with high powered rifles to limit their ability to escape. Since sealers shoot for the head to avoid damage to the pelt, and this is a difficult shot, many seals are only wounded by the first gunshot.

Define "high-powered rifle." Most sealers use .22s. The only thing weaker is a pellet gun. In fact, there has been criticism of the use of such an underpowered gun for hunting a comparatively large animal. A .223 with milsurp ammo would be far superior, doubly so because the FMJ bullets will minimize damage to the pelt. And hitting a seal's head with a properly scoped and bipoded rifle is not hard. I can hit a golf ball at 100 yards.

Sealers will often try to club a wounded seal, but these wounded seals will head for the nearest open water where they often will simply slip away under the ice and perish.

This statement is at odds with your contention that wounded seals are left to suffer on the ice until the sealer gets back round to them. Which is it?

The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans is a bureaucracy run primarily by Newfoundlanders. They set the policy. Politicians have basically rubber-stamped the wishes of the bureaucrats. Most of the Fisheries Ministers have hailed from Newfoundland.

Are we to see jokes about Newfies next?

Sealers earn most (about 95%) of their living as fishermen. As they deplete the oceans by over-fishing, destroying habitat with bottom trawlers, and indiscriminately killing sea life with long liners and other fishing technologies, their income from fishing is likely to decline. Sealing never has offered a lucrative alternative or supplement to the fishermen's income. Most of the proceeds from sealing go to boat captains and seal skin processors.

They fish because people are willing to pay for the fish. I presume you don't eat fish, because otherwise you're in no position to be seizing the moral higher ground. Contracting your killing out is NOT morally superior to doing it yourself.

Nevertheless, sealers have been offered alternatives, such as 'seal brushing'. Each individual hair follicle of the whitecoat seal pups is hollow, keeping the babies warm and happy in the subzero temperatures. As the babies continue to their second stage of growth, they begin to molt and lose this outer layer of hair. This is when they can be easily brushed and the hair collected for bedding and other applications. Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society have attempted on multiple occasions to introduce this idea to the Canadian sealers, even finding a businessman who offered more money for each brushed seal than the sealers could make from the pelt. Unfortunately, the idea was rejected time after time.

Has anyone ever actually tried this? Why don't you begin the practice yourself and show the sealers how profitable it can be? Actions speak louder than words, as Paul Watson the Pirate knows full well.

Another alternative for the sealers is seal tourism. Some sealers already make money this way - before the sealing starts.

Eco-tourism is just another way of raping the wilderness. The animals end up becoming tame, lose their fear of man, and often end up having to be destroyed because they're no longer afraid to approach human settlements. If people want to see seals they go to SeaWorld, not an ice floe in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence. Nature is not a vast theme park that exists solely to provide titillating yuppies with squealing delights.

Does anyone, with the exception of overcaffienated liberals, actually buy any of this hysterical crap?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-10-24 8:44:25 PM

Having had tried seal meat myself I can say it is delicious. To all the nutjobs here that are against it, answer me one simple question:
"Why can polar bears, sea lions, whales, foxes, wolves etc. kill and eat seals yet you have a problem when humans do it?"

Posted by: Cid the Cidious | 2009-10-24 9:25:18 PM

Maybe there is a market for seal farming. The best way to avoid extinction is to be tasty. Seriously though, farming means the farm owner has a vested interest is seeing them be healthy and multiply. I can imagine some difficulty in doing this but I bet it can be done.

Posted by: TM | 2009-10-24 9:48:08 PM

What's the matter, Lobo? Don't like it when your Olympic-length screeds stand revealed as the monuments to mindless emotionalism they are? Got news for you—getting personal is the mark of the amateur. So go crawl back under your stone before a stray sunbeam alights upon you and you turn to dust.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-10-24 9:54:30 PM

TM, farming is almost always a better solution in the long run than market hunting. However, as PETA's nonstop moaning proves, there is no appeasing some people, not that it was ever a good idea to try.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-10-24 10:11:46 PM

"You say you are a father? I think a review of your household for the sake of the children is in order, becuase "your not right in the head"."

Shane's statism and moralizing can get a bit tedious and circular, but leave it to the do-gooder Left to show their true colours and insidiously advocate for state intervention into families and privacy.

i thought this thread was about fwuffy wittle anthropomorphic animals who surely feel the sadness of a limited future with dreams yet unfulfilled, and existential angst when they sense the looming shadow of a club.

...but, as usual, on the Shotgun, we digress...

...let the three page marathon begin! ;)

Posted by: shel | 2009-10-24 10:25:43 PM

While the seal hunt provides much needed income for a few hunters, its total economic impact is negligible. When we consider the tax dollars being spent defending it I think it is best to let it die its death.

All products have a business life cycle. This product is done. Time to move on....

