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So what's wrong with clubbing seals?
The Telegraph ^ | 15/04/2004 | Boris Johnson

Posted on 04/14/2004 5:21:14 PM PDT by Eurotwit

I don’t know who handles the PR for these Canadian seal-clubbers, but it must be a hell of a job. Can there be any group, on the entire planet, that so excites the hatred of the British public? Not the Korean dog-eaters, nor the Italian butterfly-shooters, nor the Spanish goat-headyankers — no, not even the French, who, as we all know, eat our children’s ponies — no one can match the Canadian fisherman for provoking the Briton to tears of rage; and one can see why.

Here is a fellow who rises and puts on his great big waterproof boots and his great big waterproof hat. Then he picks up a horrible knobkerrie, studded with nails, gives his wife a loving kiss, and strides on to ice floes where he sets about him with a terrible Hutu-style slaughter. Bonk bash bonk he goes, like some demented axeman, and nothing will stop him. The telephoto lenses of the RSPCA cameras whirr and click.

Above him hover the helicopters chartered by the BBC, while live pictures of the horror are beamed into every living-room in this country. Does he care?

Does he hell. And it is not just any old beast that he brains, but a mammal, a creature like us that suckles its young; and it is a large, defenceless mammal, with both eyes in the front of its head, in that cute anthropomorphic way. It is a furry mammal, with a bark as winsome as any leal and faithful labrador.

One after another, biff thunk clunk, the Canadians are now beating these trusting little critters to death, thousands of them a day, until the snow runs red in that awful way we saw on the front of yesterday’s Independent newspaper.

Is there anyone who could possibly attempt to justify this kind of barbarity? Will anyone stand up for the seal cull? Well, ahem, at the risk of terminally alienating and offending animal-lovers across the country, it is the duty of this column — which ever puts logic above popularity — to have a go.

Of course, it must be a dreadful way to go, if you are a seal; and no one could seriously doubt that the method of killing is peculiarly brutal. But I put it to you none the less that the Canadian fisherman has as much right to go out clubbing as the average British 18-year-old.

It was a good thing that there was an outcry in the early 1980s; and it was a good thing that there was a consequent European Union-wide ban on seal fur products. But that was when the cull had so reduced the populations of harp and hooded seals that they were at real risk. That was when they killed the little white baby seals as well, which particularly outraged our sentimental feelings. The truth today is that there are now about six million of these seals, and they are not spending all the time lolling defencelessly on the ice. They are very efficient eaters of fish.

They eat 1.5 tonnes of fish a year each, and given that there are only 50,000 tonnes of cod left off Newfoundland and Labrador, you can see that the ecosystem is badly out of whack.

It is true that the waters have been crazily overfished by the Canadians themselves; but there seems to be good evidence that the voracity of the seals has created a predator trap, by which the fish find it impossible to breed faster than the seals can eat them. You could find what looks like a more humane way of bumping off the seals, such as shooting them. The trouble is that this method is barely more humane than clubbing, and the gunshot lead is expensive and not environmentally friendly.

And surely it makes sense, given how poor these fishermen are, to prevent the pelts from being torn apart by bullets. You may feel affronted by the scale of the slaughter; but I can’t really see a moral difference between authorising the killing of 10,000 seals and 350,000.

If it is really numbers of dead animals that shock you, let me remind you that every year we herd 1.5 million cows and 12.5 million sheep into the dark bellowing terror of dung-encrusted abattoirs, blap them with a bolt in the brain and then slit their throats. We don’t have Canadian camera crews hovering above our meat processing plants.

And if it is not numbers that concern you, but the principle of taking life, then let me remind you that 200,000 embryos are aborted every year in this country; and if you think that is irrelevant, let me remind you that, every year, in the People’s Republic of China, 20,000 sentient adult human beings are killed by the state. Isn’t that, on the face of it, a more natural subject for an Independent campaign?

I tell you why the seal cull speaks so powerfully to us. It’s telly, innit? It’s the shocking undisguisable picture of the lone killer on the ice floe, the graphic impact of the red on the white.

