Let Them Eat Seal!

Saturday, February 6, was the last day of the Conference of the G7 Finance Ministers.

From the Canadian Press: IQALUIT, Nunavut – It seems everyone in this Arctic community was trying to put the issue of seals in front of the European delegation…

But regardless of their efforts, the Europeans just weren’t biting – not into seal meat anyway.

A summit-ending community feast with raw and cooked seal on offer, along with local fare, like caribou, whale and muskox, was studiously avoided by the principals of France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.

And at a concluding news conference, the subject of seal and the proposed European ban on seal products was treated as an unsavoury subject.

Iqaluit-based reporter Kent Driscoll drew an uncomfortable silence from the four finance ministers when he asked them if their stay in Iqaluit had taught them a lesson about the importance of seal in the Canadian North.

The ministers exchanged glances, lowered their heads, but said nothing.

• • • •

Comment: Television is to blame. Were it not for the pictures of lovable seal pups being clubbed to death shown again and again on European networks, this issue would never have arisen.

However, if it is true what anti-hunt campaigners say – that some seals are skinned while still conscious – that would not be defensible. Let us hope it is not true, or only a rare exception.

The fact remains that imaginative television producers could easily zoom in on the slaughtering of other young animals whose meat is acceptable and who are slaughtered according to the rules, as the killing of seal is in Canada, and achieve the same results.

Opinion leaders in Europe seem to have made up their minds, on the evidence presented to them. For them, and for the rest of the world for whom the approved killing of some or all animals is not morally acceptable, the only logical alternative is limited or unlimited vegetarianism.

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11 responses to “Let Them Eat Seal!

  1. How come you didn’t pick on Christine Lagarde and (I think) Tim Geithner, who left early so they wouldn’t have to eat the stuff, and Alastair Darling — who got tons o’twitter traffic out of ducking out?

  2. Had seals they ate
    t’would seal their fate
    for such meat in their cheeks
    would mean looneys for the Greeks.

    (with apologies to Madeline for taking grammatical poetic licence)

    • Why should a meal of seal
      Make them reel?

      Because they have a secret axe
      To deal with Goldman Sachs.

  3. In the formation of public opinion is the means of communication a significant factor, for example, television as contrasted with movies? The Bambi story did not discourage venison eating.

  4. The saving of some of the Harp seals, the hunt is greatly reduced, is great news for the Polar Bears. Seals are the filet mignon of the seal world. The population of Polar Bears near Davis Inlet is booming becasue of the abundance of seals.

  5. There is obviously a lot of hypocrisy about the opposition to seal products – how do the European ministers think their fish is killed? Is asphyxiation on the deck of a boat better than a bop on the head? Eric is clearly right (as usual) that the cuteness of the white-coated baby seals had a lot to do with the opposition. (Sealing advocates say those ones aren’t killed any more.)

    But the Canadian government seems inclined to fairly crude methods of propaganda these days, trying literally to force seal down the throats of the visitors. Not surprising that people with enough political savvy to get to their current positions were not biting, or swallowing, or whatever.

    They didn’t sit there blubbering, anyway.

    • I regret to say you are wrong. I am NOT always right.

      A respondent caught a serious mistake the other day: Gesualdo’s madrigals HAVE survived.

      After four hundreds years they are still too advanced for our ears.

  6. Not to cross threads (I bob! I weave!) but if no one listens to music, can it be said to have survived?

    Though if no one eats the seal, then the seal that’s on the lunch platter is not brought back to life…