Tuesday, May 26, 2009

With The Swilers: Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean

RANKIN INLET, Nunavut - On the first day of her trip to the Arctic Michaelle Jean gutted a freshly slaughtered seal, pulled out its raw heart, and ate it.

Hundreds of Inuit at a community festival gathered around as the Governor General made a gesture of solidarity with the country's beleaguered seal hunters.

Background here.


Blogger Robert G. said...

I really thought you'd get to this before breakfast. You're slipping.

9:40 AM  
Blogger IceClass said...

Although I suspect most wouldn't recognize it as such, that is a very Canadian moment.

Good on her. She knows it means a lot up here.

1:08 AM  
Blogger Old Brooktrout said...

She's my fricking hero.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She did a pretty good job with that Ulu . . maybe had some lessons before hand.

Fond memories . . . that was a very realistic portrayal of a very ordinary community get together.

Loved how the cardboard boxes kept appearing, to be flattened out to make more room for more carcasses.

Now if she had tried the Miseraq . . aka Eskimo Ketchup, I'd say she really went the extra mile

1:58 PM  
Blogger IceClass said...

Canadian Sushi indeed!

7:28 PM  
Blogger IceClass said...

would you by chance have any comment why in all this fuss over the GG noshing on a bit of ventricle there is no mention of the UNFAO warning you mentioned earlier about the narrowing of food species?

Where the %$#@ is any mention of ecological appropriateness?
Have the vegan army memesters strangely succeeded in "normalizing" this narrowing in the public mind?

8:17 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Terry - saw this reported and immediately came here. Thanks for undermining platitudes, on this, and on other issues. Ben (Z Word).

6:33 PM  
Blogger Skookum1 said...

My young training partner (21) who' bizarrely strong, as is his younger brother, is Innu and was raised on seal and caribou and fish. Built like a house and works hard for it, and swears one of the magic ingredients for his phenomenal strength is seal blubber, one of his favourite foods. Apparently more like a jelly than a fat by texture, I haven't been able to try it yet (it gets eaten before he can set any aside to bring down from Labrador). I'm very curious, and may make a trip up there yet and am looking forward to the first taste; he gave me a few caribou steaks and damn they were good.

What I don't get about the opprobrium being attached to the GG's indulgence in a traditional feast is if it were caribou or musk oxen or something other beast of the land, rather than a sea creature, we just wouldn't be hearing any of this. The eco-movement celebrate wild game (when they're not vegetarians) and also aalmon and other seafoods on the West Coast. I guess it's because you can't make stylish jackets out of salmon skin (though no one's tried) and caribou, because they're so visible en masse, don't seem like they're endangered.

I'm not sure I could stand watching Justin club a seal to death; but I wouldn't want to watch a hog or a steer slaughtered either, though I love my sirloin-tip roasts and pork loins. I"m also fond of steak tartare and love my meat purple-rare (when I pay attention enough not to cook it medium rare), so watching the GG gobble up some no-doubt-tasty seal heart had me going.

There's a piousness in the environmental movement about some creatures, but not others; or a different kind of piety, eulogizing the mystique of the caribou hunt, similar to the long-gone buffalo hunt in its nature, while condemning the seal hunt. Inuit and Innu do not hunt so ladies in Paris and Moscow can sport high-fashion furs, they hunt for food, and have some furs to sell as a profitable byproduct.

West coast salmon are endangered. Would the GG have received enviro-condemnation for partaking in a salmon barbeque with the Kwakwaka'wakw or Haida? No, of course not.

And there's a big difference between eating and skinning a full-grown seal, or clubbing a baby one and leaving the carcass to rot.

6:10 AM  
Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

I am totally with her, too. For me, however, moving beyond beef (or tuna) carpaccio or steak Tartar will be a bit of a problem ;-)

3:42 AM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

She came, she ate, she conquered. As I see it she did the right thing.

9:10 PM  

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