Monday, January 10, 2005

Am I Philosophically Wrong Somewhere?

I had an email today from a lady in the States who was asking me about the seal hunt and what I thought about it as a Canadian and what other Canadians thought abou it. She said in the States many people were appalled by it and were doing things to try and put a stop to it and she was wondering if we were doing anything to work towards working towards banning it and if there was anything in the media locally while the seal hunt was going on during the hunt in March.

I emailed her back what I thought and I don't think it was the reply she was expecting. It was my standard reply when talking about any kind of animal rights type thing though - I really don't see any kind of difference between any species - seals are no better than any other - so it's wonderful that she's fighting to stop the killing of seals, someone's got to do it. Maybe I should have said that in my email. But I really can't understand why people are so horrified at the seal hunt and not horrified at a pig abbatoire and then at the bacon they're eating. Every time I eat bacon I think of the pig that died for it and realize that my body has become his graveyard and I am suffering the consequences of it. It's like it's faulty logic. So please tell me if I'm completely wrong in thinking that way. That it's okay to kill a cow, but not okay to kill a seal. So this is the email I sent back to the lady:

Hi there Heather - thanks for your email! You know it's interesting -
living so close to what the rest of the world views as such an
atrocity and feeling myself that I'm an animal lover - and a lover of
every species equally - cows, pigs, dogs, mosquitoes, seals -
everything. When a mosquito bites me in the summer I don't kill it, I
just blow it off because I realize that once it starts biting me that
the amount of swelling won't be any different if I kill it or if I
blow it off, so what difference does it make to me? But it makes a
big difference to the mosquito! Sometimes I don't notice that it's a
mosquito that's biting me though and I think it's just an itch so I go
to scratch it and inadvertently kill the little guy - and that bothers
me - and then I apologize to him and wish him better luck in his next
life. That's about all I can do, really.

Because I'm so close to the seal atrocity I actually see dead seals on
a regular basis. Fishermen see seals - grey seals in particular as
being a threat to their fishing life and when they see them out on the
ocean they shoot them - and it's perfectly legal - so seals wash up on
the shore of the beaches here quite regularly. If you go back through
the "blog" that i posted an entry from this morning you'll see a post
called "who's shooting the seals off Sambro head" which has some
pictures of a seal that I took this past fall at a beach that I go to
all the time with my dogs - there were 3 dead seals there at that
time. There's a couple new ones there now. That's because off the
shore of that beach is a particularly luctrative fishing spot.

My take on the whole thing is that seals aren't any different than
cows or dogs or chickens or you or me. They have as much right to
life as anything else - just because they have big pretty eyes doesn't
mean they deserve to live any more than anything else - and they don't
deserve to die anymore than anything else either! I don't imagine
their life or death is any more or less horrible than veal cows. It's
all bad. All bad. Horrible. But that's my own thoughts on it - I
don't see any difference between killing a cow or killing a dog for
food - it all depends on your culture as to what you think of it. The
culture in Newfoundland sees nothing wrong with killing a seal, and
the native community sees nothing wrong with it either. I see all 3
as being equally reprehensible. To some they're all livestock.

So you also asked whether the local media covers very much of the
local hunt and what local people think about it. I'd say it's made up
mostly of mass confusion. The east coast of Canada by and large made
most of it's money from tourism and the fishery, but for some reason
all the fish went away and nobody can figure out why. Some people
think the seals ate them all - so they decided to kill the seals to
make the fish come back. It's as simple as that to a lot of people.
They prefer not to think about the ugly stuff. But the media doesn't
cover the seal hunt very much - only when outsiders come in and cause
trouble does anything get covered. If Greenpeach comes in and does
something - that'll get covered. But if there's blood and guts and
normal seal hunt stuff - none of that gets covered. That's just
normal stuff - there's no outrage at what goes on normally. Because
that's just normal practice. No one freaks out at normal practice at
an abattoire - that's because it doesn't happen out in public - like
the seal hunt does. That's one of the problems with it - they can't
run and hide from the media. They can't clean the blood off of the
ice floes. So they're also an easy target. But I am not sticking up
for them either! I'm just making an easy point.

You have unfortunately come upon someone who's got a nihilistic
approach to this sort of thing Heather - I see so much suffering in
the world, life is so cheap - millions of cows, chickens, dogs, cats
and sentient beings of every type die torturous deaths every day - the
seals are just a little bit of added white noise to the Canadian daily
life, fabric and soul, sadly. I'm sure we'll be called to pay for it

That's neat that you visited Halifax - it's a great place to live - I
couldn't live away from the ocean, that's for sure. I have to see the
water everyday or I'd be no good! Feel free to reply back if I didn't
answer all your questions!


The response she sent back was:

"Sad thanks"

That was it. So I don't think I gave her the answers she was looking for.


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:48 AM

    good points
    i'm biased (vegetarian)