Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Seals, Fish, Cows - What's the Difference?


The seal hunt started today, and all the usual people have started their annual freakout. The European Union, for example, is up in arms about the seal hunt and wants to shut it down permanently. It is now reportedly considering banning the sale of seal products in protest.

Young seals are killed traditionally by the Inuit peoples of the arctic with a single whack to the head - the same way that fishermen usually kill fish. A single gunshot is now the mode of choice for seals. Either way, what is more "brutal" about a whack or a bullet, than about the mode of slaughter in your local slaughterhouse - the place where they slash the throats out of dozens of cows a day? If anything, the seal hunt is far more humane.

For the EU to be consistent, it needs to ban all meat-eating. Yet the French are still eating foie gras, the Belgians are still eating frog legs, and the Germans are still eating sausage. How does that make sense? How do EU bureaucrats think that the ducks, frogs, and pigs they eat get from the state of being alive, to the state of being dead, except via being killed? It's bizarre. The guys at the EU are probably eating chicken for dinner right now, with no sense of hypocrisy at all.

As if that wasn't enough, amigos, the EU is the same organization which has continued to allow BULLFIGHTING in Spain! Why, how could they ever ban bullfighting, when it's part of Spain's "cultural heritage"? Yet the fact that the seal hunt has been a primary pillar of Inuit culture in Canada for tens of thousands of years, and maritime culture for hundreds, means nothing to these pampered snobs. It doesn't matter even that the Inuit literally utilize every part of the seal it is possible to utilize: bones, fat, eyes, meat, organs, everything, or that the maritimers also try to sell as much of the seal as possible. It also doesn't matter to the protesters that the seal population, if left unchecked, would decimate fish stocks, and then probably start dying of starvation. No - all that matters is that young seals are cuter than fat old bulls, sheep, ducks, turkeys, geese, frogs, snails, cows, goats, salmon, cod, herring, and every other living creature that EU bureaucrats, and 90% of the rest of the protesters, eat.

Killing a seal for food is no different in principle than killing a duck, deer, or moose for food. Unless the activists are also calling for a total ban on carnivorousness, their position is incoherent.

And if they are calling for the end of carnivorousness...well, that is a subject for another blog entry.

6 comments:

Hally said...

Agree, totally. The seals have spent the entirety of their lives in the sun and the fresh air, frolicking and mating and enjoying their simple seal lives the best way they know how, right up until the moment they are dispatched.

Contrast that to the life of one of these sickly, battery-raised chickens, whose beak was removed so it wouldn't peck its neighbor to death and who has never known a moment where it wasn't pressed up against twenty other chickens. Calling that natural is like calling Cindy McCain natural. Now pass me a seal drumstick. :)

ginamarie said...

Well said Tal. There's really nothing else to add. ;)

On another note, I recently watched the Joaquin Phoenix narrated "Earthlings" about treatment of animals. It was hard to watch. It didn't make me want to "never eat meat" again or outlaw hunting rather it made me disgusted with the neglect and abuse of the industry and our gluttonous over consumption and reckless waste.

Jackie said...

Your basic argument is right but I have watched video of the seal hunts and it is far from one blow to the head in many cases.They suffer badly as they bleed to death,still concious for quite some time.All animals who are slaughtered need to be done so quickly with one shot to the head.Poor chickens (again ,I've seen footage) are often taken by the neck and twirled round and round in some sort of funny game that the employees enjoy.I think there is a certain type of person who enjoys inflicting pain on animals and they often gravitate to working in animal slaughterhouses.The cows are given one electrical shot to stun them before slaughter but they are still concious.I used to live on a battery chicken farm where all the chickens were packed into small cages.We didn't own the farm but my father worked in a seperate area from the chickens.I was disgusted at their condition and used to go over and talk to them to try and cheer them up(I was only 9).One shot to the brain costs a lot of money...isn't that always what it comes down to?

rachael chatoor said...

I still remember Heather Mills jumping on a soapbox over this last year. I actually grew to dislike her over it, and have not wanted to hear her opinion about anything ever since.

I think baby seals are cute too, but there is another side to this story, which she seemed not to even have considered. On and on she went, seemingly without listening to a word that was said to explain the how's and why's surrounding the issue.

I kinda felt sorry for Paul as he sat there beside her, he actually started looking uncomfortable near the end of it....

heather said...

The difference is....
we had to watch films in grade school on baby seals being clubbed. But they never showed a single film on cows. Or chickens. Or fish.

CodyAnne said...

Simply put: agreed.