Wacky Quote of the Week: by Canadian Fisheries Minister, in reference to the seal hunt

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Canadian Fisheries Minister Gail Shea is upset that animal-welfare advocates are road-blocking the trade of seal meat with China. She is highly offended that people are actually against the brutal beating or shooting deaths of a massive number of baby seals.

Shea is offended that anyone would try to stop people from torturing seals. I wonder what her opinion of dog fighting is?

And there was this trade agreement with China, to send seal meat there. Europe already shut down the trade for these cruelty-based “products.” Now, China is reviewing the matter, according to the Canadian Press.

So get this: The Canadian Press quoted Shea as saying – “We have to keep telling the world that this is a sustainable hunt. It’s a humane hunt.”

“It’s a humane hunt.” Can she possibly believe this? No one with a sliver of education in science – or biology at least – could believe this. Nothing about the annual Canadian seal hunt is humane. The Canadian Press reports the quota for seal killing has been set at 400,000.

But I get it. Shea wants to defend the industry. But that one sentence wipes her credibility completely off the chart.

 

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A lack of understanding of basic logic can lead to statements that defy logic

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Oddly enough, the headline over an editorial published Sunday on the Globe and Mail website reads “Hunting for logic in the WTO’s seal-hunting ruling.”

The World Trade Organization recently upheld the European Union’s important ban on products imported from the Canadian seal hunts. It is a great ban, but the aforementioned editorial shows an opposition to it, noting other animals slaughtered for food are killed under inhumane conditions.

But suggesting we should not work to ease the suffering for one species, merely because other species are being treated horribly too, is far from logical. In fact, it is great that progress can be made in any areas possible.

And then there’s this from the piece:

On the contrary, the Canadian government insists the highly regulated seal hunt is humane, a claim supported by veterinarians who have studied it.

Who could logically claim beating an animal to death is humane? Clearly this is not the case. And the more science advances and uncovers, in terms of self-awareness in animals, the more the evidence mounts to show these acts are not humane. The statement above is based on old notions and has no basis in modern science and has no basis in our current understanding of what animals actually feel.

It’s time to put the old, antiquated thinking in the trash bin of history.

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Video: HSUS documents seal slaughter

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The Humane Society of the US is documenting the suffering that is going on at the hands of those slaughtering baby seals on the Canadian sea ice.

How anyone could live with themselves after inflicting this sort of suffering on innocent beings is beyond what I can comprehend.

WARNING: Graphic content.

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New animated HSUS video informs on the horrors of the Canadian seal slaughter

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The Humane Society of the United States has released a new video, informing viewers about the horrors of the Canadian seal slaughter.

While the market for seal products continues to decline worldwide, the Canadian government continues to promote severe cruelty.

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IFAW to stay away from the horrible spring seal hunt in Canada

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The International Fund for Animal Welfare has decided to not attend the spring seal hunt in Canada, to avoid confrontations with hunters on the Atlantic sea ice.

This is a brutal practice and one fueled by GREED, as a lot of the torturing of animals is fueled by GREED. But the IFAW has decided to focus its efforts this year on politicians, in the movement to ban the seal hunt.

The IFAW is calling the annual beating death of seals for their fur – “obsolete” in a CBC News article. The Canadian Fisheries Minister’s office sent an email to the CBC, stating the government…

“… supports the sustainable and well-managed seal harvest, which continues to be an economic and cultural activity in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and the Arctic.”

Humane Society International will reportedly have observers out by mid-April.

The European Union has banned the sale of seal products, but the governments of Canada and Norway are challenging the ban. So these two governments want to force other countries to allow particular products through their boarders. It’s a boldly asinine stand.

A Herald News article uses the term “dying” to describe the Canadian seal hunts. The story also reports a bill to shut down the seal hunt did not make it off the Canadian Senate floor in February.

But there is a bit of better news in the text –

The hunt has dwindled by about 90 per cent since 2004. Only one-tenth of the annual harp seal quota of 400,000 is now harvested.

CTV News also covered the news.

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Chinese animal-welfare groups challenge Canada on seal hunts

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Canada is a great country – no doubt. But the way the nation’s government supports the industry that regularly beats baby seals to death for their bodies is a horrible stain on Canada’s reputation.

Now, more than 50 Chinese environmental and animal-welfare organizations are calling for a halt to the exporting of seal products to China. An article posted Friday on Care2.com reports a letter from the group to the Canadian Senate calls the “commercial slaughter cruel, outdated and unnecessary.”

That clearly says it all, but I’d also add ‘barbaric.’ A bill is working its way through the Senate to end the annual seal hunt. We can only hope, although it would somehow need to get by the country’s top elected official.

 

Canadian government goes crybaby on European seal product ban

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The top level of the Canadian government is continuing its bizarre and all-in support of beating seal pups to death for their body parts. Are these people channeling their inner US Rep. Steve King or something?

Defending this level of cruelty is bad enough on a basic level, but this insistence that other countries must be forced to support the cruelty by being forced to buy the products is off the charts.