The seal cull provides a uniquely powerful image of what is in fact an everyday event: the violence of man against animals, and the slaughter of animals by man. It is the sheer conspicuousness of that killing that prompts, in our breasts, our exaggerated response: which I might compare, finally, with the agonies now being endured by those of us who supported the war in Iraq.

It looks like an utter disaster, if you rely solely on the television images, and you study the small-scale newspaper maps, with their pictograms of conflagration in every city. This week in The Spectator, we have a brilliant piece by Andrew Gilligan in Baghdad, full of despair at the dilemmas of the coalition troops.

Maybe I am a congenital optimist, but I can’t help wondering whether that is all there is to it, and whether those polls — which found so many Iraqis convinced that their lives had improved — were not also true. Television images of violence can create alarm. They can create outrage. But they are not always the whole story.

Boris Johnson is MP for Henley and editor of The Spectator


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: animalrights; canuckistan; fur; hunting; seals
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1 posted on 04/14/2004 5:21:16 PM PDT by Eurotwit
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To: Eurotwit
Hey, did ya hear the one about the baby seal that walked into a club....

I'm bad. I know.

LVM

2 posted on 04/14/2004 5:26:08 PM PDT by LasVegasMac ("If everything is just barely under control......you are not going fast enough" - MA.)
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To: Eurotwit
Yes, yes! Terrible, terrible! Do we have any of those little potatoes left?
3 posted on 04/14/2004 5:26:55 PM PDT by Tacis
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To: LasVegasMac
yeah, the bartender said 'whata ya have' and the seal said anything but Canadian Club. bing badda bing
4 posted on 04/14/2004 5:27:43 PM PDT by mlbford2
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To: Eurotwit
Whoa.
5 posted on 04/14/2004 5:28:08 PM PDT by AlbertWang
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To: AlbertWang

It's only bad if you're the seal.
6 posted on 04/14/2004 5:31:15 PM PDT by Malsua
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To: Eurotwit
Only bad if Americans do it.
7 posted on 04/14/2004 5:32:15 PM PDT by KevinDavis (Let the meek inherit the Earth, the rest of us will explore the stars!)
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To: Eurotwit
Only bad if Americans do it.
8 posted on 04/14/2004 5:32:18 PM PDT by KevinDavis (Let the meek inherit the Earth, the rest of us will explore the stars!)
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To: Eurotwit
Of course, it must be a dreadful way to go, if you are a seal; and no one could seriously doubt that the method of killing is peculiarly brutal.

Don't know how much perception they have of what's going on around them, but it would seem death would be virtually instantaneous... as opposed to death by starvation, disease or polar bear.

9 posted on 04/14/2004 5:34:49 PM PDT by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican)
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To: Eurotwit
Then they should use an injection to kill them or stun them with a prod first to kill them completely and humanely prior to skinning them. Or thin the seals by culling adults like we usually do with other types of mammals. I don't have a problem with killing them, just the brutality of how they go about it.


10 posted on 04/14/2004 5:51:28 PM PDT by Tamzee (9 out of 10 terrorists recommend John Kerry... the tenth still clings to Dean.)
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: Eurotwit; Kathy in Alaska; Skooz; CapnBarbossa; annieokie; bentfeather; 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub; ..
In a word...EVERYTHING!

Killing an animal like this, defenseless and terrified, by beating it to death with a club, is simply not a fit occupation for any MAN worth the name.

They pose no threat to humans, do not provide food or survival items, or even sport. There is neither honor nor decency nor dignity in it. Thus, it is an act which all MEN worthy of the name should condemn in the loudest voice possible.

There are numerous reports of the seals even being skinned while still alive. Our status as the dominant species on the planet nonetheless does not give us license to torture an animal to death in such a manner. Those who can are not to be trusted around other humans; they should be shunned.

I used to hunt; I still enjoy fishing. But no decent, conscientious hunter I have ever known has tortured his game to death; the goal is a clean, quick kill, and full use of the game animal.

