General Question

dannyc's avatar

What do you think of the Canadian seal hunt?

Asked by dannyc (5223points) May 28th, 2009

Our governor general, Michelle Jean, is in huge hot water with some, or a heroine to others, for daring to engage with Inuit natives in the ritual of eating of the seal. (google it you will see the video). I have a strong opinion on this, but am seeking your answers. Perhaps it will change my view,,,or perhaps not.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

33 Answers

JONESGH's avatar

It’s horrible. Everyone should sign the petition at

dannyc's avatar

@JONESGH . May I ask if you are against the killing of all animals..

Blondesjon's avatar

It think a much less dangerous, and lucrative, alternative is the Hustler beaver hunt.

i’m pretty sure that particular hunt is seal fatality free

Tink's avatar

Eating a seal?! Thats horrible

crisw's avatar

I think it is an atrocity that has gone on for far too long.

I think the Canadian government is being ridiculously recalcitrant in expecting the EU and the US to go along with such barbarism.

I believe that the seals are being used as scapegoats for the decline in the cod fishery that has actually been caused by mismanagement and overfishing.

I belive that the Inuits are being used solely as PR window dressing. Inuit hunting is not covered under the EU ban, and most sealing is not done by Inuits.

I believe that most people don’t realize that the seals are being killed not just for their fur or meat for human consumption, but also for things like their penis bones (for Chinese nostrums), their oil (for paints and other industrial applications) or for pet food (the meat is processed in China and Taiwan.)

dannyc's avatar

@crisw . Are you against killing of cows or pigs as well? I am asking only to see if your answer would similarly be against any killing of animals?

crisw's avatar


You must not read my posts around here much, nor have you read my profile :>)

At any rate, the answer to that question is irrelevant. If a practice is unethical, it’s unethical, no matter the personal foibles of those presenting the arguments.

Oh- and I forgot to mention in my list above- the sealing industry is heavily subsidized by the Canadian government, as well.

dannyc's avatar

@crisw , I prefer not to read people’s profile as that will bias my assesment of their answers, in my opinion. My question was an honest one, so was not irrelevant to me, may I humbly submit. If you could answer it, I would be grateful. if you don’t wish to, i respect that. I am searching for an answer. Do not assume I do not agree with you.

Tink's avatar

@crisw – I just added you to my fluther after reading your profile =)

crisw's avatar

I’ve been a vegetarian and animal rights activist for 26 years. So yes, I am against the exploitation of any sentient animal.

dannyc's avatar

@crisw . Thanks. I greatly respect that philosophy.

Facade's avatar

If that’s their culture then so be it. Many people celebrate by eating.

Response moderated
crisw's avatar


So animal torture is OK as long as it’s part of someone’s “culture”?

dannyc's avatar

I will throw out one argument made in support of this hunt by its proponents. Native people who hunt strictly for food and protein, with their great respect for nature, should be allowed to continue the practice to sustain their way of life, which was in balance with the seals till the white man plundered.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I don’t believe in hunting if it is not out of necessity but some creatures need to hunt to survive. For example, I can’t hate sharks because they eat seals.

However killing an animal out of tradition is deplorable. As I understand it though, the Inuit eat seal. They are hunters. I don’t think they’re like people who live in Oregon who hunt for sport and for cheap thrills at the expense of other living creatures.

I’m not going to be the one to tell the Inuit that they have to leave their culture behind so they can live in the suburbs and shop at Safeway after stopping at Tim Hortons for coffee and donuts.

dannyc's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic . You have hit the nail on the head, it is their way of life. Yet another side of me is undecided, hence the question.

rooeytoo's avatar

@dannyc – I tend to agree with that, but when indigenous people are given rights and privileges that are not available to all residents, it often tends to create more racism on the part of those denied the privilege.

I don’t have the answer, I am just saying what I have observed.

dannyc's avatar

@rooeytoo . But given our North American treatment of indigenous people, perhaps even more so in Canada, should we not give them some benefit of the doubt? I daresay that would we treat out resources with the respect of the native peoples of North America, we would not be in the environmental mess we are in..but how can we reconcile it..not sure. I do agree with crisw that there are some deep government hypocrisy at work as well.

Darwin's avatar

Is this the hunt where people beat cute little furry white seal babies with big brown eyes to death with sticks? Or is this some other form of seal hunt?

crisw's avatar

“Native people who hunt strictly for food and protein, with their great respect for nature, should be allowed to continue the practice to sustain their way of life, which was in balance with the seals till the white man plundered.”

That is an entirely separate issue from the commercial seal hunt, which is what I thought was being discussed here.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Is the hunt to cull the seal population?
Is the hunt for the aboriginals (your topic) to hunt out of reverence for their cultural tradition?
Is the hunt open to all hunters?

