Dishonest anti-sealing campaign has done real harm to people
To see a propaganda piece filled with mistruths and flat out lies printed in the Cape Breton
Post was very disappointing (Government Buying Votes with Seal Market Promotion, Letters, Jan. 22). While I fully expect to read opinions in the paper I don’t necessarily agree with, I was not expecting to a letter making assertions that simply aren’t true.
Bridget Curran states that the seal hunt is unpopular with the vast majority of Canadians. The most recent Ipsos Reid poll shows 60 per cent of Canadians support government policy on the seal hunt. Only 23 per cent strongly disagree.
I can understand Curran being misinformed on this point. CTV news reported that the Animal Liberation Front and the Sea Shepherd Society cite a 2004 poll by Ipsos Reid which they say found 71 per cent of Canadians surveyed believed the commer- cial seal hunt should be either banned or limited to seals over one year of age. However, an official at Ipsos Reid found no record of such a poll, according to CTV.
Until contacted by CTV, the Humane Society of the United States cited that same, non-existent poll. Now it cites unidentified polling with the same conclusion.
If the facts aren’t on your side, make up new ones: that’s the motto of these groups.
Curran calls the hunt outdated and unwanted and claims the vast majority oppose it, yet she says the government supports the industry to get votes. How exactly do you get votes by supporting something that is vastly unpopular?
Curran states that the Government of Canada hopes to trade inhumanely slaughtered seal pups for Chinese cats and dogs skinned alive.
Now that is appalling! But it’s not true.
Hunting baby seals, so-called whitecoats, has been banned since 1987.
The Post included the Curran’s website address (www.antisealingcoalition.ca), so I took a look. And right there on the main page are pictures of whitecoats, baby seals that have been protected for 23 years.
This kind of deceptive propaganda has achieved results in places like Europe and the U.S. where the people are uninformed about the sealing industry but it won’t work here. We know better. Curran should try a new tactic.
A 2002 report in the Canadian Veterinary Journal found that “the large majority of seals taken during this hunt … are killed in an acceptably humane manner,” according to CBC News. This study found that 98 per cent of hunted seals it examined had been killed properly.
The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans cites this study among others as proof that the hunt opponents are wrong in their accusations of widespread cruelty. The Canadian Veterinary Journal is hardly an advocacy group for the sealing industry. I trust its findings.
I am certainly opposed to the harvest of endangered species but seals are nowhere near endangered. If there is a commercial benefit to harvesting non-endangered species, we should exploit it. All opponents to seal harvests who are not vegans are hypocrites.
Don’t hurt the seals! But it’s OK to kill cows, pigs, lambs, chickens, turkeys, fish. I understand that the sight of red blood on white snow is dramatic but do you think it’s any different in the slaughterhouse your hamburger came from?
I can respect a vegan’s position against the seal hunt. Everyone else who opposes the seal hunt is engaged in cognitive dissonance.
Radical animal rights groups such as PETA, Sea Shepherd and Curran’s Atlantic Canadian Anti-- Sealing Coalition have caused real harm to people I know.
I live in Cape Breton now but I spent 25 years in Nunavut and Nunavik, among the Inuit. My wife is Inuit.
The vilification of seal harvesters off Newfoundland has destroyed people’s livelihoods, both on the east coast and in the north. The Inuit culture suffered dramatically from the collapse of the fur industry caused by the lies and propaganda of radical animal rights groups.
I invite you to look at the rates of violence, substance abuse and suicide in the north, and ask yourself if maybe these people no longer being able to support themselves, living in poverty and dependent on welfare from the south, has something to do with their social problems.
Real people have died and real people continue to suffer because of people like Curran.
David Pembroke lives in New Victoria.