I was also once the victim of a savage blow to the head, from an individual who meant to kill me. By luck, I survived, much to that person's sorrow. I never forgot the pain, however, or the days spent with headaches and dizziness when my legs just would not work right and my eyes were blurry. Anyone excusing this barbarity might think twice had the experience been a personal one. You DO know what hit you.

One need not be a wild-eyed animal rights nutcase to see the evil in this for what it is. Any senseless act that lacks honor, dignity, and decency is not an act a MAN should ever condone.

I watched some of the video the BBC shot of this so-called "hunt". It makes one wonder just who the animals really are. A special place in Hell awaits those creatures who perpetrated this. There is no possible way that a just God would condone it.

12 posted on 04/14/2004 6:12:20 PM PDT by Long Cut
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To: TruthInExile; All
"No. Don't appease. Ever. Hunt like men, dammit."

Is your idea of "hunting like a MAN" killing infant animals with NO chance of escape by hitting them with a club? Is it your idea of "hunting like a man" to skin an infant animal alive?

MEN do not do such things.

13 posted on 04/14/2004 6:15:54 PM PDT by Long Cut
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To: Eala; All
Read post # 12. They have every idea...they can smell the blood, and can hear the cries of the rest.

For God's sake, they are infants when this is done...12 days old! I cannot imagine the terror they suffer, or the pain of being skinned alive in some circumstances.

What human coud do this, just to make a soft coat?

14 posted on 04/14/2004 6:19:06 PM PDT by Long Cut
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To: Long Cut
Don't fall for Sea Shepards propaganda.

If it has been clubbed in the head, it is not being skinned ALIVE afterwards.
15 posted on 04/14/2004 6:20:04 PM PDT by Eurotwit
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To: Long Cut
They pose no threat to humans....

Do you like cod?

16 posted on 04/14/2004 6:23:35 PM PDT by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Long Cut
I was also once the victim of a savage blow to the head, from an individual who meant to kill me. By luck, I survived, much to that person's sorrow. I never forgot the pain, however, or the days spent with headaches and dizziness when my legs just would not work right and my eyes were blurry.

Had he finished you off with another blow, you would not have suffered.

17 posted on 04/14/2004 6:25:05 PM PDT by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Eurotwit; All
From the article at the head of THIS THREAD,from the Guardian...

"Although the Canadian government claims seals are no longer skinned alive during the culls, recent eye-witness accounts claim otherwise, corroborating studies suggesting that more than four in 10 pups are still alive when hunters skin them."

Don't excuse evil.

18 posted on 04/14/2004 6:25:33 PM PDT by Long Cut
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To: Petronski
SOOOoo, that justifies it. Right. I'll pay a little more for the cod, rather than have that on my conscience. Come to think, I don't really like cod THAT much.
19 posted on 04/14/2004 6:27:41 PM PDT by Long Cut
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To: Tamsey
My great-aunt was responsible for helping pass the humane slaughter bill back in the day. She's rolling in her grave as we speak over such senseless cruelty.
20 posted on 04/14/2004 6:28:38 PM PDT by rintense (Now I know why liberals hate guns... they keep shooting themselves in the foot!)
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To: Long Cut
Right. I'll pay a little more for the cod, rather than have that on my conscience.

If the cod is gone, no price will buy it.

21 posted on 04/14/2004 6:30:38 PM PDT by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Long Cut; TruthInExile
MEN do not do such things

You're absolutely right! This is quite clearly WOMEN's work; the MEN should be out catching lobsters, so we can boil them alive.

22 posted on 04/14/2004 6:31:07 PM PDT by xsysmgr
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To: Eurotwit
Canadian lefties don't give a hoot about PETA!
23 posted on 04/14/2004 6:32:09 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: xsysmgr
I want to have dinner at your igloo, brother.
24 posted on 04/14/2004 6:33:23 PM PDT by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Petronski
"Had he finished you off with another blow, you would not have suffered."

I was still conscious; just unable to move. He ran away, and I caught up with him again, weeks later. My head still throbbed occaisionally. It stopped after a month or so.

Does his failure to finish the job make it right? Oh, and I was 12 at the time.

