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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Animal Rights Groups Refuse to Participate in Seal Hunt Discussions

Well folks, this should be an interesting week in the city of St. John’s. Canada’s easternmost city will be playing host this week to a conference on the future of the Atlantic seal hunt. Meetings are scheduled to take place between members of the federal government, harvesters, fisheries union representatives and conservation groups. Oddly enough, one of the most obviously absent groups is the Anti-Sealing / Animal Rights activists who make so much money from the hunt year after year and who continue to plague sealers on the ice during their fund raising drives each March.

Groups such as the Sea Shepherd Society and the Humane Society of the U.S. who have been so vocal in convincing U.S. restaurants to boycott Canadian sea food in protest over the hunt are themselves boycotting this week’s meetings claiming they are a waste of time, staged for public consumption and of no real value.

The reality of the situation is more likely that any improvements in hunting policy and practices that might come out of these meetings would not be in the best interest of either group when it comes to their fund raising activities and public profile.

Fisheries Minister Geoff Regan has been quoted as saying, “It's unfortunate” and noted that, “This is a multimillion-dollar business for these organizations".

The reality is that if improvements come from these meetings then it will make it more difficult for extremist groups to sell their stories of atrocities to the public in exchange for fat donation cheques. Instead, these groups would rather avoid the discussions and instead continue the practice of flocking to the ice floes in droves during the hunt for one more photo op intended to add fuel to another fantastic fund raising drive.

By way of comparison, more mainstream groups, with a realistic vision of the world, have decided to attend and take part in the discussions. Groups like The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) do not oppose the hunt but rather involve themselves in helping ensure sustainability and humane practices.

According to the WWF, the seal hunt has never been a conservation issue since seals are not an endangered species. Currently there are an estimated 5.9 million harp seals on the East Coast, an increase of nearly half a million over the previous count in 2000.

The more extreme protest groups do not like the truth. They do not want to take part in an exercise that will help ensure improvements in the industry. Most of these groups would likely prefer a return to the heydays of the 1970’s and 80’s when protests by celebrities like Bridgette Bardot and clashes with “white coat” clubbing sealers swelled the coffers of groups like Green Peace.

Back in the day, protests nearly killed the sealing industry. Boycotts by the U.S. and many European countries decimated the livelihoods of hundreds of fishermen.

Through serious planning and through meetings like those taking place in the Province this week, new policies and procedures were enacted to improve the situation and save the industry. Today “white coats” are no longer hunted. Sealers have a prescribed set of processes to follow that help ensure as little suffering as possible for the animals. These improvements have resulted in a rebound in the industry and pelts that were selling for about $5 dollars a couple of decades ago are now garnering $70 or more.

Groups like the Sea Shepherd Society and the International Fund for Animal Welfare receive donations every year from people who have been convinced by them that Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans are nothing more than barbarians and butchers. Many are convinced that the Province is populated with cold blooded killers who have no feelings and who get some sort of perverse thrill from killing poor defenseless animals and skinning them alive.

The unfortunate thing is that some of these people have been so brainwashed by the propaganda as to become unhinged and perhaps dangerous. This doesn’t matter to the organized groups however as long as the dollars keep rolling in and their egos continue to be stroked. I mean come on, let’s face the facts, if Paul Watson wasn’t a high profile protester / eco-terrorist what would his chances be of elbowing with the rich and famous?

It’s a dangerous game these people play. Consider that Watson had no issue with publishing the name, address and phone number of a Newfoundland sealer last year resulting in his family receiving threatening phone calls.

During a recent debate on the topic of sealing at my personal web site: Web Talk – Newfoundland and Labrador, one zealot berated the people of the province for days without once acknowledging the fact that she was a representative of Sea Shepherd.

Another comment was recieved from someone who simply signed their comment as anonymous and who may or may not be directly affiliated with any particular group. This character stated:

“You people are sick. I hope somebody skins your children alive and eats them in front of you, then laughs…”, “Do You Like The Taste of Children?"

Somehow this person had gained such a twisted perspective on the world as to be extremely upset over the idea of a seal being killed yet not the least bit bothered about wishing such an atrocity on an innocent child.

When you’re dealing with this kind of mentality anything goes and the rules of reality become suspended. That’s pretty much what’s happening in the Province as we speak. Rather than discuss the issues and work toward a compromise that everyone can live with, these groups simply refuse to take part. They would rather wait until the hunt resumes, show up in droves and begin creating their own form of reality by “reporting from the front” with their twisted version of the truth.

Come on all you extremists out there, let’s get real. If you truly wanted to stop the hunt, or at even improve it, you’d be front and center at these meetings, not brushing them off.

If you really want to make an impact and improve a situation that you claim to have so much of an issue with then step up to the plate. You may feel that these meetings are nothing but lip service and you may indeed be right. Perhaps nobody at these sessions will listen to anything you have to say, but if you plan to continue making money from this hunt and accusing the hunters of barbarism then the least you can do is show up for discussions on improving the situation.

If you really wanted to address the issues you would sit in and do exactly that, or perhaps you would rather take the Paul Watson approach of simply perpetrating hate crimes against the people of the province. Tactics like calling Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans everything from child rapers to a blight on the nation.

If you showed up at these meetings and made your points at least nobody would be able to claim you didn’t even try. Bye the way, in an effort to assist your efforts let me just say, if your having trouble finding money for the airfare and hotel accomodations just toss a picture of a doe eyed seal in front of the nearest passing limo. I'm sure you'll get enough money to cover your expenses.


BNB said...

Yep - well said. It's not about dealing with government and industry to create reform. It's about using the extremes, blood and death, racism and hate to stir the big pot. Just doesn't work unless it incites the extreme side of the opinion.

I don't normally self-promote but the same topic was on my mind today too: newfoundlandincanada.blogspot.com

ISDABY said...

of course 'they' don't want to sit at the table and discuss the issues ...in that forum they will be forced to back up their rhetoric and dogma. By staying away, they can pretend to have moral highground (isn't that the last refuge of a scoundrel??), and continue to spew their misinformation and lies without having to back it up.

Anonymous said...

