GG riles PETA and other humane societies

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remind remind's picture

Sounds more and more like posturing for elections.


Bookish Agrarian wrote:

KeyStone wrote:

"Your ignorance about the commerical seal hunt is also revealed in your post as pelts are only a small portion of the hunt and much of it is in fact for the meat and other products.  But of course you can't fund raise as well without those darling little shots of white coats.   It is all about the survival of the cutest and the protection of the best fundraiser. "


Be against the seal hunt, or any other practice - that's your right.  Could care less, I am no fan of seal meat myself - too greasy for my tastes.  While that is your right lecturing others while standing on a steaming pile of hypocriscy is not.

I hate to jump in, because BA is consistently one of my favorite posters, but Keystone has been pretty well speaking 100% truth on the seal hunt.

I think almost every Canadian who wants to see the end of Canada's commercial seal hunt respects Canada's Inuit and their traditions (and public opinion reasearch consistently shows that is most Canadians). I know I do, I'm sure Keystone does.

The FACT is that the economic value of Canada's commercial seal hunt is almost entirely in the pelt. I don't know the exact figures (I can get them for you) but way more than 90% of the value is in the pelt, if I had to guess I'd think it's 96%+. I'm not saying no one eats seal meat, but there are no big export markets for the meat and I don't see Canadians buying it, which explains why the vast majority of seal carcasses are left on the ice to rot in Canada's commercial seal hunt. I would think the organizations opposing the hunt would probably be OK with still allowing some hunting for personal use in sealing communities after the end of commercial hunting in Atlantic Canada.


The federal government has spent millions of taxpayers dollars to develop markets for other seal products, but with little sucess. If discussion on this issue were more rational, our PM would have called it a boondoggle sometime in the 90s.

Further, as Keystone noted, the harp seals killed in Canada's commercial seal hunt are by any reasonable measure babies - they are "beaters", between 12 days (when they shed their white coat) and 3 months. At this stage of their life cycle, they have been weaned, but have yet to swim or eat solid food. Why are the babies killed? Remember, it's for the pelt and, of course, the younger the seal, the nicer the pelt is for the weird kind of person in an urban area that wants to wear dead animal.

Also, from what I understand from having talked to hunt observers, the commercial seal hunt does not occur in a way that respects the animal. It is an industrial scale activity, organized in a manner that emphasizes speed. A significant number are killed in an inhumane manner, more than you'd find in a well-run and designed slaugherhouse.

The Inuit hunt is completely different. It is primarily for ringed seals and a staple of their traditional diet. As with their tradition, the whole animal is used. I would imagine it occurs at a small scale level and the animals are killed in humane manner. I have never observed the hunt, but have talked to at least one person (a vegetarian socialist!) who did and he said it was respectful of the seal.

So I think we can see that the commercial and Inuit hunts are two different things and that to conflate them is problematic for any side of the debate to do so - as I will argue, the federal government has done in a political strategy to defend commercial hunting.



It is truly sad that hundreds of members of parliament, the federal departments of Fisheries and Oceans and Foreign Affairs have consistently "played the Inuit card" (the last two actual have used that very same expression in internal discussion ATIPed by sealing activists!) by conflating Inuit hunting (which is largely ringed seals and a whole-use hunt) with the commercial hunt. And seal hunt OPPONENTS are racists! Really?

It is also sad that Inuit leaders have played along with this strategy, particularly since I think European legislators would have been (and still are) open to a legal regime that would allow Inuit-hunted seal pelts to serve European fashion markets. From reading skarredmonkey's post, I think if Canada promised not to subsidise the Inuit industry heavily in some sort of strange state-drected violence towards pinnipeds, they'd be willing to work with Inuit leaders.

But I should note that the vast majority of the economic value of seal killing in Canada is comprised of pelts coming from Atlantic Canada not the North. Again, don't know the numbers off the top of my head, but I think it's tended to be 95%+ historically.

Now, faced with the European ban, the Feds going to spend millions in international trade lawyers, rather than provide income support to sealers and seed money to support community economic development in sealing communities. Which they could probably pay for with the annual operating costs of the hunt - helicopters to spot seals, bureaucracy to surveil observers and the hunt, Coast Guard icebreakers, propaganda, government junkets to Europe.

Canada - "standing up" for working class people since 1867.


Inuit leaders have not "played along" with anything in my view. They are active in designing their own strategy -- real people, not pawns. It's hard to believe how much their voices are ignored by Europeans who claim to speak for them and know better than they do. 

remind remind's picture

I would rather wear dead animal than  plastic frankly! But if I had my choice I would be wearing hemp, but some are still too blind to see that we need to get away from plastics period.


Those same people would probably not agree with Inuit using plastics remind - as it is not 'traditional'.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Closing for length.


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