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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Motives of Animal Rights Groups Exposed by 3 Simple Words - "Ban the Hakapik"

For years anti-sealing groups have been seen in the Atlantic region as difficult to battle because they pander to the greatest of all human emotions, compassion. What the events of the past few days have clearly shown us is that in reality they are nothing more than wolves in sheep’s clothing.

One can only hope that the trickle of truth now emerging will become a river of realization. That those who waste their hard earned dollars and their valuable emotional resources on the Watson’s and Aldsworth’s of the world will finally recognize what they are. Pathetic, money grubbing, con-artists.

With all the happenings taking place during this year’s Atlantic seal harvest folks have begun to ask me why I’ve remained virtually silent on the issue this time around. “It’s not like you”, they say, and they’re right.

In my own defence all I can say is that I’ve been having such a good time (barring the tragic incidents that took place) that I made a concious decision to remain a fly on the wall and simply soak it all in.

Until now that is. Things have reached a point where I simply can't hold back any longer.

This has been, without a doubt, a season of contradictions and a season of incidents that has finally lifted the veil of secrecy surrounding the activities the anti-sealing contingent.

First off the mark was none other than the infamous Paul Watson and his band of eco-terrorists.

After years of silence the government of Canada finally told the group to abide by the law this time around. They refused to do so. Instead they jeopardized the lives of hard working fishermen and those of Coast Guard officials before fleeing Canadian waters and heading to St. Pierre (a territory of France) to seek refuge. I suppose with EU officials considering a ban on seal products the misguided crew of the Farley Mowat assumed a French port would provide safe haven. It was not to be so.

The citizens of the small French outpost, who truly know what’s happening in the North Atlantic, don’t agree with their political leadership in Paris, nor do they agree with the illegal activities of the “Shepherd’s” flock. They proved this point by unceremoniously cutting the moorings of Watson’s pirate vessel and casting it adrift.

If I’ve neglected to say thanks to the good folks of St. Pierre before now then I deeply apologize. Thanks for standing up and doing the right thing. Hopefully we can return the favor some time.

With no Port of call anywhere near the seal harvest willing to accept them Watson’s crew foolishly entered Canadian waters and were arrested by authorities, to the well publicized delight of Federal Fisheries Minister, Loyola Hearn.

Now at this point we need to pause and reflect on the fact that I clearly said “Watson’s crew” rather than Watson himself. This is because the “Good Shepherd”, as he likes to be called, was not actually onboard the vessel even though he is known for often publicizing his writings from the ice floes, whether he’s actually there or not. Instead the “Shepherd” was apparently watching his brain washed followers twisting in the wind from the confines of a luxury hotel suite or his palatial home, provided to him through “creative” bookkeeping and questionable fund raising efforts. You see it’s much drier, safer and warmer there.

The funny part of all this is that the drama taking place on the high seas this season was nothing compared with the bustle of activity onshore. In fact Watson and the antics of his followers pales in comparison to the most telling incident surrounding this year’s harvest.

It all began when the Premiers of Newfoundland & Labrador and Nunavut called on the federal government to ban the use of the “hakapik”, a form of club used by some sealers to club the animals and drag them (or their pelts) to the boats. It’s a tool that is important to the sealers and one that has been proven to be a quick and humane method of taking a seal. I’m sure both leaders will receive backlash for their stand from many sealers, but at least the reasoning behind their request is quite understandable.

You see Anti-sealing activists, animal rights activists, eco-terrorists, or whatever you want to call them, have all used the same technique for decades in their never ending quest to gain sympathy from the public and make wallets fly open around the world. They do this by convincing the public that the hunt is savage and inhumane. They present it as such by promoting videos and pictures of big burly men using clubs to “attack” supposedly defenseless animals. (Have you ever been bitten by a seal? I don't recommend it). These groups never, or very rarely, show anyone hunting seals with a rifle, the manner actually used in well over 90% of the hunt.