The whole movement is based on a single—invalid—syllogism, namely: men feel pain and have rights; animals feel pain; therefore, animals have rights. This argument is entirely specious, because man's rights do not depend on his ability to feel pain; they depend on his ability to think.

Rights are ethical principles applicable only to beings capable of reason and choice. There is only one fundamental right: a man's right to his own life. To live successfully, man must use his rational faculty—which is exercised by choice. The choice to think can be negated only by the use of physical force. To survive and prosper, men must be free from the initiation of force by other men—free to use their own minds to guide their choices and actions. Rights protect men against the use of force by other men.

None of this is relevant to animals. Animals do not survive by rational thought (nor by sign languages allegedly taught to them by psychologists). They survive through inborn reflexes and sensory-perceptual association. They cannot reason. They cannot learn a code of ethics. A lion is not immoral for eating a zebra (or even for attacking a man). Predation is their natural and only means of survival; they do not have the capacity to learn any other.

Only man has the power to deal with other members of his own species by voluntary means: rational persuasion and a code of morality rather than physical force. To claim that man's use of animals is immoral is to claim that we have no right to our own lives and that we must sacrifice our welfare for the sake of creatures who cannot think or grasp the concept of morality. It is to elevate amoral animals to a moral level higher than ourselves—a flagrant contradiction.

Of course, it is proper not to cause animals gratuitous suffering.

BNB said...

Interesting Anon. I think it is a little more dismissive of "rights" than most NL might be. Although I understand the argument about whether you can attach "rights" to an animal I think that the consensus in NL would certainly allow any animal a great deal of respect. Perhaps rights is the wrong word. Responsibility or stewardship are popular words that perhaps make more sense.

These extreme groups have showed their true colours in not contributing to the formal discussions in St. John's. They cower in the face of educated discussion.

Notice they didn't even stage a protest here. Why not? They are afraid that if they created an open media event that didn't come from their own cutting room that the world might see that the face of the Newfoundlander and Labradorean is not the imagined barbarian they have worked hard to invent.

Anonymous said...

Again, I still have not read the one intelligent argument to convince me that the seal slaughter is ethical or even needed. Nevertheless, I do not blame those in N&L who must engage in the hunt (and certainly not the other good citizens of N&L, many of whom I have met on my travels there) because it was their government who failed them before and it is their government who is failing them now by permitting them --- indeed, forcing them in effect --- to engage in this unethical and barbaric activity. That failure is now exacerbated by the fact that the boycott of Canada and seafood from Canada has been successful in all but its final goal. And I predict that that will happen sooner or later when someone in Ottawa figures out that the slaughter is now costing at least $150,000,000 a year in lost seafood business alone, a figure that is sure to increase as independent people like myself come to realize the brutality behind the annual slaughter and then do something about it. For my part, not only will I have cancelled six trips to Canada over the last three years, but I drive around the US with a 9-square-foot sign affixed to the back of my vehicle reminding people of the slaughter (which, I should add, people react to daily by signaling their agreement to me). And as for the absence of the prominent animal welfare organizations at the seal meetings this year, as a major contributor to those organizations I support their decision 100 percent. In fact, they do not need to participate because the boycott now speaks for itself, just as do the videos of the seal slaughter. And as for the WWF's position, I was not surprised to read that considering that that organization was founded by --- imagine this --- a group of self-serving poachers, a fact kept hidden from the public for many years (when I learned that recently myself, I immediately cancelled all future contributions to them).

By the way, I hope you realize that informational pieces that offer no instructive value serve no purpose whatsoever except to harden the positions of those already convinced one way or the other. And in my case, every time I read such a piece, I immediately make an additional contribution to the IFAW, HSUS, and Sea Shepherd Society because it proves to me irrefutably that my dollars are paying off. Throw barbs, if you will, at the fund-raising campaigns of any organization, but by doing so you are pronouncing their success, not to mention fueling their future successes, not for themselves, but for sake of reducing suffering in this world. That is a fact.

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to comment on this topic.

crazy american said...

crazy american here...

I did a little bit of checking to some of the AR sites where I had not been familiar. As patriot so accurately described in the posting last month, the last thing of interest to some of the extreme groups is actually working with local populations. The lack of participation in the meetings in Saint John provides a good example of this.

In regards to the above anonymous posting, I decided to post most of some correspondence I've had recently.

I actually have no problem with individual charitable contribution decisions, but I wonder how much of your views filter your willingness to see other viewpoints.

As an example, charitable organizations generally try to keep as much information about finances available as possible since people have become very suspicious when it's not available. The reporting in October about Sea Shepherd while you may not like what was written actually has some validity in the need for openness and clarity of where your contributions go. I looked over the Sea Shepherd site, and frankly I was unable to find even a limited financial report.

When I looked at the IWAF Annual report, fundraising activities are explictly broken out, which is practically mandated by laws in most locales. But just as interesting is the fact that operations and administration are NOT broken out. As a comparison check out the Red Cross annual report where administrative overhead is specifically broken out. Basically, how much of the contribution goes into overhead, and how much towards the stated goals. The pie chart on the IWAF report indicates that everything goes towards the programs which on the preceding page breaks out the fundraising at least... Just strikes me as not kosher.

Additionally, the annual report is more of a pressure for people to will their estates and real estate holdings than most other charities would push for. This bothers me more than I care to think about, if this would in fact turn out to be a less altruistic than many contributors believe.

And with specific regard to IWAF, they do have a complete lack of guile taking credit on the web page about the organization for stopping the baby seal killing, and on the campaign page decrying that the killing of over 100,000 pups a year continues. Those kinds of mistatements make me suspicious, and I believe that this is likely an intentional mistatement.

My one challenge to the AR Activists is to ask for an accounting of your contributions in the form of details not available in the annual report. Do most of the funds actually go towards the programs you think are important? My question for you is are your pockets being harvested?

BNB said...

Anon. I am pretty certain that I could not give you an argument that you would perceive as convincing. On that we agree. You have bought into an ad campaign that sold you so thoroughly you drive around with a nine square foot sign on your vehicle. I can't change your mind and I don't care to try.

There is another banner too but it is not as blatant as a nine foot sign. You include Watson's project as one of your causes. I couldn't begin to tell you what is wrong with the arguments of the Shepherd and the Sheep.

