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Animal Activists.. Idiots.

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The big lie about the harp seal hunt
A challenge to the leading activist's views on the hunt


Paul Watson is an idiot.

Need proof? The famous anti-sealing activist recently compared a hunt for 320,000 harp seals to the Holocaust that killed 6 million Jews.

"I would not have compromised with the Nazi over the fate of the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto and I do not believe in compromising with the thugs who kill these seals," Watson wrote a student at Newfoundland's Memorial University.

The analogy is more offensive to Jews than sealers, but either way it stinks. It also reveals a lot about Watson, a man who sheds the truth like an old pair of shoes when it no longer fits his needs.

Here are the lies at the root of Watson's anti-sealing campaign:

Sealers kill newborn seals. Watson has a picture of a "white coat" baby seal on his website, though he must know that the white coat hunt was banned decades ago.

Sealers kill young seals in front of their mothers. In fact, the mother seals are long gone from the whelping ice by the time the hunt begins.

Seals suffer horribly because they are killed in cruel ways. Not true. Most seals are shot through the head and die instantly. Many animals raised for meat suffer more. Think about crying calves kept perpetually tied up to make tender veal, geese force-fed to fatten their livers, cattle penned in horrid feedlots.

The seal hunt is the "largest slaughter of a mammalian species." Not even remotely close to true. In Canada alone, more than 3.2 million cows were slaughtered in the year 2000. That's just one country, one species, and a death toll 10 times greater than the seal hunt.

The hunt is subsidized by Canada. Not true. Sealers can't even use their time at sea to qualify for unemployment insurance. The Coast Guard does patrol the ice where the hunt takes place (partly to make sure kooks like Paul Watson behave), but if that patrol is a subsidy, then so are RCMP patrols on major highways. Unlike agriculture and other industries, sealers get no direct subsidies.

The hunt is a "threat to the survival of the species." The harp seal population has exploded in the last 20 years, even as the hunt has grown. For those who don't have a few months to independently evaluate the conflicting studies on this issue, consider this: It is the specific mandate of the World Wildlife Fund to protect endangered species, and it has endorsed the hunt.

The seal hunt is economically wasteful. This is the lie that hurts the most. The communities that depend on the seal hunt for survival are among the poorest in Canada, tiny outports devastated by the collapse of the cod fishery. In some areas, the money brought in by sealing literally keeps the town alive.

Watson recently published a memoir, Seal War! The title is wrong. The battle on the ice is not a seal war. It is a modern-day class war that pits city folk against country folk. Pampered urban warriors are attacking rural subsistence dwellers who have neither the political clout, money nor media savvy to fight back. The victims in this war are not just the seals, but Atlantic Canadians who face one stark option in life: abandon home or figure out a way to pull a livelihood from the sea.

The seal hunt is gory, brutal and dangerous. Humans mistreat seals — and almost every other creature on Earth. Campaigning against the seal hunt allows urbanites to feel the satisfying thrill of righteousness and moral outrage, while risking nothing of their own. Meanwhile, most of them ignore the fact that billions of cows, ducks, chickens, lambs and geese suffer and die each year for the pleasure of their friends and neighbours.


Thank you. I hate activists like this, so its good to see them get thrashed.