These people are users and manipulators. They are not stupid. They know that showing someone using a rifle to hunt an animal is not very effective as a propaganda tool. You see “normal” people use rifles to hunt deer, elk, moose and many other animals the world over, so it doesn’t stir up the same level of emotion as a good old fashioned bludgeoning at the hands of a “barbarian". There in lies the contradiction of these groups. A contradiction that has been exposed to the light of day this week.

For years anti-sealing groups have publicized the club, or hakapik, as a symbol of the brutality of the hunt. They have, time and time again, spoken of how inhumane the technique is and how cruel those who use such an instrument must be. Now these very same anti-sealing groups are publicly saying, and I quote, “…removing hakapiks from the hunt will do nothing to improve the welfare of the animals. In fact, it will likely increase the suffering."

Go figure?

The preceding is a direct quote from Rebecca Aldsworth of HSUS, one of the most virulent anti-sealing organizations and one of the best funded. Clearly the suffering she is referring to is her own, when her ability to use the club as a fund raising and propaganda tool is taken away from her.

The public needs to ask itself, “If well over 90% of seals are already hunted by rifle and if, as Aldsworth is NOW saying, rifles are more cruel than clubs, then why have her group and all the others always focused their promotional and fund raising propaganda on the use of the club? Why have they almost always focused on how inhumane clubbing is rather that the cruelty of a gun? I think the answer to that question should be obvious to any thinking person in light of Ms. Aldsworth's recent comments.

Oh what a season.

First Watson, the self-proclaimed “Shepherd” is found napping in his comfortable bed while his followers envision him at sea protecting the world. Meanwhile his misguided minions are the ones actually doing all the dirty work of terrorism, like running afoul of the law and the people of two nations.

Next Federal Fisheries Minister, Loyola Hearn, has a rare shining media moment after tackling the “Shepherd” head on. No doubt his doing so was an effort to protect his failing political career as much as the lives and livelihoods of sealers but never the less it’s good to see some small sign of life in Ottawa. I can’t help feeling that the sealers and everyone else would be better served however if observer permits were never issued to the likes of the Sea Shepherd Society in the first place. I mean what’s wrong with issuing permits to independent scientists, journalists and the like but denying them to groups with a predefined agenda and vested financial interests?

Even after all of that, it’s the call for a ban on the hakapik that takes the cake for me. I know some sealers have legitimate concerns about a potential ban but while it may make their jobs a little more difficult the overall benefit to the hunt is already becoming clear.

When anti-sealing groups begin to clamor all over each other to say that banning the clubbing of seals is NOT a good thing it should give everyone pause for thought. Are these groups really worried about protecting the welfare of animals or their bottom line? Taking away the Hakapik may remove a valuable tool from the sealers but it will also remove an even more valuable one from the protest groups.

8 comments:

NL-ExPatriate said...

Well exposed Myles. Now the principles the sealers will argue they need the hakapik for safety even though 95% of the seals on the front are killed with rifle. Or they will argue if we capitulate on the hakapik which by their own account we don't use what will be next?

I'll tell you what will be next full utilization of the seal carcass. That will never happen until the first come first serve quota system changes which is another change the principles don't want to see because they know full utilization will be next. They want nothing to do with sullying their boats with bloody seal carcasses to get 5 cents a pound for it when the currnt set up gets them 30-100$ for just the pelt. Less work less mess more return for time spent.

Anyway for the safety argument. A much better piece of safety equipment would be Ice Rescue picks. Here is a link which shows you how you can make your own Ice Claws.

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/claws.html

Anonymous said...

I agree with NL-Ex except I don't think the hakapik is only used for safety.

95% of sealers may hunt with a rifle but many more use the hakapik to either finish the animal (ensure no suffering) or at the very least to drag it (or the pelts) back to the boat. Seals are not light and you need something that will let you drag it. I wouldn't want to try carrying one, or even a load of pelts, across the ice. The hakapik makes the job easier.

I'm sure thought that there must be alternatives to the hakapik that the sealers should be open to using so we can get rid of this symbol the anti-sealing crowd are so fond of using in their fund raising.

Table Mountains said...

in my foolish youth (early 70's) we went on the ice looking for seals a few times walking out from the shore.only one guy carried a homemade hakapik and this at times helped him keep his balance and we often held on it when he held it out for us to hold on and copy the pans.it's a valuable tool and no doubt faster,safer and i suggest just as humane in making the kill.

