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Forum posts for Oh no! The baby seals!

blah blah blah
Posted by fanoom on Mar 20, 2006
If we don't kill them something else will. As the dominant species of this planet it is our right to kill, plunder, destroy whatever pleases ourselves. At least that's what common thought seems to dictate. Sure, killing ity bity baby seals seems like an incredibly cruel thing to do. They are after all incredibly cute. But have you ever worn a pair of genuine Saskatchewan seal skin underware? (Thanks Super Dave!) Man they're great! Personally I wouldn't mind clubbing a few more for another pair. But seriously boycotting canadian exports because of something that stimilates OUR economy and essiencially doesn't change the population of the species in question doesn't seem all that wrong. Perhaps the better way to do it is to cut down a whole bunch of forest and ruin a bunch of other habitat and start opening seal farms so that way we're farming them (which is OK) rather then "hunting" them.

This whole issue as a whole is not worth our time. If it is about killing animals for food I have this to say. Throughout human evolution there has been different trail and errors (I know it's evolution....) there were herbivorous humans, and omnivorous, the herbivorous did NOT survive because the omnivorous were able to grow larger brains because of the complex protiens eaten from other animals. So if you wish to stifile human evolution go ahead and stop eating meat. I for one would like to give future generations the chance to fix the wrongs that our "enlightened" society has already fucked up and refused to try and right.

My 2 cents
Posted by kristian on Mar 20, 2006
Ya, I don't know about all of this. It does seem that people have very unequal treatment expectations for different animals.

I believe part of the issue here is that there is a border-line over population of seals? And why is that, are their natural predators missing? Is it like deer, that are always over-populated because wolves are endangered? No one cries about deer hunting, and that's just for sport (sure you can eat the meat, but does anyone really want that much venison?). The seal hunters have the added bonus that the pelts are desirable. And the age thing has never made sense to me...people will eat beef but not veal because those are babies. Does the full grown cow meant for the slaughter house lead a full, satisfying life prior to it's death and that's why steak is OK? I think that killing an older seal is equally as terrible as killing the baby seal. But if it needs to be done to control the population, why not kill the babies so you can sell their pelts? Hold on, I need to repeat that because I think it's funny that I wrote that...

"why not kill the babies so you can sell their pelts"

Nice. But if people do feel that strongly about it, I think that the boycotting is a good way to get their point across and make someone take action. Not that I think they will actually be able to pull it off....

And a note about the meat-evolution. I agree that at the time perhaps the herbivores were at a disadvantage for protein sources due to limited availability and ignorance. But now there is no reason why we have to depend on flesh to supply all our protein needs. The source of protein is not important, the body breaks it all down into amino acids and builds them up again into what we need, regardless of where it came from. We know that soybeans are a fantastic source of protein (contain twice as much as red meat) and supply all 8 essential amino acids (meaning the body can use these 8 as building blocks to make the other 14). Refraining from meat does not stop evolution. But, to each his own.

from poe-news
Posted by Miguel on Mar 20, 2006
The facts as I understand them,

(1) There's ~30% unemployment in Newfoundland.
(2) Fishing is one of the only viable industries in the province.
(3) As a result of (2), overfishing is driving the cod population there closer and closer to extinction.
(4) People in Newfoundland are scared shitless, because if the cod disappear then they will be fucked. See (1) and (2).
(5) But... they can't exactly stop fishing. So, what else can be done?
(6) Hey how about seals! Not only are they natural predators of cod, but their pelts are luxury items. Notice how a seal hunt helps to resolve the issues in (1) and (3).
(7) In practice it's excessively cruel, to creatures who are fuzzy and defenseless.

So, how do we fix it?

(a) Ban it altogether. Except then, what about the thousands of Newfoundlanders already living in poverty who rely on the hunt? Is their livelihood less important than the seals?
(b) Regulate the hunt; make sure it's carried out as humanely as possible. But how do you even do that?
(c) Do nothing. Well, that's no good either.

I don't see a solution, but the only thing I know for sure is that the cry to ban it altogether is a knee-jerk appeal to emotion that ignores the underlying issues. Until those issues are resolved, it just seems to be a necessary evil that I honestly can't bring myself to be that upset over, maybe that makes me a bad person. There are far more important problems in the world that don't affect me; I'm not going to cry over this one

One's active, one's passive.
Posted by Thrillhouse on Mar 22, 2006
I believe, as previously stated, the issue is an over-population one. Recently Newfoundland upped the hunt limits on the seals too, which indicates that the over-population problem is getting worse. The hunters themselves probably do it for the money (as opposed to "helping keep the balance") especially because of how poor rural Newfoundland is. Apparently St. John's is really starting to grow, but only St. John's. I agree that killing them is cruel, as killing something inherently is, but I would hope the hunters don't scream and shout and high-five after killing one. I wouldn't know, but if they were then we could probably safely label them evil for all intents and purposes.
As for eating meat, our bodies have evolved from doing it so that we are adjusted to doing it now and our body needs nutrients from it. The fact that we have sharp teeth and flat teeth indicate we're omnivores: It's all about dentition. That being said, I do think that eventually switching the world over to a non-meat diet would be a big step forward. Not just morally, but it would be a big step in agricultural efficiency since it would take way less land to make our food, there'd be less pollution from cow farts, and who knows, maybe we could actually "grow" meat somehow with cloned cow (or whatever) stem cells and "seed" meat. We might not be that far off from being able to do that technologically, but it's just an idea.
The other alternative to letting people hunt seals is not letting them hunt them and letting natural population patterns take over. They'd eventually be over-populated until they experience a drop from not having enough resources to live on and a growing population of predators. I guess you could frame that as whether you kill some now or let some starve later, but that's just one way of looking at it. And that is really morally ambiguous: kill or let them starve. One's active and one's passive. I guess I've made all the points I wanted to make.
Exploding High-Five!

side note
Posted by cosmicfish on Mar 23, 2006
Newfies are my peeps yo.

Most of my family there (which numbers quite high) have to shoot a moose every winter because it's the only way they can eat meat all year. They have jars of seal meat in their cupboards and the grocery store where my Nan lives doesn't even carry cottage cheese!

But it's really beautiful and the people are all really pleasant. I highly recommend being a tourist there.