Go ahead and make your immediate donation based on this piece. There is a reason these organizations make more money that the seal hunt itself. It comes from the wallets and purses of people who are so convinced in their perspective that they would drive around with large signs and assume acceptance from people who blow their horns and wave.

Paul Watson is a proven racist, terrorist and hypocrite and you are one of the good shepherd's sheep. I'll reserve my points for the educated and open minded. Not for the followers of a person who is racist against me and my people.

BNB said...

Anon can take a lesson from "not so" crazy american. Watson had a fall speaking tour across Canada - at $5 and $10 a head. Absent from his tour was Quebec and N&L. Now a second recent opportunity to speak up in St. John's - still no Watson.

Do you really think it is about conservation?

C. American has stumbled upon a very important point. Look for other information from these sites. Creditable DFO reports, financial reports that sort of thing.

You are being fed a diet specially selected for his sheep. It is never about discussion and reform or conservation - it has everything to do with the extreme point of view. That's where the cash is.

Anonymous said...

Ignorance. Pure and Simple Ignorance.

For a "commentator", ignorance is unforgivable.

Sea Shepherd and Humane Society are out to stop the hunt. The Canadian Government is out to justify the hunt. The People of Newfoundland are out for the dollars you accuse the AR crowd of whoring for.

It would be the equivalent of America sitting down with Zarquawi. Pointless. We're not out to stop the sonofabitch, we're out to kill him.

Quite frankly, given my understanding of the meeting's purpose, the presence of SS or HS would be only disruptive and counterproductive.

And enough with this "address the issues" and "understanding the subject" crap. You and yours go to the ice (in many cases, past the 12 mile int'l limit) with clubs and guns and attack baby animals for profit and fun. You do so without any regulation or enforcement, with no legal observation, and regularly attack licensed observers without threat of prosecution or jail.

There is nothing to understand. The process is corrupt. The act is barbaric. The participants are barbarians, and as much as you bitch and moan about being "misrepresented" or "misunderstood", the pictures don't lie - you are exactly that which you strive so hard not to be.

Maybe the solution here is for the government to take all the money spent subsidizing seal pepperoni, pelts and icebreakers and use that money for something with a purpose...like sending these useless, meaningless fools to college!

Harry Boland said...

I'm going to propose a wild idea, Myles, that echoes Anon.

Maybe you all have it backwards. Maybe its not that you kill seals because you need the money.

Maybe its that you need the money BECAUSE you kill seals.

Maybe the seal hunt is indicative of an anachronistic culture that prefers memory to modernity, a people who'd rather dwell on the past than embrace the present.

Maybe the seal hunt is an example of a culture that refuses to take responsibility for its own failures, that prefers to lay blame at the feet of Ottawa and the AR movement than in its own greed and ignorance.

Maybe the seal hunt is indicative of a people who prefer tradition to technology, a never-ending line of uneducated fisherman passing a dying skill to dying progeny rather than embracing the ideal of each generation should succeed better than the rest.

Maybe the assertion of sealers that the hunt is misunderstood, that sealers are misunderstood, is indicative of a culture that is so provincial and so embedded in its own isolation that they are surprised when the world speaks against them, are offended at expressions of global morality for the simple reason that they (sealers) have no conception of that very morality.

There is no question that the seal hunt is a sad affair that runs counter to the moral conscience of Canada and the modern world.

What's even more sad is the vehemence with which sealers and their ilk cling to this vestige of 'tradition", one that only furthers your isolation, your poverty, your ignorance. On other boards, NFLDers say how the best and brightest are leaving your province - a sane, rational mind would understood the impact of that.

There is simply no question that you are a sad, sad people, a state made only more depressing by the enthusiasm in which you embrace your identity.

Anonymous said...

Thank you again for the opportunity to comment on this important issue, important to those in N&L and important to those compassionate people everywhere.

Let me first say --- for reasons that will become clear below --- that I am one of only a few US citizens to travel N&L at all (most Americans don't even know what it is, let alone where it is) and probably the only one --- perhaps since Leonidus Hubbard and Dillon Wallace (both of whom, by the way, lived within 10 miles of my hometown in New York, many years before me of course) --- to really see N&L. I have driven every inch of highway (paved and unpaved) in both places. But my connection with N&L goes way back before that since my last name originated in 6th century Ireland and means "follower of St. Brendan," and everyone in N&L knows who he was.

During my travels to N&L I was struck by three things: (1) the huge, untapped potential to attract tourists to the wonders of both places, (2) the almost complete lack of a viable tourist infrastructure, and (3) the lack of desire on anyone's part to do anything about the first two. With regard to the latter, I can honestly say that the one activity I remember that people were engaged in most (outside of St John's and Wabash/Labrador City) was playing the lottery, and I mean playing the lottery. That as well as the seal hunt are the results of the pitiful neglect of that wonderful province by Canadian goverment and those who pretend to represent the interests of the people there. Instead of developing policies and programs to bring N&L into the real global marketplace, what does the goverment do? They throw the poor fisherman a bone to keep them quiet by protecting their ancestral rights to "hunt" (that is, slaughter) seals. Ancestral rights? Hell, if I claimed my own ancestral rights, I'd still be running a row boat between Newfoundland and Ireland just as my own ancesters did 1500 years ago. Isn't it time for those in N&L to take their own destiny in their hands and join the modern society before it's too late? From all that I read, Ottawa is becoming cozier with the Chinese than they are with their own people in N&L. If you don't do it, the Chinese will be glad to. So I encourage those many good people in N&L whom I met on my travels there to stop listening to the whining of others and do something about taking your destiny in your own hands. Don't wait for the handouts. Hell, the four most famous books about Labrador were written not by anyone from Labrador but by New Yorkers. What does that say? (And even the 100th anniversay of Hubbard's famous but ill-fated trip went virtually unnoticed. And not only did the people in Haverstraw, New York, where Hubbard is buried, not know where his grave was --- I had to find it for them --- but in their library they didn't know who he was or even have a copy of his book.) So stop swinging the hakapiks and take up developing web sites; put away the fancy, expensive cold-weather gear I see the hunters wearing on the ice floes and plant bed-and-breakfast signs in your front yards instead. If you do not, the next adventurers to hit the N&L shores will not be from Ireland or New York but from Beijing and Shanghai. That I can guarantee. And the only thing that the two will have in common is their brutlaity to animals, if what the Chinese are doing the the puppies and kittens for their fur is any guide.

