325,000 pups skinned

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I'm a carnivore. I like meat, prosciutto crudo, salame, lardo, bacon, marrowbone, raw meat, zampone and cotechino with lentils. I enjoy bistecca alla fiorentina, the one that weighs 700 grams net and then has the bone as well. Perhaps I will delude the vegetarians, but I don't feel at all guilty.
Eating meat is part of my nature.

However what really annoys me is the cruelty, the total lack of feeling, the gratuitous killing of living beings simply for money, to increase the GDP. And if they are defenceless pups, aged 2 or 3 weeks (the time needed to grow a white fur covering), killed by beating with a stick and then skinned alive, that really disgusts me.
325,000 baby seals are currently being killed in the civilised country of Canada, whose Prime Minister, Stephen Harper has stated that his country is the victim of propaganda and that the massacre is necessary.

The “World Society for Protection of Animals” has declared that it is the “biggest and most cruel killing of marine animals ever recorded on the planet.”.

The young animals are clubbed to death to avoid damaging the skin.
Cod fishing is declining because of industrial fishing and the young seals are a resource for fishermen living in isolated areas.
This disgusting activity makes 8.3 million pounds sterling and the skins are sold to the fashion  industries in 3 countries: Russia, China and Norway.
For the Canadian economy. 8.3 million pounds sterling are little or nothing compared to the loss of public image on a world scale.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:30 AM in | Comments (28)
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It is only recently that i have been introduced to the harshness of the seal culls all over the world. I believe the killers of these seals are sick minded freaks who can't be bothered to figure out a way to kill these animals humainley. Who gives people the right to make them selves priority over these seals, why should they be killed so ridiculously just for doing what they do naturally. It is a subject which I am now very passionate about but it frustrates me that i cannot do more to help the cause. So what if these pups cause lack of money, im sure there are better ways to make money, and besides, what sane person could live with themselves when all they are doing is taking other innocent lives. Sick!

Posted by: Natalie Dossor | November 5, 2006 01:59 PM


yumm.... meat BBQ

Posted by: Charles | June 19, 2006 09:21 PM


I'm coming into this conversation late but wanted to dispute a few of the allegations made by other posters.

Hunting baby seals is NOT illegal in Canada. Whilst it is true that killing whitecoats (0 - 2 weeks of age) is illegal, the moment that whitecoat begins molting (approximately 2 - 3 weeks of age) it can be killed legally. 95% of seals killed are below the age of 3 months. Considering that harp seals do not reach sexual maturity until 7 years of age and can live up to 30 - 35 years of age, a seal just weaned, unable to swim, escape or defend itself is still a baby. The government would like us to think that the moment a seal hits 2 weeks of age and begins to molt, it is suddenly an adult. It's not true. The vast majority of seals killed during the commercial seal hunt ARE babies. When we see images of whitecoats, keep in mind that if that whitecoat has just one grey hair on its body it is technically no longer a whitecoat but a ragged-jacket and it is legal to kill it.

When the sealers are beating them with the spiked clubs called hakapiks, the seals are not already dead. I have seen seals crying out between blows. Frequently the sealers do not hit the skull with the first blow but rather end up hitting the seal over its body as it tries to escape. Whilst the Marine Mammal Regulations were put into place to ensure seals were killed humanely, it's common knowledge that the Regulations are not followed by sealers and violations are not monitored or prosecuted by the Canadian government. In the 2002 Report published in the Canada Veterinary Journal, veterinarians observing the 2001 hunt noted that 87% of sealers did not ensure the seal was dead before skinning, hooking or leaving on the ice to go in search of the next kill. It's not uncommon for seals to regain consciousness after being beaten, and consequently they choke to death on their own blood, or regain consciousness whilst being skinned. The Marine Mammal Regulations require that a sealer either palpate the skull or conduct the eye-reflex test to ensure the seal is either dead or incapable of regaining consciousness. There is a multitude of video footage to prove that the sealers conduct NEITHER test. They are in a race to get as many seals as possible in a short amount of time. Ensuring the seals are killed humanely is too time-consuming for the sealers to worry about. DFO has admitted themselves that quotas are exceeded because it is difficult to monitor all the sealing boats. If they can't monitor the quotas, they certainly cannot follow the sealers from those boats around to ensure the seals are being treated humanely. For the government to continue to insist the seal slaughter is closely monitored and tightly regulated is a deliberate insult to the intelligence.

