Another Post About the Seal Hunt that’s not Really About the Seal Hunt

I’ve been busy on other projects and as I am still awaiting answers from a few organisations involved, I will hold off from discussing some of the questions vis-à-vis PETA that I previously raised in my last post but as promised, this entry will continue on the subject of the controversial seal hunt; instead I’ll provide examples of some of the zealous attitudes I’ve brought up and question their validity.

Below are two comments that had been posted in response to a pro-PETA article and their recent activities against the seal hunt. I’ve chosen these since they plainly represent two extremes of the flawed ‘emotional’ thinking I previously talked about.

1. the sealers are sick people, who need to be clubbed in the head once and awhile, maybe they would think twice about doing it to a helpless animal. It's worst then watching the chain saw mascara! Jesus Christ said: "the love of money is the root of evil". That's what the seal hunt is, evil straight from hell, this is not from God! Be sure that, their evil will not be overlooked by their Creator, He will judge them some day and punish them for what they are doing. It would be best if they where to stop now!

2. How do you think these people feel when they find out a source of income has been taken away by someone who has seen only pictures and heard stories from other people about what goes on there? Or do you care solely about how the animals feel?. To quote Penn from Penn and Teller "I would kill every chimpanzee in the world, if it could save one person with AIDS or MS."

The first one particularly annoys me; there’s no logical argument being presented here. Putting my own religious views aside, this comment nonetheless demonstrates ignorance and I seriously question anyone that invokes religion while in the same breath, voices a clear lack of tolerance; Jesus Christ certainly would not have said anything about anyone needing to take a beating once in a while (nor “once and awhile”)… I do however recall him saying something about “turning the other cheek,” and I’m quite certain that if one were to bother, at least five biblical quotes to contradict hers could be dug up within ten minutes
My question to this person is: Do you eat meat or eggs, drink milk or coffee, wear wool, leather or fur, use cosmetics, and support brands with manufacturing plants in third-world countries? When this person cooks her Thanksgiving turkey, roasts her Christmas lamb and boils her Easter ham, is she willing to admit that she’s encouraging others to act in an even more vile way than what the sealers are doing? When she buys that pack of chicken breasts, is this person aware that she’s supporting an industry that mistreats animals from the time they are born right up to their death. Do I need to say more? By her own logic, should vegans pump her full of steroids, force her to live in her own excrements, burn off her nose and cut portions of her skin and… once in a while so she’d think twice about encouraging industries that do all that for her?
Plus, the “watching the chain saw mascara” bit is really funny! So much I could say about that, but I’ll assume it’s just a typo…

The second comment raises some of the points forcing me to re-question my stance on this topic and the arguments seemed fairly coherent until I read that last sentence—I should mention here that I included only the last half of the comment just to give you an idea of the context in which it was stated. In the first place, can we really compare the seal hunting communities’ economic situation to that of an Aids or MS sufferer’s? More importantly, such a belief, that an entire species of animals is worth sacrificing just to save one human, is the kind of raciocentric thinking that is a keystone to attitudes that have permitted hate crimes and genocides throughout history. Why?
Anyone who believes in the viability of such an action cannot possibly assign any importance to theories of symbiosis and that a drastic shift in our flora or fauna can severely affect our fragile eco-equilibrium; rather than seeing humans as an integral part of a life-supporting system, humans dominate a linear hierarchy of increasingly less important sub-classes. Unfortunately, this way of thinking usually implies a belief in further hierarchical divisions within the classes themselves that lends itself well to theories of racial superiority.
As such, our general definition of well-being increasingly confuses superficial needs—any heightened mental state we’ve come to associate with the possession of material goods—with those vital, basic Maslow-nian needs; the richer and more technologically advanced a population is, the more this seems to be the case. As such, this stance is also greatly responsible for the deplorable living conditions we’ve created for ourselves through the slow replacement of our natural environment in lieu of an increasingly synthetic one.
Notions of superiority are also brought up to justify self-destructive attitudes as well as callous, intolerant behaviour towards members of our own species, which are usually motivated by greed and jealousy.
Further, this comment goes beyond ignorance to be just plain silly when you consider the context in which it is made. This person complains that others do not understand the economic importance seal hunting represents to these communities… and sees it fit to strengthen his point with a comment that clearly shows a lack of understanding in regards to the economic affects the annihilation of chimps would surely bring on!

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© 2009, Pascal-Denis Lussier

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