Sunday, April 20, 2008


Every spring, protesters come to Newfoundland and Labrador to capitalize on the traditional seal fishery. In order to raise money for their various causes, they use outdated images of baby seals being bludgeoned to death by fishermen characterized as "barbaric". They are very successful at attracting media attention, which is their main goal because they get an enormous amount of free advertising, which in turn, increases donations to their causes. Partly because of this attention, the European parliament is considering a ban on all seal products from Canada based upon outdated images and misleading information.

I am not a hunter and do not kill the animals I eat, but I respect the rights of others to hunt, whether it be moose, caribou, deer, seals or any other living thing. I also respect the rights of others to eat meat from chickens, turkeys, cows, pigs or other animals. In order to get those animals to our tables they, too, have to be killed.

It is a fact of life that we have to kill in order to eat - this should include killing plants. I heard Paul Watson, a protestor in the news around here lately, stating that he was a vegan and didn't have to kill for food. Is killing plants really different than killing animals? In order to survive on this planet all living things have to eat to consume the energy required for life, which means that something has to die in order for life to continue.

While I do not hunt with a gun, I do hunt with a camera. During my first year of teaching in 1971, a young high school student asked me if hunting with a camera was really any different than hunting with a rifle. Other than the fact the animal does not die, I guess there is no difference whatsoever in the process, just the outcome. I have thought about that question many times over the years as I stalked an animal with a camera.

The seal photos this morning were taken in Holyrood. I have recently updated my Seals Gallery:

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