The species is not "doing quite well" in terms of population. If it is indeed true that the harp seal population has tripled since the 1970s we must be mindful that between the 1950s and 1970s the seals were severely overhunted and population levels were dangerously low. To say that the population is triple what it was does not automatically mean that the population is healthy. Furthermore, DFO is raising quotas without taking into consideration several factors, such as the general ecology of the oceans (and subsequently the marine life as a whole) and natural mortality rates. Again, we must be mindful that the effects of global warming are now being felt and the nursery ice floes melted early. As a result, an alarming number of this year's pups drowned. This year, natural mortality rates jumped off the radar and DFO, ignoring requests to cancel this year's hunt or to lower quotas, instead raised the quota and allowed the hunt to continue. This is not a plan for a "sustainable hunt". This is a plan for extermination.

Sealers who claim to rely on the seal slaughter for their livelihood are being less than truthful. There have been numerous viable employment alternatives put forward throughout the years. All of these have been dismissed by sealers and government with no consideration whatsoever. The truth is that sealers do not WANT to do anything different.

As for the government now considering further restrictions placed on observation of the hunt, Rebecca Aldworth of HSUS summed it up extremely well when she said "Contrary to what the DFO would have the public believe, observation of the seal hunt is not a privilege, it is a constitutional right. Canadian oceans belong to
every Canadian citizen equally, and any attempt by DFO to restrict hunt observation is a clear and unlawful infringement on the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Canadians." The violence during past seal hunts has come from the sealers at all times. Observers have been attacked with knives and hakapiks; they've had rifles pointed at them; they've been punched and kicked; they've been viciously beaten; their lives have been threatened; their vehicles have been driven off the road; they've been held hostage in helicopters and hotels by angry mobs while police do nothing; their inflatable boats have been rammed by sealing boats. No charges have ever been laid against the sealers for their violent and illegal acts. Instead, the government banned observers from this year's hunt and now threaten to restrict or abolish observer permits because of the "violence". Punishing the observers for violent acts perpetuated by sealers! Yet another insult to the intelligence by the government of Canada. The Canadian government is not afraid of the "violence" at the Gulf or the Front - it is afraid of world outrage growing, further markets closing to seal products, and more people joining the boycotts. The Canadian government thinks that if they can conduct the hunt in secret, away from cameras and eyewitnesses, the world will forget. The Canadian government is WRONG. Any attempt to ban observers from the commercial seal hunt will be met with resistance and will further blacken Canada's reputation in the eyes of the world.

Posted by: Bridget Curran | April 30, 2006 05:18 PM


04/04/2006

Cathy Kangas Offers Canada $16 Million to End Seal Hunt

Last year the Canadian seal slaughter realized $16 million in income to East Coast seal killers.

This year, Sea Shepherd member and supporter Kathy Kangas has offered $16 million to compensate the sealers if they do not kill seals.

Kangas, the CEO and Founder of PRAI Beauty a global beauty company, has made the offer in a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

"If you stop this year's hunt immediately, we will provide you with the $16 million to be distributed at your discretion," said Kangas.

Ms. Kangas also proposed working with the Canadian government to institute a program to buy back existing fishing licenses and launch a program of eco-tourism in Northeastern Canada to replace the seal hunt. "Canadian fishermen could earn more money serving as park rangers for high end tours to Canada to see the beautiful spectacle of seals giving birth on the ice floes," she noted. She said that whale-watching tours in Canada have been very successful attracting visitors.