Anonymous said...

Myles - Thanks for another great article. I want to say that you have the psyche of the seal protesters down to a science.

I listened to Paul Watson tonight on the call-in show - CBC Fisheries Broadcast and I couldn't believe the ad libbing Paul Watson did in order to answer the questions put to him.

He said he only made $25,000 on the seal campaign last year, when back in 1978 he accused Brian Davies of bringing in more than a million dollars. He said the seal was the only animal that could bring in money to the Animal Rights Annual Campaign. As soon as Brian Davies stepped down from the IFAW he immediately grabbed the seal image and has been exploiting the image ever since for his annual campaign.

And Myles it was only a 40 minute show, at the 6 o’clock news hour point he asked if John Furlong could call him back after the news, they did get him back and a caller from British Columbia, Chief Jones of the Haida Nation called and asked a question, and guess what Paul Watson disconnected himself from the show. Yes, he was gone just like that with no explanation. Jim Furlong should try to get him back and have the Haida Chief on another day to put his questions to Paul Watson. What a coward

There are many animals which are reared in orchestrated and organized operations in Canada and around the world by sophisticated industries, animals like ducks and geese for the production of foie gras and calves for the production of veal, but there isn't a word of protest on the organized cruelty which ìs heaped on the rearing of these animals systematically each day of their lives until they are slaughtered. Nobody cares, and you know they are reared for the palates of rich of society, since only the rich can afford to buy the specialty meats known as pate foie gras or veal.

I cannot understand why the prairie dogs are killed in probably the millions around the World and in North America, since they are blamed by farmers and the ordinary citizens for overgrazing lands. It is a past time in some areas to hire people to go to farmlands and fair grounds to slaughter these animals, but nobody cares about those cute animals. I saw the show Little People a few months ago, and the gentleman who owns the farm and fairground on that show was trying to hire kids to kill some of the Prairie dogs on his property.

By the way I think Prairie dogs are as cute as seals, but Paul Watson and Rebecca Aldrich are not caring about the lives of those animals because they won't bring in any money to their Annual Money Rights Campaign. And the same people who are calling for the ban on the seal harvest could, no doubt, be the same people who are asking for the killing of the Prairie Dog.

I cannot stand the hypocrisy of this world. It is sickening!

And the same countries, those belonging to the European Union which fish in and around the Grand Banks of Newfoundland raping our fish quotas, also want the seals out there eating the fish stocks along with them.

It is time for Canada to give the European Union an ultimatum, and that is if you want a ban on the seal hunt, then you will have to give up fishing in Canadian off-shore waters. I doubt that Canada will do that though because Canada has some sort of contract signed with the European Countries, we are not sure what type of contract or agreement since nothing is transparent. I say that because why else would Canada allow countries to come to its waters to fish quotas of fish for which it holds an onerous responsibility and thus liability, that being the fish quotas were placed in Ottawa`s hands for maintenance and protection? Down the road when every last fish is gone, will Canada not have to provide an answer on why the fish disappeared?

Calvin said...

"Next Federal Fisheries Minister, Loyola Hearn, has a rare shining media moment after tackling the “Shepherd” head on."

If I may add Myles.This is nothing more then a publicity stunt by the federal tories to get some sort of public support in an area of the country that has a ABC campaign going agaisnt them.

Don't be fooled Myles.The greatest evil in this world is now seeking favor with its peasants.Long live the Empire.

Patriot said...

Don't worry about me being fooled by Loyola Hearn for a minute Calvin. Loyola's ship has sailed and is sinking. Thankfully I'm not on it.

Anonymous said...

Good post. It's nice to see some of the truth coming out at last. I believe some mention should be made of just how many millions of dollars the anti-seal protesters earn from the seal hunt. It is my understanding that protesting the seal hunt makes more money then any other animal cause out there. To me, protesting the seal hunt is about making money and little else.

albertaboy said...

Good post-you did some research.

I always understood that the seal hunt protesters make more money from this cause then any other animal cause out there today.