Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I had a comment left on my blog post about the dead seals at Conrad's beach by someone from the Atlantic Canadian Anti-Sealing Coalition, and they (who would have guessed?) disagreed with several things I said in my blog post - and also took umbrage with the way I treated one of the commenters on the blog post as well. So I wanted to make a blog post responding to her comments and give her some feedback on what I think - and also give her some insight into why I don't feel too bad about taking some commenters to task and also responding to her questions. I'll post her comment at the end.

I'll speak to her first problem first - with that being my hostile response to a commenter - who I told to fuck off after asked whether "I was one of these hypocritical pet owners that support the seal hunt on one hand yet are outraged when a dog is clubbed by someone or a cat is microwaved?"

I responded back that obviously they were not a regular reader of my blog or they would know the answer to the question, I admit I have a short fuse when it comes to foolishness like what that person wrote - microwaving a cat is not equal to the seal hunt or the meat industry and I think we can all agree on that, so this person's comment was pure inflammatory bullshit meant to do nothing more than have the effect that it did.

And me merely telling a commenter to fuck off is tame compared to what other bloggers do when they get pissed off. There is another blogger - some readers of this blog will know him - a certain Jeff De La Rosa - who when you leave a comment on his blog that he doesn't like - he actually tracks your IP address and will then block you and send you to another website that tickles his fancy - like to the Wickipedia page for "Jerk" which is where his blog sent me this morning when I clicked on to go there. So a "fuck off" now and then is actually quite tame. I only wish I was as smart as Mr. De La Rosa so that I could figure out how to block people from my blog and send them somewhere else - that is so beautifully passive aggressive - and the only person who would know that I'd done that was the person themselves - no public swear words needed at all. But alas, I am not that smart. So to get any satisfaction I just have to continue to publicly embarass myself.

It also alludes to another section of the comment left by the unnamed person from the anti-sealing coalition when they said -

"Take all the seal pups off the ice and replace them with puppies. Is it still okay to shoot those puppies in the body, then as they're screaming in pain and fear to stab them through the face with a gaff and haul them across the ice, hurl them into the boat onto a pile of dead and dying puppies?"

I have actually written about this quite extensively on this blog. And I just went back and read all the posts - and wow, there's some good stuff there.

If you've got 10 minutes you should go read these posts -


They are all about my philosphy about the meat industry, the fur industry, eating meat - and what it's got to do with dogs, seals and everything in between - but in there I also say the following -

"I don't agree with the seal hunt! I also don't agree with baby cows being kept in blacked out stalls and force fed for a couple weeks and then being carried out to
slaughter. That's what I meant when I said it's all bad. And I don't think geography should have anything to do with a person's calling to a cause - you obviously have a connection with the seals, and the seals definitely need people to save them. And there are definitely people here trying to do that too. The organization that I know about is because it's a Nova Scotia organization and it's the seals that I see dead on the beaches. I should probably also explain that I'm not episcopalian but Buddhist so maybe my take on life and death is a little more fluid. I don't see death as being such a big thing and know that it can happen at any moment and I think it's just all part of the ebb and flow. My dogs having a good rub on the dead seals is just a part of the beach experience if you know what I mean. So in my email yesterday I wasn't condoning the seal hunt - I was
saying that it was on par with all the other factory farm operations going on in the world in everyone's back yard - including the back yards of Virginia. This hunt just happens to be going on in my back yard. But it's like I said at the beginning of my email, I don't think that saviours have to do with geography - you can save the seals
even though you live in Virginia - and I don't need to live in Nova Scotia to save the seals."

I think that when I write about things like the seal hunt that I am misunderstood by people because I don't give the background on my personal philosphy each time I talk about things.

If it WAS indeed a puppy instead of a seal out on the ice floes that was being bludgeoned - I would actually NOT see a difference or have a different feeling about the situation. I see all animals the same - puppies, seals, cows, pigs, humans.

I have said many times that the only reason why we don't have cows as companion animals is because they don't fit in our beds at night. People think I'm crackers for good reasons. But I can tell you for sure it's not because I'm a speciesist.

What I have a problem with is the anger that the anti-sealing organizations put towards put out and the millions of dollars that corporations are making and all they are doing is generating hate.

And one evil doesn't justify another - they're all equally bad. But none of them are going to be going away, because life is cheap, and the world is basically an evil place - and there's no value - for any side - in stopping any of these industries. How much money would HSUS, HSI and PETA lose if the sealing industry stopped? They'd lose a lot more than the sealers would. But that is just an aside.

Every species of animal on the planet has a segment of it that is abused by humans in some way. Whether it's a cat being microwaved or a grey seal being "culled" on Hay Island with no one noticing, or the whale and dolphin massacre on Faroe Islands that NO ONE hears about, or the dogs in the Phillipines that get eaten before ever having had a human touch them in a companion animally kind of way, or whether it's humans getting killed because someone doesn't like the look in their eye - life is nasty, brutish and short.