"We are providing you with an alternative to what Paul McCartney called 'a stain on the character of the Canadian people.' If this is really simply an economic problem, then take our offer," Mrs. Kangas stated in her letter. The money, she pointed out, will be raised from private citizens and animal protection groups worldwide.

Mrs. Kangas added, "With the worldwide Boycott of Canadian Seafood, the television coverage of baby seals being clubbed to death for their pelts, and the involvement of high-profile celebrities such as Heather and Paul McCartney and Brigitte Bardot, one would think that Stephen Harper would welcome an economic solution to the seal hunt. We are willing to negotiate in good faith. However, should he choose to ignore my letter and continue with the hunt, we need to ask the world what will it take for Canada to end this barbaric practice?"

Through the Internet and home shopping networks, she created "Beauty With A Cause." Under this program, her company contributes a portion of its proceeds every month to a different animal protection organization.

A copy of Mrs. Kangas' letter to Prime Minister Harper is below:

March 21, 2006

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada, KIA O42

Dear Prime Minister Harper:
Your government has repeatedly stated that the $16 million realized from the slaughter of Canadian baby seals is vital to the fishing communities of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Newfoundland. If you stop this year's hunt immediately, we will provide you with this $16 million to be distributed at your discretion.

Furthermore, we will work with your government to institute a program to buy back the fishing licenses and begin a program of eco-tourism in Northeastern Canada, which would replace the seal hunt. Through this program, high-end tour companies, such as Abercrombie & Kent, would provide opportunities for its customers to see the beautiful spectacle of seals giving birth on the ice floes. This could be a whole new source of revenue for the region and fishermen could serve as Park Rangers showing the seals and protecting them.

The eyes of the world will be on Canada when the seal hunt begins. We are providing you with an alternative to what Paul McCartney called "a stain on the character of the Canadian people." If this is really simply an economic problem, then take our offer. The money is being raised from animal protection groups worldwide including The Humane Society of the United States, which alone has more than 9 million members.

We are asking you to negotiate with us in good faith. If we do not hear back from your office before the start of the hunt, we will have no other choice than to take this offer to the Canadian and worldwide media. We are providing the Canadian government with an opportunity to end the seal hunt and provide fishermen with an alternative livelihood. We look forward to discussing this offer with you. I can be reached through my assistant Diane Jacobitti.

Sincerely,
Cathy Kangas

from: http://www.seashepherd.org/

Posted by: Paolo Paiola | April 5, 2006 10:50 AM


26 March 2006
by Mark Glover, Director, Respect for Animals and Humane Society International (UK) – off Cape Breton
We had been surveying the Gulf of St Lawrence for several days earlier this week, looking for the harp seal nursery, but the ice had broken up and all that remained were small pans of ice, holding individual seals or small groups; our concern was that many of the pups, not yet being proficient at swimming, had drowned. Those that had survived were only living on borrowed time, the sealers were on their way.Because of the ice conditions, the hunt was due to start in the north east of the Gulf, further on from where we’d been only a few weeks before, to visit the newborn seal pups, with Heather and Paul McCartney. This time, helicopters weren’t going to be much use, landing on ice this thin was going to be near impossible, so we organised a boat to take us to the killing floes.At 6am Saturday morning, the official start of the hunt, we set off in a small boat with two inflatables. Boats carrying the sealers were already panning out searching for seals.The sealers were clubbing and shooting the seal pups now; if they could get out onto the thinning ice they would club the pups over the head; or they would shoot at them from the boat, hook the body and drag it onboard. I have seen several seals being shot and left on the ice to die; I’ve seen a sealer take three shots at a seal, then just move on.We were in our small inflatable boats, and at one point a sealer flung seal intestines towards us, they hit the boat and sunk away into the icy water. Then another boat swerved towards us, the sealers swearing at us.I saw a sealer shoot at a seal from his boat, then another sealer scrambled onto the tiny ice pan, bring down his hakapik, a wooden club with metal hook attached, on the seal pups head, hook it and drag it back to the boat. They were skinning seals on the boats, or sometimes on the ice itself. Then the carcasses were either left on the ice, or just floating in the water. It was gruesome.The sealers kept moving on, from one ice pan to the next, and the process started all over again – all that was left on the ice was a splattering of blood.It’s just horrific, there’s blood all across the ice; carcasses of newly skinned seals just left floating in the water. And the seals are so helpless, they are no more than about a month old; as they can’t swim yet they can’t get away from their killers, there is no where to go for them; they are sitting targets; it’s bloody carnage

