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Discussion Topic: On Canadian Seal Hunting

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March 04, 2009

Discussion Topic: On Canadian Seal Hunting

By Dave Hurteau

From the AFP:

The government of Canada on Monday defended the "humaneness" of seal-hunting and rejected efforts to outlaw the practice, after a European Parliament committee voted to ban the import of seal products.

Gail Shea, Canada's minister of fisheries and oceans, said her government was "disappointed" by the vote. . . .

"Canada has made numerous attempts to set the facts straight about the Canadian seal hunt and we have provided ample evidence of the humaneness and sustainability of the hunt. Unfortunately, this evidence is not yet understood in Europe," Shea said. . . .

The European Commission had already proposed a ban in July for seals killed in ways deemed inhumane by critics of seal hunting, such as the clubbing of young seal pups.
Seals are hunted mainly for their pelts, but also for meat and fat, which is used in beauty products.

Your reaction?

Comments (10)

Top Rated
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from 60256 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I have a question,
When neanderthals roamed the earth and killed animals by beating them to death and stabbing them, was that inhumaness too? I think the proper term is more civilized, but i still hate that word too.
I kind of like the idea of doing some things the way some of the most untechnological people ever did. It reminds us of how they did things.
I'll get destroyed for saying this, but does the seal care if it's humane or not?

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

Glad to see them steadfastly defending a sustainable practice that also helps maintain their fisheries.

The opposition to this has been going on for decades. When I was in high school, back in the early '70s, a teacher started a campaign to support and collect money for SOS (Save Our Seals), a campaign against the clubbing of harp seals. There was no debate, just the mandate that it was wrong. We were taunted and pressured if we didn't participate - I didn't. For a kid the pressure to conform was quite intense. Looking back at that, I am truly disgusted that she was allowed to pressure the students into conforming with her personal beliefs. Its good to keep track of what your kids are experiencing at school.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hi_tail wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

It still blows my mind that a certain few don't understand or see the practical benefits/necessities of managed hunting. Positive for the natives, positive for the economy, positive for wildlife management... don't even get me started on the 'seal effect' on migratory fish!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sb Wacker wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

This is all very strange as seal is of course a traditional scandinavian food, there's even a cook book that's translated into english. For those of you who have the heart:
Savory Seal Heart - Serves 4.

1 Large seal heart
1 cup Breadcrumbs or cooked rice
1 teaspoon Parsley
1/2 teaspoon Sage
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
2 tablespoons Onion flakes, softened in lukewarm water
Some slices of fat bacon
2 tablespoons Melted butter
Soak the heart in salted water overnight.
Wash the heart well and trim off the fat, large veins and thread-like cords
Cut the heart into thick slices.
Grease a casserole well with butter.
Make a stuffing of breadcrumbs or cooked rice, parsley, sage, salt, pepper and the onions.
Toss lightly.
Place the slices of heart, stuffing and slices of fat bacon in alternate layers, in the greased casserole
and top with the melted butter.
Cover tightly and bake in a moderate oven for at least 2 hours.

Enjoy
SBW

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

AWWWW, They're so Cute!!! these people will never get it. They'll buy the products though.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sportsman Matt wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

Seals create havoc on most of my fishing grounds during the summer, stealing bait and small stripers caught in mid fight. My view is that thinning the herd makes the fishing better, as they are more like rabbits when they show up, and make lots of noise when attacked by sharks.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from s-kfry wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

Next we will outlaw native Americans and other indigenous peoples as being "uncivilized" or "inhuman" for continuing to hunt the way their ancestors did. Of course, I guess in the end, all hunting will probably be considered “inhuman” no matter what the method of take.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I look at a seal and think "I could eat that if it's not too greasy." Do they taste fishy?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

The key words here are "seals killed in ways deemed inhumane by critics". I think the opposition agrees to the harvest but not to the clubbing. You can't exactly shoot them. It will damage the pelt and the bullets will ricochet off the ice.

I wonder how the critics suggest they be killed?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I raise rabbits among other critters. I raise em to eat em, and yes they are soft and cute. But I don't eat em alive, they have to be decently dead first. I don't waste a bullet on a bunny for the pot and they scream so when you cut their throats, I find the best way of dispatching one humanely for dinner is to bop him on the head first and then commence with the knife work. Yep, I bash little bunny skulls in then I make delicious rabbit pie with the twitching corpse. MMMM tasty.
I think swiling (seal hunting on the ice)is likely similar in many respects. I would hope the meat gets eaten, though I know it is really about the sealskins dense soft fur. The sustainable aspect makes sense to me and the sea ice is a very dangerous place for humans to be. Swiling is part of the culture of Canada, and it seems practical if not sporting. Swiling actually sounds rather extreme in a grueling harsh way and anybody who would willingly go do it has to be one tough Canadian.
People go on about the Inuit Whaling bowhead whales, this is another one of those traditional hunting activities that should be allowed to be carried on. The Inuit use hand thrown HARPOONS from open boats. That takes some courage. Modern technology to these folks is a block and tackle (and a snowmobile). The Inuit of Point Barrow AK (Inupiats?) don't have access to the food sources people in the lower 48 take for granted, Without a Bowhead whale or two there is no muktuk (whale blubber, a staple) for the kids and the people go hungry.b

+2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from MLH wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

Glad to see them steadfastly defending a sustainable practice that also helps maintain their fisheries.