I have to laugh when you say that my tert comment to the anonymous poster detracts from my credibility - if my credibility was diminished everytime someone said that my credibility was gone because of something that I had just written - I'd be at like minus one million in the credibility scale right now. Whether or not I have credibility matters so little to me that you'd be amazed - writing this blog and what happens out in the real world are two desperately disparate things - this blog is an illusion - it doesn't actually exist - and the person who writes it doesn't exist either, and to confuse the two is a mistake of grandiose proportions on whomever's part decides to do that.

And if you want to dig in a bit - I don't really take any stock in a commenter who won't leave their real name - I always find that to be completely cowardly - so I don't really take anything seriously that an anonymous poster posts anyway - and I notice that even the Atlantic Anti-sealing poster didn't leave a name - although the comment goes to a profile that goes to a blog that has like 10 posts - from way back in 2007 - TWO YEARS AGO - sort of old news.... shit, I hate to end this post on such a downer.

Okay, I'll put one more thing - about my dogs loving to rub on dead seal - they'll eat cat shit if they can get some - dogs are very resilient, and if your dog's immune system is good and healthy - they can take quite a bit of stuff - rolling on top of stuff - NOT INGESTING things - is okay for some dogs - it's up to you as a dog owner to know what's okay for YOUR DOGS. My dogs - who are double coated breed type dogs - can handle a good bit of smelly, stinky stuff and have a lot of fun leading boistrous, messy lives - because they then go roll in nice clean sand and get dirty and rub the stuff off - they've rolled in shit, unnameable gooey stuff, seaweed, rocks, salt, mud, skanky mud, skanky grass - if it stinks, they've rolled in it - dead porcuipine - you name it. And they're still alive. Your dog might be dead if they rolled in the same stuff. Maybe my dogs have a 4 leaf clover stuck up their ass, I don't know. But I figure - I'm here for a good time, not a long time. I've also written a blog post about that - but I won't bore you with the link to that post.

Here is her original comment -

Joan, I was reading your blog entry on the grey seals washing up on Conrad Beach and past posts about similar incidents and had hoped that I may have a conversation with you on that subject since I've been working on the grey seal issue for a few years and was at Conrad Beach yesterday to examine the seals and to speak to media, but I fear after reading your response to Anonymous that it would be impossible to have a coherent discussion with you. I'm shocked to be quite honest at your hostile response to Anonymous's post. Telling him/her to f**k off? Come now, I think you need to either disable commenting abilities on your posts if you are intolerant of having your views questioned, or take a deep breath before replying. I think personally that Anonymous had a valid question. I think Anonymous simply touched a nerve because you are indeed one of those people who has different degrees of comfort with animal cruelty, depending on species. They're called speciesists.

I would like to point out that you are incorrect in saying that HSUS doesn't care about grey seals. HSUS got involved in the NS grey seal issue two years ago when Rebecca Aldworth came to document with me the killing of grey seal pups on Hay Island, a protected wilderness area in Cape Breton. We documented the slaughter to make public what had been happening in secret for years on islands across Nova Scotia. Up until then, many people were not even aware it was happening each year, and the media didn't want to report it. As director of the Atlantic Canadian Anti-Sealing Coalition, one of my goals was to bring awareness to the world of the plight of NS grey seals, and HSUS and HSI Canada have helped me in this regard. HSUS and HSI returned to NS this year to document the slaughter of grey pups. Believe me, they are not "making money" on grey seals but they remain committed to helping end the slaughter. If you accompanied HSUS and HSI in their work and saw how committed they are, how they put their lives in danger to save the animals they seek to protect ('cute' or 'ugly', it doesn't matter to them) you would not make such quick judgments or such scathing accusations. HSUS works on a multitude of campaigns. Unfortunately they cannot tackle every single issue. It is unrealistic to expect them to be able to do that.

Yes, what happens in slaughterhouses is evil. But one evil does not justify another. All animal cruelty should be addressed. Take all the seal pups off the ice and replace them with puppies. Is it still okay to shoot those puppies in the body, then as they're screaming in pain and fear to stab them through the face with a gaff and haul them across the ice, hurl them into the boat onto a pile of dead and dying puppies? Or bludgeon them on the head, kick them onto their back, club them in the face, then slice them open before they're even dead? By your logic, it would be acceptable to do this to puppies simply because slaughterhouses are cruel too. Now, remove the pigs and chickens from slaughterhouses and replace them with dogs. Is it still okay to eat that hamburger?