Posted by: Paolo Paiola | March 30, 2006 11:53 AM


Dispatches: 2006 Seal Hunt 26-March

CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND—I write this journal not from the ice floes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where I should be documenting the seal hunt, but instead from Prince Edward Island.

Today I am ashamed of the behavior of my government—the Canadian government—which sunk to new lows to keep observers from recording the commercial slaughter of baby seals for their fur. In my eight years on the ice during the annual Canadian seal hunt, I have never seen such blatant misuse of power to stop observers from bearing witness to the cruelty on ice.

Late yesterday afternoon, I and six other legally permitted observers—including five staff members from The Humane Society of the United States and one media representative—were arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for allegedly violating the terms of our observation permits by coming within 10 meters of a sealing vessel while that vessel was in pursuit of seals.

Hours earlier, two sealing vessels had repeatedly charged at our small inflatable boats, putting us at risk as our boats pitched back and forth in their wake. Our main vessel was stationed nearby, and recognizing the threat we were under, our captain radioed a nearby Canadian Coast Guard boat twice, asking the Coast Guard for assistance. He received no response.

Thankfully, the sealers grew tired of their dangerous antics, and the two vessels moved off into the ice floes separately. We followed one, determined to continue documenting the slaughter.

Our two inflatable boats trailed the sealing vessel through the ice at a safe distance—at least 30 meters away. But suddenly the sealers turned around and cut us off. With heavy ice on one side and the sealing vessel bearing down on the other, we had no choice but to cross quickly in front of the sealing vessel to escape a collision.

At that moment, officers from the RCMP and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) exited the cabin of the sealing boat where they had been hidden from view. They called us over and accused us of having been within 10 meters of a sealing vessel. The RCMP officers immediately confiscated our footage of the hunt (including footage showing how we came to cross in front of the sealers' vessel) and then informed us that we were under arrest for violating the conditions of our observation permits. The five observers who were not Canadian were brought to the Coast Guard vessel and handcuffed. The Coast Guard held them for five and a half hours before finally returning them to our vessel.

No charges have yet been filed, but it has been made crystal clear to us by representatives of the DFO that they will not issue us any observation permits while the matter is being investigated. By the time this is resolved, the hunt in the Gulf of St. Lawrence will be over.

In a calculated political move, the Canadian authorities have effectively prevented The HSUS, and any journalists who might be riding in our boats or helicopters from documenting the rest of this hunt. But their efforts are in vain: We have already filmed hours of the killing, and the footage is posted on our website.

As we waited for the American and British observers held captive on the Coast Guard boat to be returned to us, I stood on the deck of our vessel. It was now completely dark, and the sealing boats had already moved miles away from us to anchor for the night. As I looked out across the black ocean, I saw the massive and brightly lit Coast Guard boat stationed about half a mile away.

In the quiet, I began slowly coming to terms with the knowledge that the Canadian government will sink to any depths to protect the sealing industry.

I shouldn’t have been surprised, but somehow I was. In the back of my mind, I had always hoped that the Coast Guard presence at the seal hunt each year might be intended to ensure the safety of observers as well. But a line was crossed when the Coast Guard failed to respond to our distress calls but came to the aid of the sealers by arresting seven peaceful observers for the alleged crime of getting out of the way of a sealing boat. It has now become very clear to me that if you try to document this hunt, the Canadian government will define you as its opponent.

Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Canadians oppose this seal hunt, the government agencies that are represented at this hunt—the RCMP, the DFO, and the Coast Guard—are there for one reason and one reason only: to stop the public from seeing the cruelty that happens just off the east coast.

The hunt is continuing, and I am devastated that we are unable to continue to bear witness. But I take some small comfort in the knowledge that the Canadian government would not sink to these depths unless it was very afraid of the effectiveness of our ProtectSeals campaign. I know that the government’s attempts to stop us from spreading the word about the obscenity that is the seal hunt have failed. We are winning.

Earlier in the day, two silvery adult harp seals swam by our inflatables, diving in and out of the water in tandem. They came close and then turned to gaze on us with their luminous black eyes. For a moment I felt like they were giving us a message, thanking us for our perseverance. I looked back and mentally promised them that we would do everything in our power to end this hunt for good.

The hunt observers, the seals, and the public have all been failed by my government. But I know with absolute certainty that with your support, The HSUS and our powerful network of like-minded organizations and individuals will make good on our promise—that we will end the Canadian seal slaughter. It is only a matter of time.


Posted by: Paolo Paiola | March 30, 2006 10:46 AM


And finally I think this Newfoundlander's witty observations needs a wider audience:

4 March, 2006
Yesterday's hero, today's hypocrite
REX MURPHY

The sun will be a lightless cold ash and, somewhere in a galaxy other than our own, deep into the future, some descendant of a rock star will be protesting the Newfoundland seal hunt.

In ancient times (think 950s), when zealous Roman Catholic priests wanted to impress upon their parishioners something of the unspeakable notion of eternity, which, not coincidentally, was coterminous with the raging fires of hell awaiting the various slackers and ne'er-do-wells among them, they offered an eloquent and stylish parable. It was a kind of apocalyptic thought experiment.

Think of a great granite mountain, they said, and then think of a tiny bird that, once every thousand years, flies by that mountain and brushes it only one time with its wing. Next, they challenged their listeners to contemplate how many thousands upon thousands of unimaginable years it would take before the action
of that tiny bird's fluttering wing would wear that enormous adamantine mountain to a heap of dust.

Once members of the congregation had collected their imaginations to the vast and horrible sweep of time thus conjured, there came the kicker: However long it took that little bird to wear away that great mountain, the priest would say, is not even one second in eternity.

I'm not sure if the church is as keen these days to impress upon its flock the infinite dimensions of the afterlife and, therefore, the high undesirability of spending that fathomless duration in the inexhaustible fires of hell, but if it should be thought necessary to update the parable, let me offer some alternate tropes upon which to build an equal sermon:
(a) the obnoxiousness of rock stars, has-been celebrities, and
knighted busybodies -- this quality is both infinite and eternal;
(b) the egotism of cause-mongers and publicity-hounds-- take
infinity, and stretch it; take eternity and extend it;
c) watching Sir Paul McCartney talking to Larry King about the
Newfoundland seal hunt -- the pompous in full communion with
the vacuous.

A sermon on any one of these is guaranteed to give a fuller, more toxic feel, to the sheer enormousness of time than the dated fable of some chickadee with a grudge against a mountain.

A snail hauling a lead weight across the universe is a NASCAR photo finish compared to Paul and Larry exchanging sighs and solemnities on the "heartbreaking" spectacle on the ice floes.

The last time Paul McCartney did anything useful, that is anything remotely connected with what he may actually know something about, was when he hitched a ride on Michael Jackson's then-hyperstar status and recorded the eminently forgettable Say Say Say.

Other than that, and a few ventures at distressing Mozart's ghost by essaying a symphony and, heaven help us, an oratorio, he's "the former Beatle." And good for him. If the world ever wants to know even more than it does already about the biggest bubble on the froth of 20th-century pop music, the Beatles, then Paul
McCartney, knight, billionaire, composer of Maxwell's Silver Hammer, is just the person to talk to.