Thankfully, groups like the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) are speaking out for the seals.

Topics: Factory farming, seal slaughter, kangaroo slaughter – and greed

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What led to current state of factory farming? – Greed. What prompts the annual seal slaughter in Canada and the similar kangaroo slaughter in Australia? – Greed – And then there is the unfortunate market for the products from these mass slaughters.

A new Whole Foods just opened in my hometown. My wife and I roamed through the store over the weekend and I found a section with meat products from animals raised as free-roaming. This – for the most part – is the way it used to be, before factory farming took over the industry.

For the sake of massive profit – pigs, cows, turkeys and chickens, etc are crammed into tiny cages for the entire span of their entire lives. It’s horrible. Why can’t the animals at least be free to roam before their deaths? Why can’t they live free of cruelty at least until the time of their deaths?

The response to these questions from the supporters of factory farms always turns to the cost of production and the increased price on the shelves. It’s always about money. They can’t help it. It’s money and profit and pricing and sales. All things are excusable because finances always come first in the era of factory farming.

Employees need better working conditions? Employees need a raise? – Can’t be done. After all, the CEO needs another multimillion-dollar bonus. The record profit margin must be maintained. The vice-president in charge of what-ever is only making $1.2 million; hardly enough to maintain homes in California and Florida. And have you checked how much it takes to fill the gas tank on a yacht lately?

The employees don’t need a raise. The price of house-brand macaroni and cheese is still pretty cheap in the grocery store. They can eat that every day. After all – they’re only workers. If they want more, they can get a fourth job. What are they doing in the overnight hours anyway – sleeping? That’s pretty lazy.

And for the animals; if they weren’t crammed into crates 24/7, they’d be wandering around outside doing nothing. They can’t read or watch TV and they aren’t allowed in the mall, so what kind of life could they lead?

This is the philosophy of the universally greedy.

US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced a bill last week that could improve the housing for hens on factory farms – in this case, in mass-production egg farms. The bill is endorsed by the United Egg Producers  and the Humane Society of the United States. It doubles the size of the cages most hens are crammed into today – for at least 124 square inches for each hen.

An editorial this week on the Chicago Tribune website noted the following – “” Major chains like Costco and Wal-Mart already insist on cage-free eggs for their private brands. Food companies General Mills and Kraft are shifting in that direction. Burger King has announced that within five years it will switch to all cage-free eggs. “”

Slowly but surely, progress is being made toward more humane conditions. But there is a long way to go and other facets of the factory farming industry might not be so willing to change their ways.

I referenced the annual seal slaughter and kangaroo slaughter above. Lesli Bisgould, a Canadian animal rights lawyer is making a connection between the two very similar atrocities, on separate continents.

An estimated 90 million kangaroos have been killed in Australia over the last two decades.

Bisgould, reportedly the first lawyer in Canada with a focus in animal rights, has been challenging the Canadian seal hunts and questioning the justifications for the slaughter. I haven’t handed out one these of late, but Bisgould is hereby awarded a Pack of Humane Justice Award.

Sarah McLachlan asks Canadian PM to halt seal clubbing cruelty

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One of my favorite all-time musical artist, Sarah McLachlan, has written a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, calling for an end to the country’s annual seal hunt. The the so-called ‘hunt’ is actually the clubbing of baby seals – the brutal beating of defenseless baby seals.

The Globe and Mail notes Russia banned the import of seal fur last year, joining the European Union and the United States with bans. Russia was buying 95 percent of Canadian seal fur. But the cruelty continues despite these facts.

McLachlan wrote – “This business is about as lucrative as an eight-track tape factory.”

But Harper is a full-blown supporter of this cruel and barbaric industry. The Globe and Mail also reported back in February on the PM’s trip to China, when he was set to make it priority to promote the sale of seal products.

At the time, Harper was quoted as saying – “Our government will continue to vigorously defend this humane and highly regulated industry and to seek new international markets for Canadian seal products, including China.”

So he gets a major-league Pack of Putrid Punditry Award. “Humane?” – really? No one with the ability to form even a tiny sliver of logical thought would call clubbing baby seals to death a “humane” act. This guy was really elected as the Canadian Prime Minister? Do they vote on that in Canada?

Sarah McLachlan, on the other hand, is officially awarded a Pack of Justice Award and a Pack of Compassion Award and a Wow Isn’t She Fantastic Award. (Okay … I just made that last one up, because it’s Sarah McLachlan we’re talking about here.)

Report on seal slaughter: Numbers killed down but cruelty on the increase

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The season’s horrible East Coast seal hunt season draws to a close, the Canadian Press is reporting the number of pups beaten, shot and killed through any means possible was down significantly.

From the story: “” The total number of harp seals killed in the 2011 commercial slaughter was about 38,000 — less than 10 per cent of the allowable catch, set at 400,000. “”

The European Union banned the importation of most seal products last year and the thankfully the United States banned it in 1972. But sadly, with the backing of the Canadian government, the hunt goes on.

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