Thursday, March 2, 2006

Paul McCartney's in town to have his picture taken with baby seals

As I've said many times - I am anti-seal hunt. I'm also anti-cow, anti-pig, and anti-chicken. I'm also very anti-spin.

It seems to me that the anti-seal hunt people must be very low on cash this year because there's no ice out on the ocean - so they've had to bring in the really big guns like Paul McCartney and Heather Mills to have their pictures taken with baby white coated seals - which is exactly what the press releases say. But the spin doctors also say that those are the seals that the hunters are killing - that the McCartney's have come to watch the carnage of the seal hunt - but the thing is that there is no seal hunt - there is no ice, there is no seal hunt. Even the McCartney's can't go watch the seals because the ice is too thin for them to land their helicpoters. And the baby seals they want to go hug can't be killed because the law forbids it. The hunters have to wait until the seals have lost their white cute coats.

So it's all bullshit spin. But I can absolutely guarantee you that in a couple weeks I am going to get an email from Rebecca Aldworth asking me for money to help end the barbaric seal hunt and it's going to have a picture of Paul McCartney with a baby white coated seal somewhere in the shot - and 1000's of people are going to give their hard earned dollars to the HSUS because of that email, thinking that they are helping to end some atrocity. They aren't. All they are doing is coating the pockets of any business - a business that needs income just like any other - and this is the way they make it. It disgusts me that they make it off the backs of the seals this way - they just don't stick a hekapik through the forehead of the seals - but if the seal hunt was banned - what would they do then? They'd have to go find a real job too. Think about that for a second.

When you get the same email from Rebecca Aldworth that I'm going to get - don't give your money to her - give it to a local rescue in your geographical area - so that you can see where the money is going and see the concrete effects that your money is going to have. Or even better - give money to an organization that is trying to end the torture of all the millions of food animals that goes on under your nose and in your backyard everyday.

There isn't going to be a seal hunt this year because there is no ice on the east coast of Canada - The McCartneys are unable to fly a helicopter out to hug a baby seal and get their photo-op because of it - I'm sure the seals are more than happy that they won't have to deal with the seal hunters AND the McCartney's and their entourage!!

Here's the news stories that have been in the local news for your enjoyment:

Let them be: McCartneys coming to protest seal hunt

By CHRIS LAMBIE Staff Reporter

Animal rights activists hope the Canadian government listens to what the man says when Sir Paul McCartney comes to the Maritimes this week to speak out against the seal hunt.

While the cute Beatle and his wife Heather will be based on Prince Edward Island during their two-day stay slated to begin Thursday, organizers say the couple will also touch down in Nova Scotia.

"His feet will walk right over Nova Scotia soil, I can guarantee that," said Rebecca Aldworth, director of Canadian wildlife issues for the Humane Society of the United States.

Officials are keeping details of exactly when that will happen closely guarded for security reasons.

"At least on the way back he’ll certainly be going through Nova Scotia," Ms. Aldworth said.

Fans hoping to catch a glimpse of Sir Paul will need a little luck to make the whole thing work out.

"We’re actually not allowed to release their location at all," Ms. Aldworth said.

"They will be out in this neck of the woods. But how they’re getting here, their security people won’t let us say to anybody. … It’s important that they keep their location fairly discreet."

One of McCartney’s websites says he and his wife plan "to observe beautiful, pure white newborn harp seal pups, sentenced to death by the Canadian seal hunt."

According to the website,, the McCartneys want the federal government to direct sealers to let the pups be.

"Heather and Paul will be calling on the new Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, to stop this brutal commercial hunt," says the website.

Protest organizers will take the couple out in a helicopter to see seals.

"We will be showing them the newborn seals and, of course, they’ll be filmed and photographed with them," Ms. Aldworth said.

Ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where the seals normally give birth, has been thin this winter due to unusually mild weather. A recent cold snap has caused some ice to form.

"Right now there is landable ice out there and about 30 per cent of the seal pups have been born," Ms. Aldworth said.

"So there will be seals to see and ice to land on. The only question really in the longer term is how long that will hold, and whether or not it will hold through the hunt."

The McCartneys want to see "the beauty and majesty of baby seals on the ice floes that are their birthing ground," said John Grandy, senior vice-president of the humane society.