But what he knows about the Newfoundland seal hunt would fit in a gnat's armpit, and what the rest of us should care about how he feels about it would gladden an even more rank receptacle. He's just one more in the endless file of soap-star
intellects, preening starlets, sit-com revenants, small-screen action heroes and full-bore Hollywood poseurs, who, over the years, have given an ounce of their time to drop by the ice-floes, park in front of a whitecoat, do the caring press conference, and go back to whatever it is that they do when they're not saving
seals.

It's quite a list. Brigitte Bardot, Pierce Brosnan, Richard Dean Anderson, Yvette Mimieux, Sean Penn (pre-Baghdad tourism), Loretta Swit and, to bring matters up to date, ubertart Paris Hilton, are just a petty fraction of the names that have found the seal hunt their cause du jour. Ms. Hilton, who, in my view, has caused the world more pain than four centuries of the seal harvest, gave the full power of her T-shirt to the crusade against the hunt when she sported this slogan at the Sundance Film Festival: "Club sandwiches, not seals."

If Paris Hilton and Paul McCartney are on the same page, it has to be a picture book. Throw in every manic animal activist organization, Greenpeace, the Fund for Animal Welfare and the whole camera-mad crowd that have made careers, or sustained tendentious organizations, by publicity assaults on the few
Newfoundlanders who actually work at getting a few necessary bucks from the hunt and you have a spectacle of disproportion that would make the angels weep.

Last summer, for a day, it was Make Poverty History. Sir Paul headlined the London concert with Bono for that monstrous hypocrisy.

Multimillionaires protesting world poverty, while keeping their bloated fortunes, is a dissonance that may peal through eternity.

As for Sir Paul and the seal hunt -- who cares? The night before, Larry King had on Roseanne Barr. Larry, Paul, Roseanne -- it's all so . . . yesterday

Rex Murphy is a commentator with CBC-TV's The National and host of CBC Radio One's Cross-Country Checkup.

Posted by: Vanni di Ponzano | March 29, 2006 06:01 PM


i am against killing dolphins, that was all i had to say

Posted by: Ion Andrei | March 29, 2006 05:56 PM


Sorry the link in my last post did not travell well:
Seal this debate shut:
http://www.peak.sfu.ca/the-peak/2006-1/issue12/op-seal.html
read more..

Posted by: vanni di ponzano | March 29, 2006 05:49 PM


Mr Grillio - you should be encoraging yr readers to BOYCOTT Sir Pauli the Big Bore Not those less fortunate. The Newfoundanders who cull the the seals make 20% of their living on this 500 yr old tradition:

Paul Watson has his own non-altruistic agenda. Folks should be calling him on that. And very few people are standing up for the un-employed Newfoundlanders who are trying to make a noble living.

It’s not about white seal pups Mr. Watson and you know it! How come you never note this: “ The World Wildlife Fund, the United Nations and other unbiased international organizations… agree that the seal harvest is in fact a humane and well regulated undertaking.”

And as for the McCartneys: they are simply pawns, and as it appears without their bearings:

"Throughout the debate, it was made clear that Paul McCartney has a profound lack of knowledge as a foreigner trying to intervene in a Canadian issue. Doing the interview from Prince Edward Island, McCartney was invited by Williams to witness the seal hunt in Newfoundland. To this, McCartney sarcastically retorted, “Well, we’re here, Danny. You don’t need to invite us. Thanks for the invitation, but we’re here. We’re actually in the studio here. We are in Newfoundland. And we saw the seals yesterday.” No, Paul, you’re not in Newfoundland. Right country, wrong province."
SOURCE: http://www.peak.sfu.ca/the-peak/200...12/op-seal.html

Happy Trails...