I look foward to returning to your otherwise great province, but it will not be until long after I know that the last seal has been brutally slaughtered.

ETM, Washington DC

Harry Boland said...

That's the point, Anon.

There is a social infrastructure in place that values mediocrity as birthright. It is a bizarre trend that Myles epitomizes in his writings, that some of the other comments from NFLDers reinforce...those who are educated leave, Those who are entrepreneurial leave. NFLDers themselves make these points.

As for the fisherman - its the DFO that screwed the Cod. Its the Foreign Trawlers, its the Seals - its everyone and everything but their own half assed greed, ignorance, and corrupting political identity that demands federal officials to ignore science for Newfie votes.

It is clear - clear, through all the comments on these boards, by Myles' writing, by Mr. Walsh's writings - that responsibility does not exist in the fisherman's moral structure. Accountability does not exist.

It is tremendously sad to see people so proud of so little, and so entrenched in their own little conclave that they honestly believe that THEY are the put upon ones.

Anonymous said...

It is telling that Myles and his cohorts spend so much time castigating the Sea Shepherd, the IFAW, the HSUS and all the other animal rights crowd and ignore that 1) that crowd is supported by 80% of Americans, 90% of Europeans and 60% of Canadians, 2) that as much as these groups raise money to fight the seal hunt, the whole point of the seal hunt is to make money.

What the sealers want is a free pass to defy the common morality they refuse to acknowledge, but which the world is rapidly embracing.

The sealing community, along with the whaling, shark-finning and dolphin hunting communities, are the equivalent of the environmental Taliban - claiming culture and tradition rule their cruel and barbaric actions, and demanding that same culture be used to excuse that same barbarism. Just as the world does not allow culture to justify the burqua or the honor killing, neither do we allow it to justify slaughter and catastrophe.

Sealing is simply another example of a people living in fear of a modernity in which they cannot compete, which leaves them impotent and powerless. Myles can bitch all he wants about the Sea Shepherd, IFAW, or anybody else - those groups have the benefit of popular support and actually being morally right.

Anonymous said...

I would also add, then when 60% of Canadians, 80% of Americans and 90% of Europeans are all against you...

...you might be the extremist, Myles.

Patriot said...

To Harry Boland just four comments:

First, not all educated people leave the province. As a matter of fact one of the biggest IT consulting firms in Canada is headquarted out of this province. (believe me I know).

Second, I have to give you credit. At least you had the balls to pick an identity (mabe even your real one) when posting comments. To bad I can't say the same for any other anti-seal posters on the site.

Third, your comments simply re-inforce the perception, which is worsening every year, that in reality the rest of Canada and most of the U.S. know nothing of this province and never will.

Finally. You Harry, if that is your name, are wrong all over the place.

Harry Boland said...

Four points, none of which had a point.

India has the world's largest concentration of tech support, doesn't mean they're first world and modern. Ask any bride who meets her husband at the wedding. This, too, is "cultural".

Second - for some reason my blogger ID isn't working, so I'm typing my name in under "other."

Third, maybe the problem isn't with the US and Canada, Myles. Maybe its that your "way of life" is so futile and barbaric, you don't get US for rejecting it and finding it meaningless.

Fourth, technically Harry is not my real name - on my DI its Harold. And I'd rather be wrong along with 90% of the world than be right with barbarians.

Harry Boland said...

And again, what is striking, is that you don't defend the hunt, or the "hunters."

You attack the opposition. because they raise more money off the hunt than you make from the hunt. because the import of that escapes you all. because they speak up, not for seals, but for the conscience of mankind. because they tell the truth. because they show you're proud men at work, in living color, broadcasting to the world exactly how "humane" your NFLDers are. because they expose your DFO's lies. because they take your punches, and watch you walk free.

You hate them because they have what none of you have, Myles.


And that's no lie, and that's right all over.

Anonymous said...

The truth is, Harry, that Myles also hates the "hunters" because of what they have done to his N&L. But his misplaced loyalty has him standing by their side, sinking with them into a moral abyss from which he knows there will be no escape, in this life or the next, for himself or his children, unless they abandon him. I have traveled to many places in this world, including some of the poorest places. Most people who knew their sad plight have wanted to improve it. But only in N&L have I seen people so complacent about and even protective of their decent into nothingness. That's the morality and mentality we are dealing with here. And it's infecting everyone who stays behind up there. For instance, when I was last there three years ago, one evening I met up for dinner with four friends from Toronto I had been seeing on the road from time to time since Nova Scotia and who were camped out in the same campground I was that night in the city. I had to leave early to go back to the campground. The next morning when I saw them I asked them how things turned out the night before. They explained that just after midnight they encountered something they had not seen before. Apparently, for some unexplained reason, after midnight in this street of popular restaurants by the harbour overlooking Signal Hill, all the locals turned belligerent towards the outsiders, including their fellow Canadians. Well, as it turns out, in this case, their fellow Canadians happened to be four friends from the RCMP and so the locals got a little surprise. But it does prove your point, Harry, that the decay up there is not limited to the sealers. (It also says that if you are planning a trip to St. John's anytime soon, make sure you clear out of any restaurant long before midnight, unless you happen to be a cop who can settle your own scores.) My prediction is the the rest of Canada, when they see what N&L'ers are doing to the image of Canada, not to mention the seals, will turn on them and beat their asses just like my four friends from Toronto pulverized (as they put it) the locals from St. John's. The sooner that happenes, as far as I am concerned, the better for everyone.

BNB said...

Finally some insight, in between the elitism of WTM some bits of actual insight. Almost too tarnished by BS to be of any value but it's there.