Personally, I dislike the idea of hunting for sport unless the kill will be eaten. I understand but also dislike culling animal herds such as the seals, deer and wild horses, wolves, etc. and absolutely hate what I think of as cruel methods of killing such as trapping, bludgeoning, harpooning.

crisw's avatar


“Is the hunt to cull the seal population?”
No. It is a commercial hunt, done for profit.

“Is the hunt for the aboriginals (your topic) to hunt out of reverence for their cultural tradition?”
No. Aboriginal hunts are a different topic. Most of the killing is done by commercial fishermen, not aboriginals.

“Is the hunt open to all hunters?”
No. It isn’t a sport hunt for which you can buy a license, if that is what you mean.

“Personally, I dislike the idea of hunting for sport unless the kill will be eaten.”
Most of the meat is left to rot, or used for pet or fur-farm feed. There is little market for it for human consumption. And, again, it isn’t killing for sport (there is little sport in walking up to and bludgeoning an adolescent seal to death) but for profit.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@crisw: Did you post or did dannyc? Guess it would helped to be able to see link of some sort because I haven’t the foggiest what this post is about.

Hey fluther team, why don’t we have a delete feature for our own comments?

crisw's avatar


I am afraid that I don’t understand your question.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@crisw: You probably don’t understand my question because it was kind of directed at the person who posted to give more details about just what it is their Canadian governor did.

crisw's avatar


You didn’t specify that you wanted responses only from the OP. That wouldn’t be much of a discussion.

AstroChuck's avatar

Canadian? I always thought he was from the UK.

Didnt know Hunt was his last name, either.

dynamicduo's avatar

I love the seal hunt. Whether it’s the commercial hunt or the traditional hunt, it doesn’t matter, they are both as valid as farming any other animal.

First off, they are pests, if left to breed uncontrollably they’ll eat all the fish and throw the arctic ecosystem off balance.

Secondly, the natives have been doing this for hundreds of years, it’s a part of their culture. Who is the rest of the world to judge this? Do you judge bullfighting too? What about veal production? What about many Indians not eating cows?

Third, it’s a food source for the natives. The recent episode with our Governor General was that she visited the natives who then caught a seal, she opened it up with a traditional seal skin cutting knife, and ate a piece of the heart, which is the #1 best piece of the seal and is usually given to the elders or other highly respected individuals. If anything, I give her kudos for eating a piece of a warm heart. I’m not sure if I would find that too appealing.

The outrage over the seal hunt is simply put, hypocrisy, and worse yet international meddling. People find it easy to be offended at the thought of killing cute baby seals, but they have no issues about eating a piece of veal or lamb even though THOSE are cute animals too.

crisw's avatar


“First off, they are pests, if left to breed uncontrollably they’ll eat all the fish and throw the arctic ecosystem off balance.”
So how did they and the Arctic fish stocks manage to survive for hundreds of thousands of years before humans began killing them? Don’t you think any “imbalance” has a lot more to do with human fishng practices? And are you aware that most of the fish seals eat are “trash” fish not consumed by humans?

“Secondly, the natives have been doing this for hundreds of years,”
How many times does it have to be repeated? The commercial hunt is primarily not done by Inuits.

“it’s a part of their culture”
So, is any act sacrosanct the minute it’s part of a “culture”?

“Third, it’s a food source for the natives.”
Again, the meat from the commercial hunt is almost all not used for food.

“The outrage over the seal hunt is simply put, hypocrisy”
Even is it is, what does that matter? An argument is properly judged on its own merits, not on who espouses it. If killing seals for commercial purposes is wrong, it’s wrong no matter whether the person who gives that argument is a strict vegetarian or not.

ubersiren's avatar

@AstroChuck : I got it!!! I’m trying to think of a clever addition including Heidi Klum…

YARNLADY's avatar

As I read the question, assuming the Inuit are doing the hunting for food and their own personal use, I am in favor of it. As the original inhabitants, the do deserve ‘special consideration’. I am a member of the Choctaw Nation, and I see the point of keeping the traditions alive.

It the practice goes beyond that, a commercial slaughter fest, then no.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i am a vegetarian and am into animal rights, so i am against it.
however, i don’t know a lot about it though.
if they are hunting the seals in a humane (well, as humane as killing an animal can be) and respectful way, and are actually doing something with the body (eating it, rather than just doing it for ‘fun’ and ‘tradition’), then why is it any different than killing cows? especially since cows are usually raised in horrible conditions just to eat.
but i don’t really have enough legit information on this to have a well-informed opinion.

the bottom line for me is that i just don’t believe in killing animals for human use when there are so many alternatives to them, and since we’re normally so against killing people. but from a ‘non-vegetarian’ perspective, it depends on what i mentioned above for me.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther