This week, 1,200 Canadian hunters have been given the green-light by the federal government to begin slaughtering 350,000 seals off Canada's east coast over the next two months using spears, clubs and guns. Why? For absolutely no reason other than vanity.
The feds can't even be consistent with their own homespun reasons for allowing the cull. In one BBC News story, Canadian Natural Resources Minister, John Efford, says the hunt is necessary to prevent fish stocks from vanishing. It's an invalid excuse. If the fish really were vanishing, the seals who feed on them would naturally be dying off too, unless some little old lady was out there every day on the ice floes tossing them sardines. The truth is that natural selection was working just fine to control the fish and seal populations long before John Efford came along.
In yet another news story, former Liberal Canadian Fisheries Minister, Robert Thibault, indicates that the selling of seal skins and parts is necessary to bring $15 million a year to these coastal communities. So what if that only amounts to a couple of hundred bucks per person? Fur is all the rage again in the European fashion houses, and it only takes 50 or so small animals to outfit one big, dumb one. But come on, are Canadians really that strapped for cash? The next thing you know, it'll be acceptable to start clobbering neighbourhood pets because there's a market for dog meat in Asia. Maybe if the governing Liberals weren't so busy funneling $100 million worth of cash out the back door and into the pockets of their pals at Liberal-friendly ad firms in exchange for little-to-no work, they could just toss a few bucks over to these cash-strapped communities if they're really that desperate. No doubt the bad publicity the Liberals are getting right now on the issue is worth more than $15 million in itself.
With Canada being the home to such performers as Bryan Adams, Celine Dion and Alanis Morissette, can't any of these folks crank out a new tune or two to save the seals? I'd rather put up with 5 minutes of a screeching, screaming Celine Dion than the wailing of 350,000 innocent seals while they are having bullets and spikes at the end of wooden sticks driven into their brains, then being left to writhe around and convulse in pain before either drowning or dying a slow death. But of course, if you believe the feds, this isn't actually painful. Government mouthpiece, Steve Outhouse, points out that a Canadian Veterinary Medical Association study found that 98% of the seals were killed "with a minimum of pain". Perhaps we should try the same test on a few Liberal Cabinet Ministers, just to be sure.
Many countries, including the USA, have rightfully condemned the hunt and have banned the import of seal products. Obviously, it's not sending a strong enough message to the Canadian government, whose members seem to need a few things driven into their own thick skulls. Rebecca Aldworth of the International Fund for Animal Welfare points out that despite assurances by the Canadian government that the cull would be conducted in a humane way (which is like saying that there's a "nice" way to murder someone) 40% of the seals are actually still alive while they're being skinned.
Where has Greenpeace been during the culling? Why aren't all the activists out there spray-painting the seals' fur coats, rendering them useless to the hunters? They've decided to sit this one out, seeing as how their army is overstretched and currently fighting battles against genetically modified food and global warming. You've got to love those lefties; they sure choose their battles wisely. Maybe next year when the Canadians are out "clubbing" on the ice floes, the Greenpeace footsoldiers can be busy battling valiantly against the law of gravity, or gum on the sidewalks.
So what has been the reaction of Canada's Conservative Official Opposition to the slaughter? Non existent. The silence is most likely due to the fact that the newly-formed Conservative Party hasn't yet gotten around to hammering out an official policy on anything, let alone the mass killing of seals. And heaven forbid anyone in the party actually grab a handful of principles, fish their cojones out from their leader's briefcase, and speak out solely on the basis of personal conviction. Doing so would result in a lengthy stint warming the party's "sin bin" backbench.
Memo to George W. Bush: I know you have your hands full with Iraq right now, but how about taking the lead in dealing with the mass murdering happening right now in Canada? Saddam could only dream of wiping out 350,000 innocents in a single 2 month period, but these guys are getting a free pass to do so from the Canadian government. As a born and raised Canadian, I am both sickened and embarrassed. At the very least, maybe 'Dubya' can talk some sense into Prime Minister Paul Martin when they meet for their scheduled chat at the end of this month. And in the interim, maybe Canadians and other citizens of the world can take a stand and speak out for those who are unable to speak for themselves by emailing the Prime Minister at firstname.lastname@example.org and letting him know exactly what they think of this senseless bloodshed that he's overseeing.