"The huge untapped potential to attract tourists to the wonder of both places and the almost complete lack of tourist infrastructure."
Depending on how you travel this is certainly a viable point. I have traveled from Coast to Coast in this country and I've been in Cape Spear and Powell River and everywhere in between. We could certainly use better tourism infrastructure. First of all you are wrong that not a lot of American's come up here - that is simply not correct. I spoke with a retired couple from Florida at Witless Bay and we did speak about the lack of dumping stations and services lots for campers. Unfortunately true. On the other hand with respect to Bed and Breakfast and Hotels etc. you will find the next time you return that there has truly been a boom in accomodations of that nature. No less than four major hotels in the fast few years in St. John's alone.

Right again on the point of Ottawa and fisheries management being cozier with foreign nations than to this province.

Correct also on the popularity of the Labrador Novels from the New York Explorers. No shame in that. They were great books that told a story like no other. No one in N&L is embarassed that they were written by Americans. I assume you've read them - in which case you will know the tremendous respect that The Hubbards had for the Innu/Innuit, Metis and people of Labrador. We read these with pride.

It's too bad that you show so much of the hatefullness that others like to spew here. I think you might have something worth listening to otherwise.

I don't recall hearing the story of the Pulvarizing Torontians, when did that happen? Funny , that's something I would definately have heard about.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the tourism drop from the US, track down the article in the Economist of no more than three months ago and no less than two months ago. The fact are spelled out in black and white. Admittedly the seal hunt is only one of the factors mentioned. And of course I have my own facts: I used to travel to Montreal just about every winter since 1973 and every sumnmer starting in 2000, but that --- and my building up Canada and N&L as a place to travel to --- all stopped when the seal hunt started again. The loss of the enjoyment from all those trips that I must give up is, I figure, far less than the blow of is a hakapik against the skull of one seal or the seal's pain from having its skin ripped from its body when it is still alive.

The "putting into place" of the locals (a better choice of words since I wasn't there to witness the event) happened in the summer of 2002, late July probably, in a restaurant on that short (I forget the name of the) street of nice restaurants just up from the Harbor (and, of course, when I say "nice" restaurants I mean nice until midnight when some of the locals turn xenophobic).

Re the four Hubbard and Wallace books (including Great Heart): You bet I read them. Even visted their graves on my return trips home and placed on them some stones I took back from Northwest River, Labrador. And indeed you should read them with pride. But "pride" is not a word I have heard anyone use with what is happening with the seal slaughter. If I were an enterprising (and caring) fisherman, I would put down my hakapik and forego the few bucks I make from the seal hunt and do something for Newfoundland and Labrador's future as well as my own. But no, the government makes it too easy for the fishermen to take to the ice floes each year subsidising, in effect, their living in a despised --- and, therefore, impoverished --- state.

Anonymous said...

Dear Myles ,
I had a chance to read your article , I need to set a fact straight . These organizations are nonprofit , and don't expect money and are not out for the money . I have deicated alot of my time to the seal and contiune to do so . I am not doing it for the money , and never plan to do so .
As for Paul Watson , he is a legend in his own time , nobody will take that away from him .No matter what is said about him , I've had the honour to meet Paul and he is a remarkable man .
As for the seal hunt , this is a senseless hunt ,there is no purpose for it any more ,and a lot people are against it . It is time that the government realized that this is not good use of money , and started listening to the public . I plan to do everything I can to educate people and do everything in my power to stop the hunt !

Patriot said...

One comment to the Anon contributer who said:

"The truth is, Harry, that Myles also hates the "hunters" because of what they have done to his N&L."

Comment: The fact is, I do not hate the hunters and I would appreciate it if you or anyone else did not have the audacity to think you speak for me. I am quite capable of speaking for myself.

I do not need anyone to speak for me, especially someone who logs on as Anon and does not have the intestinal fortitude to identify themselves.

MrChills said...

My prediction is the the rest of Canada, when they see what N&L'ers are doing to the image of Canada, not to mention the seals, will turn on them and beat their asses just like my four friends from Toronto pulverized (as they put it) the locals from St. John's. The sooner that happenes, as far as I am concerned, the better for everyone.


You are a swell individual aren’t you! I can see the smirk on your face and your self worth building as you typed down that your friends beat down a couple of locals from St. John’s. Time and time again it is fascinating to read remarks from people who are against one type of physical violence only to turn around and wish violence onto someone or something else.

It should not surprise me though as it seems to be a common trait in fanatics. A perfect example was during November when a man in Detroit more or less forced me to take two pamphlets, one on Anti-abortion and the other on voting Dubya back into power. Am I alone here or is that sort of a double negative? How can you be against abortion, but be in support of a war mongering individual such as George W Bush? You can not be Pro Life and Pro War.

The same is true of the violent anti-sealers, if you are against an animal being killed or beaten, how can you be for a person being beaten and killed?

Harry Boland said...

Mr. Chills, you are an ignoramus.

Issues are separate. Feeble minds get bogged down in poll tested catch phrases. I am pro-life, in that I oppose abortion, euthanasia, and the death penalty. I am also pro-war, in that I believe the best way to guarantee the security of a free people is to kill those who actively seek to destroy that freedom.

Here in the states, we have freedom of speech. You took the pamphlets, which the man has the right to distribute and which you have the right to throw away,

As for violence - the only violence in the seal hunt has been perpetrated by sealers - against Paul Watson, against the SS volunteers, against Ian Robichaud, against a Canadian Press Journalist, against Dutch Observers in 2003, against Rebecca Aldworth and the HSUS. Violence is a part of the seal hunting culture, violence which festers due to the ignorance displayed by those who support the hunt and the corrupt legal authorities, all of whom excuse each and every abuse of the sealers.

I have no use for violent men. Seems to me, if sealers are allowed to carry deadly weapons onto the ice, given their history of violence against activists, journalists and members of foreign governments, it is only fair that those same licensed observers be allowed to carry weapons of their own.

But of course, men who attack animals that can't swim have no use for a fair fight - as our friends from Toronto so clearly showed you.

Harry Boland said...

And Myles has STILL refused to admit that HE LIED!!!

You are such a coward. Any real journalist would feel completely disgraced by your company.


MrChills said...

The issues are no different.

