Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The bandwagon is getting mighty full there 'Sir' Paul

I totally agree that the seal hunt is bad and stupid. But here are some things to think about as well, the seals don't get clubbed to death because the hunters are crazy psychos who enjoy clubbing things to death, it's because it's impossible to shoot while standing on an ice floe on top of water. Secondly, the seals are not endangered. Shouldn't Japanese whaling be a much higher priority? People only focus on the seal hunt because the seals are cuddly and the Canadian government can be embarrassed - why not take on a real challenge and go after the Japanese? If part of the reason the seal hunt is allowed in Canada is to keep the seals from eating the fish stocks (which is BS) then why don't we stop people from killing whales, the whales can eat the seals and then the fish can get overfished by the Spanish who come and vacuum them off the ocean floor in Canadian waters like the fish poaching criminals they are. My point here is that they are only trying to make out that the Canadians are the bad guys because we are easy to push around, the seal hunt is an environmental issue that is of secondary importance, and takes no courage to get behind.

Ex-Beatle, wife in Maritimes before annual seal hunt
Last Updated Tue, 28 Feb 2006 14:30:27 EST
CBC News
Rock legend Paul McCartney and his wife Heather are expected in the Maritimes later this week to observe harp seal pups before the start of the annual hunt.

"Heather and Paul's visit to the seal pups will shine a global media spotlight on this cruel and needless slaughter," Rebecca Aldworth of the Humane Society of the United States said in a release.

Heather Mills-McCartney, activist and wife of former Beatle Paul McCartney. (AP file photo)
The former Beatle and his wife, known for their animal-rights activism, are expected in Canada on Thursday and Friday.

Canadian officials haven't yet confirmed the date for this year's hunt, which is usually between mid-March and mid-April on the ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Last year, Paul McCartney wrote an open letter to then prime minister Paul Martin that asked him to ban the hunt.

"We wanted to put you on notice that if Canada moves forward with another hunt next year, we will do all we can to focus attention on this unjustified, outdated and truly horrific practice, including, potentially, visiting the seals and the ice," the musician wrote.

The McCartneys are the latest in a long list of celebrities, including Martin Sheen, Richard Dean Anderson, Mick Jagger and Pierce Brosnan, to publicly oppose the hunt.

Protests over the commercial hunt peaked during the 1970s when actress Brigitte Bardot hugged pups on the Maritime ice floes.

The United States banned the import of seal products in 1972 and the European Union implemented a partial ban in 1983. Canada banned the killing of harp pup seals – whitecoats – in 1987.

Ottawa estimates the harp-seal population is at 5.9 million, up from two million in the 1970s.


yrautca said...

I think clubbing of seals is a cruel practice. If the Japanese are killing whales, that still is no excuse for Canadians killing seals. I dont think that people are trying to make Canada look bad. You get more exposure to seal issue because you live there. Japanese get more exposure to the whale issue.

Jennifer said...

I think harpooning whales is a cruel practice.
Killing anything is a cruel practice, I've never been shot or clubbed, but I'm told that being shot hurts. It seems to me that shooting is only more humane to the person who actually has to do the killing because you don't have to get too close, it's less personal that way.
The plain fact of the matter is that it's easier to point your finger at someone else, than to change your own actions. Do you eat meat? Is that meat factory farmed? Would you rather be imprisonned your whole life and then killed (maybe humanely, maybe not), or be free then all of a sudden clubbed to death?
I don't know why I backed myself into defending sealing, I've never used a seal product, nor do I support the seal hunt. I just think it's a bullshit issue that they keep putting on TV so that people in the US can stop eating their factory farmed hamburger or people in Japan can stop eating their endangered whale-burger and say, "Those Canadians are barbarians." It's so easy to get behind cute fuzzy cuddly animals which are of no consequence to your own economy or diet.
As for your point Yrautca, that we are bombarded with this stuff in Canada and no one else ever hears about it - I'd like to ask the Japanese correspondent to the blog to weigh in, Tokyo Tintin, you've lived in Canada and Japan, which gets more coverage?

Jennifer said...

I'm reminded of the Morissey concert where the Mozzer got up on stage and started criticising the seal hunt and I wanted tell him to mind his own %$#$#^ business. What about England's nuclear power plant that is built on the coast where the prevailing winds blow towards Ireland, the corresponding coast of Ireland has cancer and birth defect rates at hundreds of times the normal levels and they refuse to clean it up and stop polluting. How about an apology for the effect British colonial policies had on the ecology of the rest of the world....
I think we just all need to start looking in our own back yards or at the most important issues rather than just taking pot-shots at eachother over second tier issues.

Jennifer said...

By the way I love the man as a singer and I agree with a lot of his politics about animal rights, for some reason when other people talk about the seal hunt it pisses me off.
On the other hand, when people mention things to me about the horrible conditions that some of Canada's native people live in, I'm the first to agree and I'm not bothered a bit. I guess if an Australian got on my case about it it would piss me off, when I was in Australia I didn't see a single aboriginal who wasn't a panhandler or a hooker, their situation is awful, I think I'd rather be a Canadian native than an Australian aboriginal.

tokyo tintin said...

tokyo correspondent responds:

well, without mincing words, the japanese have a crappy, backwards view of just about everything.

in terms of animal rights, i've had many people tell me that "animals don't feel pain", and that it was our right to do whatever we wanted with them because they're "only animals".

i've maybe seen two or three articles about sealing in the whole time i've been here --they generally presented a balanced view. whaling is *always* presented positively. "it's a part of japanese culture." "it's japan's right under the international whaling ban to hunt whales for 'scientific research'" etc, etc, that kind of crap. but to tell the truth it's not really reported about that much, maybe a few stories at the begining of every season. i'm sure japanese would like to forget all about the international brou-haha they create and quietly go on making their whale-meat dog food!

tokyo tintin said...

tokyo correspondent adds:

and since i'm ranting --i mean, uh, "reporting" on the topic of japanese people's backwards social attitudes; i'd like to take this opportunity to talk about shintaro ishihara, the god-damn *governor* of freakin' tokyo.

this ultra-right wing, über-nationalist mo-fo says things directly to the press that continually shock and disgust, yet he enjoys tremendous popular support.

some choice sample comments;

"old women without reproductive functions are useless."

refering to the nanjing massacre in WWII where the japanese army entered the nanjing civilian 'safety zone' and raped and killed hundreds of thousands of men, women and children, the lovely mr ishihara said it "never happened" and was a "chinese creation."

should a major earthquake occur, the governor is worried that "there is a possibility that foreigners who reside here will do something out of hand."

and, of course, my personal favourite; a public comment to a member of parliament who tried to encourage open political dialogue with north korea and thus recieved death-threats and a letter bomb; "i think it was deserved". !!!

could you imagine, say, idunno, jean charest saying that so-and-so MP deserved to die because their opinions were different!?! he'd be lynched on the street probably, and would definitely have to resign immediatly.

but not shintaro ishihara, he just got re-elected!

oh, and as if being and ultra-right wing über-nationalist dick wasn't bad enough, he had ties to the aum shinrikyo cult which killed 12 people with a poison gas attack on the tokyo subway, and is a member of a crazy doomsday cult which may or may not have detonated a nuclear weapon in a secret underground facility in western australia. i know it may seem lurid, but i'm not making any of this up.

oh why oh why can't they just make thier cute stationary and be normal like everyone else!