Posted by: snowgirl | 2009-10-24 10:42:08 PM

"...tell Shane to stay on track, and stop making this about personal attacks."

its not up to me to tell Shane what to do, but i can browse the net and pull "facts" out of my ass too, and we could go back and forth, getting nowhere.

the point is, all internet arguments being equal (and they definitely are equal, meaning 'null and void', when we ass-pull facts from the web), you're missing the point:

its not up to you to dictate to someone else, through the state, how he can make a living. its up to you to fuck off and mind your own affairs and find a more suitable agenda to attach yourself; like economic freedom, liberty, self reliance; you know, manly things.

Posted by: shel | 2009-10-24 10:55:45 PM

"All products have a business life cycle. This product is done. Time to move on...."

absolutely. in a free market, with no subsidies or bureaucratic hinderances, when the demand for a product is over, its over.

in the meantime, its not over yet.

i'm off. good night...

Posted by: shel | 2009-10-24 11:07:35 PM

easy, little man. i wrote that last comment very slowly so you could grasp it. try reading it again.

anyway, good night...

Posted by: shel | 2009-10-24 11:12:18 PM

I got news for you Shaner, attacking me day after day relentlessly, often under many different names in order to make it appear as someone else in this world is of like mind is the definition of getting personal.

Screeched the delusional posing libel whore. What we see here is classic projection. I keep telling you, Oog, that's the mirror, not the window.

He is our Sheriff Lobo, mighty Sheriff Lobo...

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-10-25 12:11:08 AM

Does anyone else notice that Oog (Lobo) seems to be talking to himself?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-10-25 12:12:50 AM

He is strong...He is strong...

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-10-25 12:15:38 AM

I was under the impression this was a libertarian board, I am quite confused today. Some of these arguments are nothing but emotionalism and logical fallacies.

"They do not need this income to survive"

What kind of an argument is that? Would these arguments have any merit if they were about cows or pigs? How about baby cows and baby deer, ever heard of veal?

OOhh or eggs. If meat is murder, then eggs are abortions and milk is just gross.

Does the kid mowing a lawn for $15, need it to survive? Poor lawn. Poor defenseless lawn. How can you people live with yourselves while this grass slaughter continues!?

"There oughtta be a law"

There is, its called "This way, there be tyranny"

Posted by: Floyd Looney | 2009-10-25 12:55:45 AM

Does anybody know where FRESH seal meat or organs may be bought in Western Canada? Can they be shipped fresh to Western Canada?
Seal meat is reportedly among the healthiest there is.
Even tho my question is sincere, I will conclude by asking if maybe Vegan Girl could hook me up?

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-25 2:23:45 AM

The seal hunt is no more brutal then any other hunt, so if your against it you had better be against every other form of hunting or animal slaughter. What about the bears who suffocate in their own blood from arrows through their lungs? Honestly i would rather a club to the head. People hunt, they have for thousands of years, get over it. Further more the club or shot to the head is much more humane then the "natural" deaths of predators. What would you rather Lobo, a club to the head or being torn apart and eaten by a polar bear while still alive?

Posted by: Baker | 2009-10-25 9:03:40 AM

@Baker, are you serious, your comments have got to be a joke. Like it or not times are changing and people too. There is more empathy for other creatures these days and this is having an influence on their opinions,get over it!

Posted by: Lilly2009 | 2009-10-25 12:39:31 PM

Arent you telling me not to do, what you are doing, DICKHEAD~!
Why don't you fuck off and mind your affairs you don't even make any sense what so ever, in any of what you just presented, have you been drinking?

Screeched the pusbag who props up organized crime so he can toke pot. Your whole reason for being here consists in NOT minding your affairs, meddling in the affairs of others, getting in other people's faces, so don't get all pissy when they decide to do the same to you. Oog's ass is not cute.

Man some people are dumb.

And the dumber they are, the crappier the spell, and the bigger the truck they buy.


Oog make mission statement...

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-10-25 1:38:43 PM

OOhh or eggs. If meat is murder, then eggs are abortions and milk is just gross.

Actually, Floyd, Oog has already favoured us with his epistle on the Ovular Holocaust.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-10-25 1:40:46 PM

Seal meat is reportedly among the healthiest there is.

Cod liver oil was supposed to be good for you too. Digestibility and palatability are two different things.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-10-25 1:41:50 PM

Shane This is what I said about you, and to you, an hour ago when you were posting with your pseudonym army.

Keep deluding yourself, Oog. NO ONE ON THIS BOARD BUT YOU AND FED believe that. But then, bowing to reality is not one of your strong points.

I am not talking to my self, I am writing to the blockhead that piped up in a drunken stupor,who tried to lay down the law, just like any good libertarian would.


Shane wont be happy until everyone is in jail and everything is dead, am I misinterpreting him?

And your reply to yourself: I agree, tell Shane to stay on track, and stop making this about personal attacks.

When, for you, was this EVER about anything BUT personal attacks? You have promised to dog me all over the Internet, posted hateful crap about me even on boards I had never visited, and encouraged harassment of some poor sod in Colorado who wasn't even me, because you're too motherfucking stupid to get within 2,000 kilometres of your target. Who are you to lecture others on personal attacks?