25 posted on 04/14/2004 6:34:02 PM PDT by Long Cut
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To: Long Cut
This is just so sick and wrong, I am at a loss for words. Anyone who would club a baby seal, or use such cruelty on any animal, has no soul, IMHO. All life is to be valued- ALL.

And I'd stop trying to reason with anyone on this thread who thinks this is funny, or that animals aren't worth our worry. It isn't worth it.

26 posted on 04/14/2004 6:34:30 PM PDT by rintense (Now I know why liberals hate guns... they keep shooting themselves in the foot!)
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To: Long Cut
Does his failure to finish the job make it right?

No. I only mean to say that if you had been a seal and harvested properly, you would not have been left alive to suffer as you did.

27 posted on 04/14/2004 6:36:10 PM PDT by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Petronski
Gee, I guess I'll have to suffer, then. Although, not as much as the seals would've.

We breed animals for harvest. We kill THOSE as cleanly as possible. they are not wild animals who can survive on their own.

As conservatives, we pride ourselves on being able to recognize and name evil for what it is. This slaughter is Evil.

28 posted on 04/14/2004 6:37:17 PM PDT by Long Cut
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To: Long Cut
Well you are right. A REAL man would strangle it and bite its head right off.
29 posted on 04/14/2004 6:37:24 PM PDT by Rightwing Conspiratr1 (Lock-n-load!)
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To: rintense
I stated that a true MAN should condemn such acts. That's what I'm doing.

I'm amazed, however, at those who excuse this evil.

30 posted on 04/14/2004 6:39:04 PM PDT by Long Cut
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To: Eurotwit
WHY CAN'T THESE BARBARIANS JOIN THE 21ST CENTURY AND STOP CLUBBING THESE ANIMALS TO DEATH...

... and just use a .22?

A small caliber revolver would be quicker, easier and cleaner so you can stop off at the local pub for Miller time without smelling like a butcher house.
31 posted on 04/14/2004 6:39:15 PM PDT by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: Long Cut
I am from Norway, a country of proud oilers, seal hunters and whalers...

I am quite used to the controversy. Do a google search on Odd Lindberg and seal hunting, and you will find an old neighbor of mind.

We chased him out of the country for trying to protect the seal pups.

We are barbarians.
32 posted on 04/14/2004 6:39:31 PM PDT by Eurotwit
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To: Petronski
"I only mean to say that if you had been a seal and harvested properly, you would not have been left alive to suffer as you did."

Why yes, I might have had the pleasure of being skinned alive.

33 posted on 04/14/2004 6:40:24 PM PDT by Long Cut
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To: TruthInExile
LOL!
34 posted on 04/14/2004 6:40:49 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: Long Cut
As conservatives, we pride ourselves on being able to recognize and name evil for what it is. This slaughter is Evil.

LOL. It's a flaming animal. You position is the same as those Greenpiece queers. If it ain't HUMAN it don't flaming matter. It's part of God's garden. He gave all these seals to us for us to use.

35 posted on 04/14/2004 6:41:52 PM PDT by Rightwing Conspiratr1 (Lock-n-load!)
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To: Long Cut
You no doubt would have no problem killing other predator threats to your food supply, why not seals? Because there so cute?
36 posted on 04/14/2004 6:42:23 PM PDT by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Eurotwit
Forgive me for being an obtuse American, but I find no pride to be had in slaughter of these animals.

The rest of the world would seem to agree.

I have visited your country. There are many friendly and nice people there, and the scenery is stunning. I'm sure that not all agree that killing defenseless animals in brutal ways is anything to be "proud" of.

37 posted on 04/14/2004 6:43:58 PM PDT by Long Cut
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To: Long Cut
In Australia some enviromentalist are going nuts over what they call the "The Errinundra chainsaw massacre".

It involves cutting a tree.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1117507/posts
38 posted on 04/14/2004 6:44:18 PM PDT by Eurotwit
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To: Long Cut
I'm with ya, LC... you are a true man in my eyes.