Speaking of feeble minds getting bogged down in poll tested phrases… I have lost count of the number of people I heard in the United States of Embarrassment say that they justify killing people to secure there own freedoms. Did your friends at Fox News with their unbiased views give you that thought or did you make it all up on your own? Depending on the source, in defending your so called freedoms, the number of civilian lives that have been taken in the Middle East by your current regime is in the vicinity of 250,000.

The only violence in the seal hunt has been by the sealers? How about the name, address and number of a sealer being published on the Sea Sheppard’s website. The family of that fisherman were given death threats as a result of this. You have to be a real brave and proud person to call a random person in a world away and threaten the lives of their family. But I guess you are the land of the brave aren’t you.

I am in no way a violent person; however, I do know that if while sitting at my desk each day protestors filmed me, spat at me and taunted me, chances are after a while I would (like any other person) retaliate in the best way I could.

Again, you are really stuck on that Toronto fight thing, you wouldn’t know if it was International News or something. Please enlighten by the way, as to how a random fist fight is showing me something, and what that something is? I am curious.

Harry Boland said...

Rendell Genge was not hurt.

Rendell Genge punched a 19 year old girl on videotape.

Get your head out of your ass. What Watson did was stupid. What Genge did was criminal in every place on Earth - except NFLD, Labrador and Quebec.

Hmm. Politicians are protested every day. They don't beat up their protesters. Are you really saying your sealers lack the moral fiber of politicians?

By the way - 5,000 civilian deaths in Iraq, and more than 60% of those are by insurgents - and THAT"s from the Iraqi MOD.

And yes it is justified. Canada did it as well - in France, and Germany, in Italy. In Korea.

In Iraq, we are or have been joined by Spain, Italy, Great Britian, Poland, Nicaraugua, Thailand, Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Tonga, Hungary, Portugal, Moldova, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Norway,Albania, Azerbaijan, Denmark, Georgia, Estonia, Japan, Kazahkstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Phillipines, the Netherlands, Romaina, Slovakia, Slovenia...all fighting for freedom.

It is sad to see that the only thing you all are truly willing to fight for is the right to kill seals.

Some values, Newfie.

Harry Boland said...

Oh, and by the way...

...since you're so worried about safety and all, I assume you have no problem with licensed observers being allowed to carry weapons for their own self defense while out on the ice, right?

Anonymous said...

Anon from DC here again to clarify about my four "friends" from Toronto. They were four long-time buddies on their annual trip together, cops (RCMP they told me) from Toronto whom I met at a number of campsites on my journey in 2002. Good, clean-cut guys I recall. They were having a good time at a local place in St John's and after midnight a bunch of locals for no reason started to turn on them, punch them out, or so they told me the next day when I joined them for breakfast. All I recall they said was that they (the buddies) "put them in their place," whatever that means. (Of course, if I had been there, I would have tried to reason with them, the aggressors, that is, as I am generally wont to do since I am not inclined to violence of any sort.) So let's all not make too much of the incident except to say that it does show a violent streak among some of the locals (but I guess that goes for anywhere and not just St. John's). Now whether there is a connection between them and the seal slaughters, I do not know, but it does begin to make me think about it. But perhaps at a minimum we can use them ("the four cops from Toronto" in an allegorical sense, to symbolize good Canadians standing up for what Canada is supposed to stand for, even if it means putting other Canadians in their place. A new breed of "four horsemen" sort of. Enough said about that.

As for Patriot's comment that no one can speak for him, he's absolutely right, no one can. But what we can do is read between the lines of his many words, look at their intent, and then try to make some sense about what direction he's coming from to make him say the things he does. I have done that, and what I see is someone who is very, very proud of N&L (which he should be, except for the seal hunt) and as a result is very subconscioulsy angry at the sealers for the disgrace they have brought on his beloved land from around the entire globe (although, sadly, I see no anger in him at what they have done to the seals, but that's a topic for someone better skilled at analyzing such things than I).

That's it. Goodnight gentleman, and good luck. This has been a worth while exchange for me. I have learned more about human nature here than my days in Catholic school. I leave with a higher regard for the anti-sealhunt protestors than when I joined this blog (especially Paul Watson, who to me is a modern day St. Brendan), and hope that N&L seizes the opportunity to rejoin the civilized world without having it forced on them by other Canadians (if Patriot is so intent on getting N&L to secede from Canada, the US would gladly welcome them as the 52nd state --- hell, look at some of the others we've taken on). So, now let me sign off now with my new symbolic handle, "Brendan Hubbard."

Anonymous said...

How can one "rejoin" a civilized world it has never been apart of?

Anonymous said...

I hope Patriot is successful.

Canada can be free of these shameless barbarians, and we can use NAFTA and GATT to starve their sorry asses out of existence unless they wake up and decide to join the 21st Century.

BNB said...

Anon from DC. There is another book about Minah Hubbard called "The Woman who Mapped Labrador". It's on my to-read list. Maybe over Christmas.

I think you have an amount of genuine respect for this place. And that bit at least in welcomed amongst the other garbage.

By the Way "George Street" is the little street you are thinking about - the place to stay away from after midnight unless you have a couple brace of Torontonians at your guard.

Anonymous said...

Brendan Hubbard here again. What suggestions do you have for the "Four Horsemen (mounties) from Toronto" to stand for to replace the traditional War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death? I say, let's let them stand for Hope, Compassion, Peace and some fourth thing. What do you think? Any suggestions for the fourth? What about my first three suggestions? Harry, you get to suggest first. In fact, Harry, you decide.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, bnb. I'll have to track that one down. I read (and have in front of me now) her "A Woman's Way Through Unknown Labrador" but it would be interesting to read the one about her. They sure don't make woman like that anymore, do they? (By the way, when I went back to pay a visit to Hubbard's grave last year in Haverstraw, it was gone. Apparently, someone must have moved it somewhere else on the 100th anniversary of his death, which was Minnie's plan all along. Frankly, they should have left him there in Labrador rather than bring him all the way back to "the small cemetery overlooking the Hudson right beaneath the mountains he used to love to roam in."

