Beware Twenty Foot Tall Giants with Clubs

Its Seal hunting time again in Canada. Seal hunting is a marginal if not somewhat vain and antiquated industry. Personally I find it as acceptable a means of earning a living as growing tobacco. So in a nut shell I am saying it is an industry that should die out. I don’t think we should waste a nickle defending it or abolishing it. No money to prop up the industry and no money to abolish it. Just let it die , as I am sure it will.

But one thing that annoys me is that people keep saying that the anti seal hunters are taking away the living of sealers. To that I say; So what ? There are many trades that have died out. What about Slaving, Whaling, Wheelwrights, legal drug den attendants, (yes they were once legal) spittoon manufacturing and to some degree coopering (barrel making). Life goes on and people adapt, much quicker than the environment.

I doubt that seals will ever become extinct, they are pretty hardy creatures, but if an animal is hunted to extinction it is gone never to come back. The human race didn’t die out because we stopped making wagon wheels. When I was 37 I went back to school and went from being a building janitor to an analyst. I know many people that changed jobs people adapt well the environment doesn’t.

Do I feel sorry for sealers that will lose their jobs? Yes sure, but they will live, no one said life was fair. I think the seals have a tougher time, at least we don’t have to worry about some 20 foot giant coming along to beat us to death with a club.


5 thoughts on “Beware Twenty Foot Tall Giants with Clubs

  1. Well, first off the economic situation in that area of the country is far worse than what you find here in Ontario, and most people there eat seal like you (unless you’re a vegetarian?) eat cow. So if cow or venison is acceptable, why not seal? Secondly, most of the protestors come from the lands of factory farming and grotesque meat-eating practices like veal and goose liver. To my mind, the way those animals are raised and killed is far, far worse than the quick slaughter of an animal that lives its life the way it wants to, not penned up in a tiny cage, fed unnaturally, and mutilated to prevent self-harm.

    On another note, seals aren’t in any danger of extinction any time soon as their natural predators are in low numbers thanks to past human hunting.

  2. In 1996 fisheries and Oceans Canada did an economic analysis of the seal fisheries, while it concluded that the fisheries do provide a significant living for fishermen, as I already said it did, the report also noted that;

    “The processed value of seal meat is less than the landed carcass value to reflect the meat subsidy provided to harvesters. Seal meat is mainly used as silage.. “ (Fisheries and Oceans Canada 1998)

    Fisheries and Oceans Canada had to offer subsidies to encourage the use of seal meat, so there is nothing traditional about the seal meat side of the industry.

    I agree with your comment on Veal, but what is the difference between killing a calf and a pup, both creatures have not been allowed to live less than a quarter of their life expectancies.

    The problem with your comment that “their natural predators are in low numbers thanks to past human hunting.” is that it justifies further ecosystem meddling. We kill the bears then the seals thrive and kill too many fish (a Myth) the fish start to die out and we kill the seals to bring back the fish, then there are too many fish so we harvest the fish and the plankton levels rise and the shrimp are effected and so on and so on ad infinitum. Of course I have to admit that I don’t know enough about the real food chain that is just an example, but you get my point.

  3. My comment that “their natural predators are in low numbers thanks to past human hunting” was not so much about justifying the seal hunt as that the seals aren’t in any imminent danger of being put on the endangered species list due to the annual quota. The quota is a small fraction of the total population of seals, and one hopes that the Fisheries have learnt their lesson from the cod disaster when setting quotas each year.

    As for fish, because of overfishing by Canadians and Europeans, the cod stocks are so low, they’re unfishable. The Audobon Society puts about 70% of the fish stocks in the world on the overfished or in the endangered category list. Seals eat fish that are in low numbers, but I agree it’s part of that slippery slope you talked about to use low fish stocks as justification to hunt seals.

    My point about killing animals is that if you eat animals, it’s a bit hypocritical and culturally skewed to say killing one animal for meat is superior to killing another; or killing one kind is OK, but killing another is not. Furthermore, Europeans have a lot of factory farms, and I haven’t seen massive protests against them like with the seal hunt, yet they’re far more criminal in the way they torture animals and justify it as a way to meet the high demand for pork, beef, and chicken. It’s unbelievably sick. And farming fish and shrimp are causing all sorts of problems too. So if the Europeans want to get all up in arms about the seal hunt, that’s fine, but first they should clean up their own stinking backyard. (And BTW that goes for North Americans too, now that factory farms are becoming the norm here. Sick, sick, sick.)

  4. “My point about killing animals is that if you eat animals, it’s a bit hypocritical and culturally skewed to say killing one animal for meat is superior to killing another; or killing one kind is OK, but killing another is not. ” entirely true we tend to think that because something is domesticated it is more acceptable to eat it.

    I’m not against the killing of domestic animals on ethical reasons I am however against hunting, because given that we have supplies of domestic animals why are we playing in an uncontrolled ecosystem?

    Humans control the breeding and feeding of domestic animals which ensures the harvesting does not impact the food chain(as much as possible). Our harvesting of Cod shows us we are not at our best when playing with the beasts in Gods pasture.

    Your comments on factory farms are more than valid, the whole BSE issue came from the mad rush to produce more faster. The worrisome part is that as food supplies are becoming scarce (terrifying but true) the factory farm is going to be more and more common. How do we address the growing need for protein in the light of shrinking arable land. As bean fields give way to biofuel plants, the supply of protein for humans. shrinks. The news this week of food shortages in developing nations is terrifying.

    In the coming new environment of scarcity we are going to have to look for ways to meet the need for protein that neither impacts the natural environment or abuses the domestic food sources, thus the temptation to factory farm quick dirty and ethically wrong will become more popular.

    We are going to have to quit looking for the short cuts to production. It will be harder to produce, both ethically and in abundance.

  5. Sorry It just dawned on me there is a obvious paralell between the seal and cod fisheries, that I missed.

    When Samuel du Champlain came to the new world his boats became mired in Cod fish and they had only to lower a bucket into the water to catch Cod. His writings described “a never ending supply”

    As you pointed out “seals aren’t in any danger of extinction” now but what about 150 years from now?

    I am not attempting to argumentative, but the paralell was too similar.

    This whole train of thought has left me thinking that humans neither hunt nor farm efficiently, and are very short sighted in most of what we do.

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