There are simply those who place no value on animal life other than that they were put here for our use, etc. But you know what? God created all, the heavens and the earth, man and beast. And yes, I will admit that animals are my most liberal cause. You know why? Because my pets, especially my dog, show more human characterists such as love, loyalty, happiness and compassion than many people.

Right now, my dog is a better human than the terrorists in Iraq.

39 posted on 04/14/2004 6:44:35 PM PDT by rintense (Now I know why liberals hate guns... they keep shooting themselves in the foot!)
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To: Petronski
Because there so cute?

Yeah you never hear from these eco-rump rangers concerning the slaughter of baby mosquitos or baby snakes or baby centipedes.

40 posted on 04/14/2004 6:44:39 PM PDT by Rightwing Conspiratr1 (Lock-n-load!)
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To: Long Cut
Why yes, I might have had the pleasure of being skinned alive.

Put down the Disney DVD and the Greenpeace prayer shawl, I said if you had been harvested properly, you would not have been left alive to suffer as you did.

Exactly how would you be skinned alive if you were not left alive (i.e., harvested properly)?

41 posted on 04/14/2004 6:44:56 PM PDT by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Eurotwit
I hear baby seal clubbing is going to be in the next X Games :)
42 posted on 04/14/2004 6:45:55 PM PDT by ChadGore (Mach 7 !)
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To: Rightwing Conspiratr1
If your "god" approves of this, I want no part of him.

I was taught that there are animals for our use, sure. I enjoy a good steak myself. But where does it say that we have some inalienable RIGHT to torture another species to death, simply because we feel like it?

43 posted on 04/14/2004 6:46:29 PM PDT by Long Cut
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To: Eurotwit
If it has been clubbed in the head, it is not being skinned ALIVE afterwards.

Yes, they sometimes are... of course they are dead shortly after being skinned, but the torture suffered while skinned alive is something I wouldn't wish on any Republican ;-)

44 posted on 04/14/2004 6:48:28 PM PDT by Tamzee (9 out of 10 terrorists recommend John Kerry... the tenth still clings to Dean.)
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To: Eurotwit
That is ludicrous. Trees are a crop, and are quite within a property owner's right to harvest as he sees fit.

I am NOT some environMENTAList. However, I consider myself an honorable man, and this slaughter is bereft of all possible honor.

45 posted on 04/14/2004 6:48:55 PM PDT by Long Cut
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To: rintense
I would have been honored to know your grand-aunt... she sounds like she was a woman of immense caring and conviction :-)
46 posted on 04/14/2004 6:50:10 PM PDT by Tamzee (9 out of 10 terrorists recommend John Kerry... the tenth still clings to Dean.)
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To: Petronski
You really feel that 12-day-old suckling infant seals are a threat to ANYONE'S food supply? Note, they leave the adults alive...no good coats.

That crap is a lame excuse.

47 posted on 04/14/2004 6:51:16 PM PDT by Long Cut
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To: xsysmgr
You're absolutely right! This is quite clearly WOMEN's work; the MEN should be out catching lobsters, so we can boil them alive.

LOL! Mmmmm...lobster.

48 posted on 04/14/2004 6:51:39 PM PDT by NittanyLion
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To: Eurotwit
On Feb. 25/1860 in Eureka Calif. Several white men went quietly in their boats out to Indian Island (Gunther Island)in Humboldt bay. There were about 200 local Indians asleep there after doing a religious ceremony. They took clubs and axes as they didn't want gunshots to be heard by the towns people. They murdered about 150 of the Indians of the Wiyot Tribe, mostly the women and children. No one was ever punished for this crime. At the time Bret Harte (of literary fame) was a reporter for the Northern Californian paper. He wrote about this massacre and asked how could civilized people do a deed like this. Bret was fired from his job at the paper and almost run out of town. That pretty much let you know what the rest of the towns folks thought of this incident.
"Who would do something like club these poor little seals?" I say just your average American citizen.
49 posted on 04/14/2004 6:52:08 PM PDT by fish hawk
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To: Long Cut
Note, they leave the adults alive...no good coats.

Sez you, and your lefty buddies at Greenpeace.

50 posted on 04/14/2004 6:52:10 PM PDT by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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