Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Against The European Union, With The Swilers: "The seal ban is an abomination."

All Inuit from Russia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland are standing in solidarity against the European Union ban on products from the seal hunt, says Violet Ford, vice-president of international affairs at the Inuit Circumpolar Council.

I'll be on about this on CKNW later this afternoon. My take is here and here.

Says Mary Simon, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami: “The seal ban is an abomination because it directly attacks cultures, communities, and livelihoods that represent a basic means of living for many here in Canada, using groundless accusations influenced by animal rights propaganda campaigns.

“And today we are witnessing the EU’s willingly ignore its own trade rules and relations to please certain myopic self-interests while trying to claim some moral high ground—it doesn’t add up. We are deeply disappointed that EU Ministers did not show more insight and courage than the EU Parliament in confronting the misinformation campaigns targeting Europe in recent years. This is a very cynical and unjustified decision by the EU Ministers and it flies in the face of the EU’s own conservation, veterinary and legal advice.”


Blogger Jaret Manuel said...

Great post... here is what I have to say.


9:26 AM  
Blogger Suman said...

I recently read "The Sixth Extinction: Journeys Among the Lost and Left Behind" and wanted to congratulate you for the scope of your book. It was a great read.

While I am not entirely convinced by some of your ideas including your position here on the seal ban, it is very hard to argue against sustainable practices. The trouble is we are humans; give us an inch and we will take a mile.

I look forward to being educated by your future works.

11:09 AM  
Blogger AT said...

Great post(s) Terry, and thanks for keeping the conversation going with some shred of rationale.

I heard a rerun of a CBC interview with the director of The Cove and this exchange caught my attention:

Gian Gomeshi: You talk about this as being a metaphor for what’s happening in our oceans. I’m sure that many people around the world would argue that Canada’s version of the dolphin slaughter is the annual seal hunt in the news. That’s some people’s position and it’s once again in the news. Why do you think that exposing these hunting practices is so important to the environmental movement?

Louie Psihoyos: Well, we could have made this movie about snapper but nobody cares about snapper. Dolphins and Seals are charismic [sic] megafauna. People care about them. You’re sort of opening up a wellspring of people’s emotions when you start to discuss these subjects, so metaphysically it’s good subject matter. It’s also, I mean, seals, don’t they sort of embody the innocence of nature and what we are destroying? and dolphins… you have the most intelligent..they have bigger brains than us, they’re sentient, they’re more gregarious, more social and we’re destroying that. I mean that’s a powerful symbol. I didn’t choose the symbol. It chose me.

So I guess the question is not of conservation, animal welfare, or sustainable consumption, but rather the protection of a "symbol of innocence";

as in:
"Put down that fork. You are eating my symbol of innocence"
"But my kids are hungry"
"I don't give a shit. Get your ass to Loblaws"

8:57 AM  
Blogger IceClass said...

"Why do you think that exposing these hunting practices is so important to the environmental movement?"

"Environmental" movement? "These hunting practices"?
WTF Gian?

2:27 PM  

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