They’ll make at least two trips out to the ice, said the biologist.

"We’re hoping that the support of people like Paul McCartney and his wife Heather will help bring worldwide attention to this travesty," Mr. Grandy said. "This is really an abomination."

Not everybody will be welcoming the couple with open arms.

"I think it would be a good idea for him to mind his own business," said Jason Mac-Donald, a lobster fisherman and seal hunter in Merigomish, Pictou County.

"The only reason it’s a big deal is seals look cute and cuddly."

Sealing is a legitimate industry that requires a two-year apprenticeship, said the 32-year-old.

"It’s not just grab a club and go beat a seal and you’re a seal hunter.

"It’s no more or less humane than any other harvest or slaughter of animals."

Hunters aim to crush a seal’s skull with one blow, he said.

"They’re not barbarians that just climbed out of a tree," Mr. MacDonald said. "They’re guys trying to provide for their families."

Animal rights groups that bring in stars to pose for photos with baby seals have another agenda, he said.

"Every once in a while they need to raise some money so they come take some pictures of these poor innocent little things getting killed," Mr. MacDonald said.

and from today's Chronicle Herald:

Conditions may leaveMcCartney on thin ice

By ALISON AULD The Canadian Press

Paul McCartney might have to tread lightly when he and his entourage of five helicopters touch down on the ice floes off Prince Edward Island to stage a high-profile protest against the annual seal hunt.

The legendary musician was hoping to take his wife Heather, a contingent of international media and animal rights activists to a barren stretch of ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence today to catch a glimpse of newborn seal pups, but the ice pans are much thinner than usual this year.

"I’d be a bit leery about landing a heavy machine like that, loaded with people, on ice that should be a bit thicker in terms of safety," Frank Ring, spokesman for the federal Fisheries Department said Wednesday.

Organizers of the trip were prevented from flying over the area Wednesday because of bad weather.

Rebecca Aldworth, spokeswoman for the Humane Society of the United States, said the group was trying to figure out what to do if the weather or the ice conditions remain poor.

Earlier, the society’s Andrew Plumbley said portions of ice off P.E.I.’s northern coast seemed to be thickening up after a recent cold snap.

"We are keeping our fingers crossed," Plumbley said from Charlottetown, where the couple is expected to be based in an undisclosed location.

"We’re checking the ice just to make sure because obviously we don’t want Paul McCartney ending up in the water."

McCartney was spotted Wednesday afternoon at the airport in St. John’s, N.L., before he and his wife boarded a flight for Halifax.

Meanwhile, Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams said he’s disappointed and annoyed by McCartney’s visit, adding he would like to meet the aging rock star to correct misinformation about the harvest.

"I am assuming McCartney has never . . . taken the time to be educated about the positive facts surrounding our annual seal harvest," Williams said in a statement Wednesday.

"I find it offensive and insulting that an individual with such international influence would come to our province and pass judgment on individuals who are participating in an industry that sustains their lives."

At least 70 per cent of the seals killed during the hunt are taken from the ice floes in a remote area north of Newfoundland.

But protesters rarely travel to the area, known as the Front, because the smaller hunt in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is much easier to reach.

Organizers say McCartney plans to travel to the ice to "interact" with the doe-eyed pups as part of a larger international campaign by the Humane Society and British-based Respect for Animals to have the controversial hunt stopped.

But McCartney will have to keep his hands to himself and avoid getting too close to the sometimes cantankerous creatures because federal regulations prohibit people from disturbing marine mammals "unless authorized to do so under a valid licence."

"That means people shouldn’t be touching them," said Ring, adding that violations can lead to charges.

Category: [Sealing]

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:54 PM

    Joan, you're being really bitchy, you're playing into the hands of animal abusers by saying the HSUS has no right to take issue with this, because however they make their money they ARE putting it to good use. Of course they go where they're going to have attention paid to them. And then they take that money and put it to use where it can be most effective.

    Compare the pockets of the people employed by HSUS and other humane education orgs, to say, lobbyists for the animal flesh and pelt trade in Canada? Bet there's QUITE a discrepancy. Meanwhile Canada's cruelty laws are still over 100 years old, and they aren't going to be changing over the next four years, that's for sure!