And you're right, I do have a respect for the place, because I have been there. I have driven through every village on your entire coast. I traveled every inch of road in Labrador (as of 2002, that is --- I drove the still unfinished new road from Red Bay to Cartwright about 100 miles until I could go no further, and then had to turn around, drive all the way back to Newfoundland to catch the ferry from Lewisporte to Happy Valley - Goose Bay). I camped alone with my dogs along the deserted road between HV/GB and Wasbash/LC. One night, when I was about 50 miles directly beneath where Michikamau once was, I camped out overlooking a calm, black pristine lake. Not a soul was around for almost hundred miles in any direction I figured. And that night, just as I read the page in Wallace's "Lure of the Labrador Wild" where George Elson talks about the cry of the loon signifiying something ominious about to happen, a loon cried out from the black lake in front of me. Fortunately, nothing sinister happened, but I will never forget that night.

But none of those experiences lessen the anger I have over the seal hunt. In fact, my guess is that I am even angrier than Harry, and the other anons, much angrier. But there are differences in our approach (but not our goal) first becasue I have been there and met with the people (some of whom were the most hospitable I have met anywhere). Second, I have numerous tools at my disposal to do my share to end the hunt (including putting on one man demos at the Canadian Embassy here, which I will do again next week), and, yes, contributing to others braver than I. And finally, I am confident that in the final analysis the hunt will end, if not by reason (the preferred path) than by default. So I have an advantage that the others do not have. I can be patient because I know how this will end (but not why). Had I not had any of these things, my words would be no less intense than the others.

Thanks for the reminder about George Street. Fortunately, I got out of there myself long before midnight. Perhaps it was fortunate too that I had my two German shepherds waiting for me in my vehicle, but maybe I shouldn't say that too quickly there because just two months ago a Labrador Retriever tore open my male dog's ear. Then again, I don't believe in omens.

Do what you you can to get me back up there. And please don;t think that we're picking on N&L. The sign I have on the back of my vehcile about the seal hunt alternates with signs about what the Australians are doiung to the sheep, the Chinese are doing to the puppies and kittens, the research labs are doing to the animals, etc., etc., etc. And that's saying nothing about what our governments are doing to all of us.

Anon from DC (aka, Brendan Hubbard)

Patriot said...

Hi folks, interesting discussion. bye the way, you may be interested to read the following response from Paul Watson on this piece, entitled:

Fear and Loathing in Newfoundland

Government blasts Sea Shepherd for Not Attending a Meeting on Seals That We Were Not Invited To

By Captain Paul Watson

The big story in Newfoundland this week is that the Canadian federal government is hosting a meeting to discuss the setting of kill quotas for the Canadian seal slaughter and that Sea Shepherd and other organizations have refused to attend.

The meeting sponsored by the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans has invited sealers and fishermen to attend. Apparently humane organizations, conservation groups and animal rights groups were also invited, or so we are now being told.

The government is saying that the groups opposed to the hunt have refused to attend and they are using this in a propaganda campaign to suggest that we are not concerned with the fate of the seals.

According to the biased Canada Free Press, Fisheries Minister Geoff Regan has been quoted as saying, "It's unfortunate" and noted that, "This is a multimillion-dollar business for these organizations".

Mr. Regan of course is speaking out on something he is certainly misinformed about. The total annual budget of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society does not exceed a million dollars.

Fur industry public relations spokesperson Myles Higgins is saying that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has refused to attend the meeting because we don’t really want solutions and that we need the seal slaughter as a fund raising campaign.

Of course it was the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society that has consistently offered alternatives to the seal hunt like the utilization of naturally molted seal hair as a fibre with eider down qualities. An alternative that the Canadian government absolutely would not allow us to explore.

And of course, the seal hunt actually costs us more to oppose than we raise in donations because we do not have the fund-raising machines available to the larger organizations that oppose the seal slaughter. Every campaign to protect seals actually puts us into debt.

But the real reason that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is not attending the meeting in Newfoundland this week is very simple.

We were not invited.

We did not get a letter, a fax, a telegram, an e-mail, a postcard or even a telephone call inviting us to attend this meeting.

Very convenient. First they don’t invite us to their meeting and then they issue a media release that criticizes us for not attending.

In other words, they don’t want us at their meeting but they also want the media and the public to believe that they do want us at the meeting and that we are being irresponsible in not attending the meeting that they did not invite us to.

In fact DFO never even informed us that the meeting was taking place so that we were not even in a position to ask if we could be invited.

Geoff Regan really should change his job title from Minister of Fisheries to Minister of Propaganda.

Patriot's Response:

First of all, even though Paul Watson started his comments by egotistically referring to himself as Captain, I will not.

This guy has no official papers making him a captain according to U.S. law, where his vessel is registered. Instead, he struts around in a modified, official uniform that makes him look official but has been changed just enough to ensure that he is inside the law. A costume if you will. So, I will simply refer to him as Paul.

Anyway, Paul if you say 5 times in your brief message that you were not invited to this public discussion. I am not surprised. It was after all a PUBLIC meeting. There are often public discussions held on a myriad of topics and generally most people are not invited, thus the term PUBLIC.

In the case of these meetings they are always maded known prior to the event taking place and anyone who is truly intetested in the topic at hand would be expected to be on top of their game and be aware of such happenings. Apparently other organizations were, but not yours.

In reality your claim that you were not invited to a public meeting, the time and location of which were public knowledge does not hold water. In this light, I can only assume you did not attend for one of a three possible reasons.

1) you were not on top of the game and did not know this was happening which doesn't speak well of your handling of the issues;

2) you did know but did not want to attend, which was my assertion in the piece;

3) you were not able to attend either because you are not permitted on land in the province due to some illegal activity you may have committed in the past; or

4) you are afraid to land in NL because you have bought into your own rhetoric and truly believe that the people are barbarians who will skin you alive when you arrive.

Either way, there is no doubt in my mind that a lack of invitiation didn't stop you.

As an aside to the key point, I would appreciate it if you would get one thing straight. You refer to me as "Fur industry public relations spokesperson Myles Higgins", the only accurate part of that statement is the spelling of my name.

I do not represent the fur industry in any way. I am simply an individual who, unlike many of your flock, have my own personal opinions.

As a matter of fact, I will tell you something about me that you don't know. I do not believe that anyone needs to wear fur. I see no real value in it with the modern man made materials on the market and I don't own anything made of fur. Having said that, I also do not feel that my opinion toward the products gives me the right to push my beliefs on others or to cause problems in an industry.

