Rejecting PETA’s Bread: the State of Newfoundland’s Seal Hunt

Newfoundlanders can expect two things every winter/spring: 1) a lot of winter and little spring, 2) some bullshit about the seal hunt. This year, we’re off to an early start.

Anthony Bourdain got the ball rolling back in October when he argued the seal hunt ought to be maintained to protect the livelihoods and traditions of Canada’s First Nations. This spurred the expected backlash from the ignorati hoard. Now, we have Pamela Anderson – who has conveniently re-embraced her Canadian identity – and Sam Simon coming to St. John’s to offer sealers a $1 million golden handshake.

Image

(source: Globe and Mail)

This makes me wanna seize a hakapik.

I cannot comprehend the audacity it takes for a person to come and tell someone, “I find your lifestyle disagreeable. Here’s some money. Please, go away.” Anderson told reporters she respects that “people have different opinions” on the seal hunt; it’s just that she thinks they don’t deserve to make a living. So, on behalf of PETA, she’s willing to toss sealers a few scraps off their table to just go and work somewhere respectable. Like Hollywood! If Gordan Pinsent can make it, why can’t you? It’s not like there’s dignity in doing a job that’s been maintained through generations?

PETA’s obsession with the seal hunt can only be explained by marketing. We’re talking about an infinitesimal hunt on a species that’s nowhere near endangered. If anything, seals are overpopulated and are affecting fish populations. We have an abundant animal and a good product. Where’s the issue?

Well, it’s hard to motivate your base with pictures of chickens, so you gotta throw up a cute white baby seal. “OMG primitive Newfies are clubbing these cuddly wuddly darlings!” Except baby seals haven’t been hunted in almost 30 years. Moreover, seals are mostly shot today. Pff, as if facts and truth ever got in the way of PETA’s proselytizing.

Of course, images of bloody ice sheet are always bad optics. But animal slaughter is nasty. Does that make it wrong? There’s a difference between aesthetics and ethics. Just because you find something distasteful doesn’t make it immoral. I’m sympathetic to vegetarians/vegans, but I cannot tolerate some patchwork quilt approach that punishes some people but not others. As it stands, this is personal opinion, not policy.

Unfortunately, the seal hunt cannot compete with the PETA marketing machine. Likewise, PETA can’t compete with the meat industry. So, like the bullies they are, PETA comes after the small fish. Newfoundland sealers are slighted while big corporations are allowed to continue slaughtering pigs, chickens, and cows by the million. Someone please justify this incoherence to me?

Sadly, this is a losing cause. Sealing is doomed. The EU and China won’t touch seal fur. It’s too political. Bourgeois hand-wringing will eventually carry the day. But, here’s my question: Where will PETA be without its favourite boogeyman, the sealer? They may have gone and slaughtered their golden goose.

Cheers,

-B

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~ by braddunne on December 18, 2013.

2 Responses to “Rejecting PETA’s Bread: the State of Newfoundland’s Seal Hunt”

  1. Brad, here’s some info I read today. I can’t attest to the truth or accuracy, just passing on something I read:

    “Peta is the most hypocrittical “animal rights” groups in existance. According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (where Peta is based) Peta killed 1,647 adoptable cats and dogs last year while placing just 19 in adoptive homes. Since 1998 a total of 29,398 prts have died at the hands of Peta workers.”

    Those bastards should check with some of the EC countries who protest the seal hunt and how things are in their back yard. Like Spain with their bull fighting, and the condoned treatment of the Galgos. Like France and their penchant for songbirds as a delicacy and how they’re lured into the nets. Like the Portuguese and how in St. John’s years ago (and may still happen) they feed wine soaked bread to pigeons, that obviously get inebriated and can’t fly away from their captors and end up with their necks wrung.

    Self-serving pricks.

    .

  2. I think Pamela Anderson should put her mouth to good use some place else and go suck Hugh Hefner again. Lamo

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