Floyd are you legally mentally handicapped? If so I won't point out how unbelievably short sighted and stupid your strawman arguments are,... that is if you are legitimately mentally handicapped.

What was that about personal attacks again? Man, the way your brain is wired, you can almost hear the fuses blowing. People like you are the strongest argument there is for keeping pot illegal.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-10-25 1:47:23 PM

Baker, are you serious, your comments have got to be a joke. Like it or not times are changing and people too.

And not for the better. The average über-emotional yuppie is so completely detached from nature that they haven't the least idea where the clutter their materialistic natures compel them to collect comes from. They denounce the cattle industry while ordering leather seats for their BMWs. They decry the rapaciousness of Big Oil while wearing faux fur and synthetic fabrics. They wring their hands over blood diamonds but have no trouble with buying blood pot. Most have never been in a slaughterhouse, a factory, a mineshaft, or a farm, and a sizable minority of them have never even seen a horse, a cow, a bear, or a deer.

There is more empathy for other creatures these days and this is having an influence on their opinions,get over it!

You mean there is more mindless emotionalism, a symptom of growing female influence. Why bother with those pesky, nastybad facts, when you can define your reality through your feelings? And women wonder why the glass ceiling just won't break.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-10-25 1:52:05 PM

There's no point trying to pretend seal meat tastes good, it doesn't. The seal hunt has two main objectives. One, is to control the population. The other, is to create employment.

Seal population has been controlled, for centuries, by the hunt. If the hunt is ended, the population would spike, and no one can predict the consequences.

The employment created by the hunt is almost hard to fathom. Not only for the hunters, but for those making a fortune off the zombie protestors. How much do you think that Hilton dork paid for the T-shirt? GreenPeace executives might have to give up their bonuses, if the seal hunt ends suddenly. How much, do you suppose, was made off Paul McCartney's trip to the icefields? I'm sure he didn't ride in a Bell 47.

The really valuable product of the seal hunt was always the baby seal pelts. They made the nicest boots, ever. Since they're no longer marketable, the sealhunt means nothing to most of us. I haven't seen anything made of sealskin for decades. Ending the whole thing would have less economic impact, than cancelling one oilsands project.

If I thought it would put one professional protestor out of work, I'd support banning the hunt. The problem is, those parasites will simply move to a new host.

Posted by: dp | 2009-10-25 2:52:02 PM

I rather admire seal fur. It's a very pretty texture, and I certainly understand why it is sought after.

I think Shane and dp addressed many of the issues for us city slickers, even those who can't stand the thought of where their own food comes from. (You know, the sort who thinks boiling lobsters kills them faster - since they are out of sight.)

Posted by: Timothy | 2009-10-25 4:04:07 PM

I can't see Lobo eating lobster Timothy.

The thought that the lobster was alive until he ordered it... ordered its destruction, its execution, its... its murder!

No, I don't think Lobo is out there ordering hits on lobsters.


Posted by: Floyd Looney | 2009-10-25 6:30:14 PM

Finally a topic that gets more traffic than marijuana.

Posted by: TM | 2009-10-25 11:09:05 PM

Animal rights people should just shut up because they don't run the economy. In other words suck it up Butter Cup. The government's job is to protect Canada's economy not to decide if animals should be human.

Posted by: Doug Gilchrist | 2009-10-26 10:59:40 AM

Nothing that a Lobo-tomy wouldn't cure.

To me, Lobo's postings strike me as nothing but ramblings of an infantile control freak.

Posted by: set you free | 2009-10-26 11:16:21 AM

Animal rights activists should be free to spend as much money and make as much noise as they please as long as two basic conditions are met:

1) They are not subsidized by taxpayers.
2) That their wishes are not imposed by force by government.

If they are capable of changing peoples' minds without subsidies or coercion; then so be it.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-10-26 1:54:07 PM

Thanks Lilly for being a voice of reason and rationality in a blog spot full of angry white lunatics who aren't very considerate about much.

Are you saying you aren't white, Oog? It would explain a lot of your bitterness.

I haven't read anything that Shane has written in order to draw me into a fight.

And yet you keep responding, like a junkie reaching for his crack pipe. Of course, that's not far off, is it?

I hope his position is again hammering home what a rational and fair mind man he is, willing to discuss issues rationally with a feel for what is going on in todays world.

Rational discussions dwell remarkably little on feelings, which seem to be the only thing that define your existence. Without emotions you would have a vacuum between your ears as cold and empty as the gulfs which lie between galaxies.

I wonder, is he still attacking me personally or is he opining based on facts?


Shane, this is for you mental case...


Poor Shane he doesn't even know he is a ginat seething stooge

Maybe I should go hunting for your house, Oog. I could probably find it by the stench of hypocrisy alone.

Oog fondle self...

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-10-27 9:28:45 PM

That's one reason I don't eat lobster, Timothy. I may be a hunter, but for the sake of humanity I demand that my dinner be killed before they cook it.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-10-27 9:34:38 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.