Wednesday, April 05, 2006

And now, a word from Cathy

This won't be a regular occurrence but after watching the first part of the Junos last Sunday, Cathy was a mite bit upset with Pamela Anderson. She wrote something out and asked if I would put it up on the blog. Which I said I would, and then promptly lost track of it under a small pile of papers on the table.

So my apologies about the timing; it's my fault.

Now, a message from my lovely wife:

I understand how some people feel about the seal hunt and appreciate their right to feel that way. But I thought some people might like to hear what my Grade 4/5 students in the North think about it.

"I eat the meat. My grandmother makes the best stew."
"We eat what we want and any extra goes to the dogs."
"My aunt made my seal skin hat."

Up here seal skin is used to make a lot of clothing such as boots, mits, parkas, etc. I personally want a pair of mits. There is nothing like it to keep you warm.

Some of my students love "land food." It might be the only meat they get.

Craig back here again. To that I will add this: Critics who say they are fine with the Inuit hunting seals, but are opposed to the gulf hunt miss an important point: The two hunts are linked and saying otherwise displays either ignorance or lack of respect to the Inuit. When the gulf hunt ended in the 80's, no region was more devastated than the North. Hunters who had killed seals and sold their pelts, a tradition that went on for centuries, suddenly found they were literally getting pennies for their efforts. There is ample evidence of the effect it had. Of increased suicide rates, alcoholism, abuse and a variety of other social problems.

If the hunt stops off Newfoundland, the same thing will like happen once again in the North. It will hurt Newfoundland, but people will survive. The consequences for Arctic communities doesn't bear thinking about.

One final thing. We both watched My Ancestors Were Rogues and Murderers Tuesday night and were suitably impressed. Anne Troake crafted a solid documentary. But the one thing that struck me was when she asked Jack Troake about the seal meat being wasted. His response made perfect sense, and yet I'm sure I've never heard it before: Of course it's not wasted. Whatever they don't take goes to the bottom of the ocean and other marine life eat it.

It's arrogance to assume that "no one eats seal" (hello Heather McCartney), just as it's a different kind of arrogance to assume that if humans don't use it, then it's wasted. Nature is awfully efficient at finding a use for most things. We just tend to forget it.

This, by the way, will be the last thing I write on the seal hunt for the foreseeable future. It's simply a topic that always upsets and occasionally enrages me. As it's a state I don't enjoy being in constantly, I think it's time for me to give it a rest.

Currently Playing
Show Your Bones - Yeah Yeah Yeahs


Jason said...

Very good statement by your wife Craig, she should guest write more often. My wife loved her seal skin gloves, they kept her warm many times.

Yes less seals talk, new topics could include:

Ralph Klein: Out of office, will he first get a DUI or bar brawl?

Harper and Flak: What happens when you don't let you wife look at what you are wearing!

Or crazy quotes:

One of the great things about America, one of the beauties of our country, is that when we see a young, innocent child blown up by an IED, we cry."
-- George W. Bush

Tom said...

Jason, is that quote real? Please say no...., but I fear it is.

Jason said...

Sadly yes from featured quote on

Anonymous said...

MacLeans has a story on the East coast seal hunt this week. Just read it earlier this afternoon, and it nicely catches the sealer's perspective.

You can find it online:

But the pics in the printed issue are a nice addition.

regards, cat`

Mireille Sampson said...

I'm a little agnostic on the whole issue, which probably isn't a good thing, maybe political bullshit has worn me out;) I do think hunts make far more sense than factory farming...scratch that, they *do* make more sense, but most people have no idea about the food they buy at the store.

I will argue one point. The thing about the meat not being wasted because marine life eats it. I don't know what critters eat seal (I'm sure it is consumed), but you don't neccessarily want to encourage some types of critters. One of the major problems with fish farming is the proliferation of sea lice. Farms are terrible for this and over on the west coast it's damaging the wild salmon population. Sea lice may also be encouraged by some of our fishing practices: nets left overnight (or never a couple of nights if the weather sucks) end up with sea lice eating some of the fish, but I don't know if this does any real damage to the population as a whole. It certainly doesn't do the damage the fish farms do.