To continue. At one point you say the fisheries minister is wrong when he says protest groups are a multi-million dollar industry yet in the next breath you say"

"The total annual budget of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society does not exceed a million dollars"

followed by:
"..we do not have the fund-raising machines available to the larger organizations that oppose the seal slaughter."

So let me get this straight. according to you, The annual budget of Sea Shepherd is just under 1 million and you don't have the fund raising capacity of larger protest organizations, which I can only assume means they take in more money. How can you say this and also say that the minister is misinformed when he says "multi-million dollar"?

As a matter of fact if you read my follow up article to this, "Sea Shepherd Dollars and Sense" you would see that I did a review of your fund raising, at least what was available on your web site, not the deals with people like Singh. Believe me, if you really "...do not have the fund-raising machines available to the larger organizations.." then they must really be doing some quirky stuff.

Finally, as a part of that statement you mention that "..the seal hunt actually costs us more to oppose than we raise in donations..."

How many years have you been protesting the hunt Paul? If your statement is true and it actually costs you more than you raise, how have you found financing to continue the fight? Money doesn't fall from the sky, so you must be finding it somewhere. Maybe this is where people like the florida land developer and the movement of assets between him and Sea Shepherd and yourself comes into play. I wish you could explain it.

Patriot said...

Please excuse the typos in my last comment. I was in a bit of a hurry but I think you get the points.

ISDABY said...

anonymous (?) said "And enough with this "address the issues" and "understanding the subject" crap. You and yours go to the ice (in many cases, past the 12 mile int'l limit) with clubs and guns and attack baby animals for profit and fun. You do so without any regulation or enforcement, with no legal observation, and regularly attack licensed observers without threat of prosecution or jail. "

this illustrates a gross lack of knowledge/understanding (but that doesn't reeealy matter does it?)...corrections;

1) Canadian waters extend 200 miles, not 12 miles as stated above. What's happening here legal or otherwise is inside Canada's territory, not in international waters.
2) seals are killed for profit (all in a days pay...) but not for fun. That's as accurate as saying US soldiers are in Iraq because they enjoy killing.
3) There are regulations, specifying size of clubs and hakapiks and how the seals are to be handled. There is enforcement, albeit probably inadequate, and there are legal licenced observers, includign reps from the Canadian Vetrinary Medical Association, and IFAW, HSUS, etc...
4) attacking licensed observers...the only observers actually physically assaulted last year were SSCS crew who I believe are charged with not havign observation permits (is that correct??), if the sealers are not charged, 'call da cops'!!

this is just one of many examples of misinformation being cast about as if it were gospel truth...what do the antisealers have correct?

BNB said...

And lets not forget that the SS guy with with his bloody nose in the news last year was Dr. Vlask, who was later determined to use this sort of intimidation and instagation as a tactic. In fact he is barred entrance to the UK for promoting terrorist tactics, and was in fact booted from the SS when he was exposed.

ISDABY said...

I am trying to be patient here, but some one was saying- re: four Torontonians in a bar fight in St. Johns'... "...So let's all not make too much of the incident except to say that it does show a violent streak among some of the locals (but I guess that goes for anywhere and not just St. John's). Now whether there is a connection between them and the seal slaughters, "

Even to put the suggestion out there that there may or may not be a connection with seal hunting is beyond belief?!!!

where to go with this one..hmm..

1) who actually got beat up? was it the TO cops or their attackers?
2) Q1 is not really significant but would be of 'interest' to the story.
3) what does it mean? that there are bar fights late at night in St. John's drinking establishments?
4)Can this in any remote way depict the behaviour of the people of NEwfoundland? Only if the same can be said for the people of New York or Boston, or any other place where someone was beaten up in a bar,...so, would that mean that New Yorkers are possibly likely candidates to start killing seals? ...ludicrous connection isn't it?
5) four cops from Toronto, minding their own business get beat on in a night club in St. Johns'. A) they should have more control and not be shootin their faces off to begin with (minding their own business I'll bet...), B) if they got their faces beaten off they should be ashamed, c)if they beat up the other guys they should have 'more self control' in the first place. RCMP officers are never 'off duty' or so that used to be the case. so are we talking about police brutality? what is reasonable force and what is a bullshit urban legend?

6) how is this in any way relevant to the seal hunt and or the character of people anywhere but in that bar that night?

BNB said...

aye The legend of the four Torontonians. They stood seven feet tall at the shoulders, but in them beat the heart of kittens. But on that fateful night they would be called upon to fight for the forces of all that's good. A group of barbarians burst open the door and hung their clubs with their seal-skin frocks on the bloody hook at the door. They grew irrate; raping orphans and punching school girls. The four Torontonians leapt to their feet. They had seen hard times before - like when they had a dusting of snow in old T.O. and had to call in the Army. Or when the world thought they had the SARS and they had to call in the Rolling Stones to say "ey Mike says it's OK, come back to Toronto"... but this was different. These were a couple of Townies in a bar on George Street...

And it was after midnight (sinister music)

Makes a great bedtime story. I'm thinking of Billy Bob Thorton to play evil Newfoundlander #1... watch for the animated feature in the fall.

MrChills said...



Too funny, you just made my day, sounds like it would be a great film

Anonymous said...


A sovereign state has complete jurisdiction over internal waters, where not even innocent passage is allowed. Territorial waters extend out 12 nautical miles (22 km) from the mean low water mark adjacent to land, or from internal waters, per the 1994 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

ISDABY said...

to anonymous above...I just posted a link re: Economic Exclusion Zone relevant to the Law of the Sea and the 12 mile territorial limit on the 'other' thread.

You are correct re: the 12 mile territorial limit, but we have a 200 mile EEZ which gives Canada the right to regulate vessel traffic adn economic activities between the 12 mile and 200 mile limit. It may take a lawyer of international law to make a full analysis of what it means but 'up front' it appears that Canada has the right to harvest and to regulate harvest of 'natural resources' in this zone. It also means that Paul Watson is subject to a full body of Canadian Laws when he is in this zone. Its not 'no-man's-land' as he would have people think.