The opposition to this has been going on for decades. When I was in high school, back in the early '70s, a teacher started a campaign to support and collect money for SOS (Save Our Seals), a campaign against the clubbing of harp seals. There was no debate, just the mandate that it was wrong. We were taunted and pressured if we didn't participate - I didn't. For a kid the pressure to conform was quite intense. Looking back at that, I am truly disgusted that she was allowed to pressure the students into conforming with her personal beliefs. Its good to keep track of what your kids are experiencing at school.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sb Wacker wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

This is all very strange as seal is of course a traditional scandinavian food, there's even a cook book that's translated into english. For those of you who have the heart:
Savory Seal Heart - Serves 4.

1 Large seal heart
1 cup Breadcrumbs or cooked rice
1 teaspoon Parsley
1/2 teaspoon Sage
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
2 tablespoons Onion flakes, softened in lukewarm water
Some slices of fat bacon
2 tablespoons Melted butter
Soak the heart in salted water overnight.
Wash the heart well and trim off the fat, large veins and thread-like cords
Cut the heart into thick slices.
Grease a casserole well with butter.
Make a stuffing of breadcrumbs or cooked rice, parsley, sage, salt, pepper and the onions.
Toss lightly.
Place the slices of heart, stuffing and slices of fat bacon in alternate layers, in the greased casserole
and top with the melted butter.
Cover tightly and bake in a moderate oven for at least 2 hours.

Enjoy
SBW

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I look at a seal and think "I could eat that if it's not too greasy." Do they taste fishy?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I raise rabbits among other critters. I raise em to eat em, and yes they are soft and cute. But I don't eat em alive, they have to be decently dead first. I don't waste a bullet on a bunny for the pot and they scream so when you cut their throats, I find the best way of dispatching one humanely for dinner is to bop him on the head first and then commence with the knife work. Yep, I bash little bunny skulls in then I make delicious rabbit pie with the twitching corpse. MMMM tasty.
I think swiling (seal hunting on the ice)is likely similar in many respects. I would hope the meat gets eaten, though I know it is really about the sealskins dense soft fur. The sustainable aspect makes sense to me and the sea ice is a very dangerous place for humans to be. Swiling is part of the culture of Canada, and it seems practical if not sporting. Swiling actually sounds rather extreme in a grueling harsh way and anybody who would willingly go do it has to be one tough Canadian.
People go on about the Inuit Whaling bowhead whales, this is another one of those traditional hunting activities that should be allowed to be carried on. The Inuit use hand thrown HARPOONS from open boats. That takes some courage. Modern technology to these folks is a block and tackle (and a snowmobile). The Inuit of Point Barrow AK (Inupiats?) don't have access to the food sources people in the lower 48 take for granted, Without a Bowhead whale or two there is no muktuk (whale blubber, a staple) for the kids and the people go hungry.b

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I have a question,
When neanderthals roamed the earth and killed animals by beating them to death and stabbing them, was that inhumaness too? I think the proper term is more civilized, but i still hate that word too.
I kind of like the idea of doing some things the way some of the most untechnological people ever did. It reminds us of how they did things.
I'll get destroyed for saying this, but does the seal care if it's humane or not?

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hi_tail wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

It still blows my mind that a certain few don't understand or see the practical benefits/necessities of managed hunting. Positive for the natives, positive for the economy, positive for wildlife management... don't even get me started on the 'seal effect' on migratory fish!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

AWWWW, They're so Cute!!! these people will never get it. They'll buy the products though.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sportsman Matt wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

Seals create havoc on most of my fishing grounds during the summer, stealing bait and small stripers caught in mid fight. My view is that thinning the herd makes the fishing better, as they are more like rabbits when they show up, and make lots of noise when attacked by sharks.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from s-kfry wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

Next we will outlaw native Americans and other indigenous peoples as being "uncivilized" or "inhuman" for continuing to hunt the way their ancestors did. Of course, I guess in the end, all hunting will probably be considered “inhuman” no matter what the method of take.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

The key words here are "seals killed in ways deemed inhumane by critics". I think the opposition agrees to the harvest but not to the clubbing. You can't exactly shoot them. It will damage the pelt and the bullets will ricochet off the ice.

I wonder how the critics suggest they be killed?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

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