It's not a good idea to assume anti-sealers wear leather and eat meat. Many, like me, are vegan. Banging on about slaughterhouses, calling people hypocrites and telling them to f**k off simply because they question your views takes away your credibility and will make people hesitant to engage you in meaningful dialogue or debate. Again, if you're not interested in having your views questioned, you should disable commenting or take a deep breath before you hit that 'submit' key and think about whether you really want to tell someone who is taking the time to read your blog to f**k off.

And I also wanted to warn you in case you were serious about your dog rubbing against a dead are aware of the host of diseases and parasites carried by seals, right? Animals on fur farms have died after eating seal carcasses. Sealers can contract serious illness and infection from contact with infected seals. If I had a dog, I would steer well clear of that beach until the carcasses are gone and would demand DFO remove them immediately, as they are a public health hazard.

It's really unfortunate you are so hostile to anti-sealing campaigners. I would've liked to discuss the matter of dead grey seals with you. If you're interested in reading more about the truth behind the grey seal kill in Nova Scotia please feel free to visit our website at:


  1. Joan, I wanted to clarify about the 'anonymous' comments you made. As you say, clicking on my username (it's 'Atlantic Canadian Anti-Sealing Coalition', not 'Atlantic Anti-Sealing', btw) takes you to my profile page which shows my name quite clearly. The 10 posts were from my days observing the commercial seal hunt in 2007 - the *only* purpose for which I started that blogger acct. After that I posted subsequent HuntWatch journals and other seal-related feature stories right on the Coalition website. I didn't want to post on your blog as 'anonymous' so logged in to my old blogger account. What's the big deal about that? Clearly, it is a big deal to you since you felt the need to devote your final paragraph to the fact that my blog was "old news". I had provided you with a link to the Coalition website and invited you to check us out. You could've simply visited the link with which I provided you and gotten all the current information about me and about the Coalition that you'd wanted, instead of complaining about my blog being "old news".

    Also, about your dogs not ingesting any of the bloated rotting seal carcasses - I'm assuming then that after taking the photo of Buttercup with "seal oil" all over her face, you wiped that off so she didn't ingest it, right? I strongly urge you to educate yourself as to diseases carried by marine mammals, some of which are transmittable to terrestrial animals. Strength of immune system is irrelevant here; it's just basic commonsense - marine mammals carry nasty diseases and can pose a public health hazard, particularly when they're dead and rotting. You posted the link to the Grey Seal Conservation Society website on your blog twice recently -- I think you might want to read what they have to say about brucellosis, etc. before letting your dogs near seal carcasses again. You're unnecessarily putting the lives of your dogs at risk.

    Joan, I've read your blogs in the past - your blog was recommended to me a couple of years ago by a work colleague, as I was told you were "an animal lover" and I would enjoy your writings. To be honest, when I visited your blog and read your some of your entries I was surprised this person thought I would be interested in the vitriol and barbs you sling, so stopped reading. I can see from your recent blogs that you haven't matured. Maybe one day you can respond to someone without swearing, being personally offensive and coming across as an extremely immature 13 year old.

    (and here we are, since you like all responses signed personally it would seem:)
    Bridget W. Curran
    Atlantic Canadian Anti-Sealing Coalition

  2. Yes, that photo of Buttercup with the seal oil all over her was pretty gross, wasn't it? That was a couple days right after hurricane Juan and I still didn't have any power in the place I was living at the time and she had actually crawled inside the dead and bloated seal - and I think even she was grossed out after she did it. That was pretty bad. I suppose we were all lucky to have lived through that one.

    I suppose that I am just an immature 13 year old, but that is what blogs are for, and I don't pretend I'm trying to do much more than aspire to more than that.

    When you read my blog - you get out of it what you want. People love me, or they hate me. There's not too much in between - if you catch me on a good day - you'll like what I write and then you're willing to give me the benefit of the doubt from then on in - but if you catch me on a day like you obviously have - then you think I'm a trite adolescent.

    Probably neither is true, and what is probably true is that out in the real world we are on the same side of the fight - but egos are very hard things to overcome, so hopefully if we ever meet you won't recognize me.

    Good luck to you.


  3. I changed my mind when I was just driving home. I don't think that I'm probably on the same side, because if you're on the side of HSI, and HSUS and PETA then you're probably on the side of people who believe that companion animals aren't something that should be continued in our culture - and I know I personally couldn't survive WITHOUT companion animals. So I think we probably would not get along poliitically. From the little you've written here - and I do have to admit that I did not go to your Coalition website - I only went to your blogger account - you seem to be a bit uptight - I also saw you on the tv - and there's no doubt you're passionate.

    See - I can make broad judgements about a person just like you have about me.

    And another thing - blogs are very narcissistic things to begin with - you have to take that into account to when you're reading them. Take that for what you want.

    I really do not give a flying fig in the long run what anyone thinks one way or the other about the shit that I write - I feel compelled to write it, and I'll continue to do it, whether or not you agree with what I've said. That's the nature of the medium.