Posted by: Giovanni di Ponzano | March 29, 2006 05:42 PM


Ciao Beppe.

una domanda: c'é la possibilitá di stampare i tuoi post della settimana in pdf anche nella versione inglese (per favore)? Vorrei diffondere quello che scrivi tra amici e colleghi e con mio marito che é tedesco e legge con fatica l'italiano.

Saluti da una toscana a Francoforte.

Posted by: Chiara Ferrucci | March 29, 2006 10:36 AM


first thing first
vegetarian or not that is not the point
the importance is always in why ???? no reason
poeple that made typewriters obviously have change job
so shall these people , for a mere 8 millions pounds.

bottomline there are so many things to fight because they are so wrong - so i just hope that anyone who is there now will realize that my hunting season, when i have put enough money away
they have fun like this
well i, and many others will open hunting season as well

if you really want to be above an animal you gotta show it
if you dont, what prevents me from givin you the same treatment -( and dont tell me the law - im a law graduate !!)

maybe i'll start a website - english websites make you go kill protected game for money - so whats the difference to tell them were to go shoot for free - win win situtation

Posted by: matteo panno | March 29, 2006 10:21 AM


ciao amore Flavio

Posted by: sil tosi | March 29, 2006 06:51 AM


Thank you Beppe for your post. I don't think there's anything to say about seal-hunting: it is such an enormous, disgusting, wild horror that I find it hard for anyone to even try justifying this.

Therefore, I wish to focus my post on a number of inexactitudes that Beppe and some readers have written in their interventions. Inexactitudes I'm afraid Beppe is to be blamed for: what on Earth has the "carnivore" issue to do with seal-hunting?

Why people think that once you talk about any animal-related issue, you should talk about them all? Am I supposed to start a plea for saving Amazon Forest by saying "I love salad, and I don't feel guilty for this?"

If we insist on generalising every time we speak about animals, we'll never look serious, we'll never make a point, and - most of all - we'll always miss the chance to set a constructive discussion about a given topic.

Want to talk about seal-hunting, Beppe? For goodness' sake, just start from the second paragraph: "what really annoys me is the cruelty, etc." That's enough.

Alternatively, if you really feel the pressure of pointing out that you're not a veggie, it shall be appropriate to talk about it in a less arrogant manner. I know that one of your sources for information is (or has been) the Wuppertal Institut. Wouldn't it be the case of (re-) going through what they say about the impact of meat-eating and intensive farming on the environment, on our health, and on the third world (not to mention, obviously, the conditions of the animals themselves)?

Want to be a carnivore and at the same time Beppe Grillo (i.e., the guy that so passionately and competently fights for ecology, economy, etc.)? Well, then you should really follow the reader Fa's advice: go and catch your bistecca on your own, or at least breed (humanely) your own zampone.

Otherwise:

1) you read very incoherent, in comparison with other issues you're fighting for;

2) you read arrogant, in comparison with the justness of your plea against seal-hunting;

3) you provoke unfortunate comments from the readers, such as "these animals would not have been alive if it weren't for our appetites" (from Peter Monaco). Dear Peter: so what? So what if these animals are alive only because we want to eat them (by the way, YOU want to eat them: I'm a veggie)? Are they 'less alive' than others? Are they 'less sensitive' to the torture of intensive farms (very well described by Enzo)? Do they have less a right to live? That is pretty much like giving birth to a child because you need arms to work at home, and then treating him/her like a slave just because "s/he wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for our need for workers". Sorry: this is rather silly.

Having said that, I wish to go back to my first point: BEPPE, FOCUS ON THE PROBLEM, PLEASE! If the problem is seal-hunting, then talk about hunting, talk about furs, talk about seals, and talk about Canada. THOSE ARE THE ISSUES.
We don't need any reminder that you like Bistecca alla fiorentina. That shall be appropriate if you discussed intensive-farming: there, you should have the same courage to wave your carnivore flag.

By the way, will we finally get a post on intensive farming from you?

Thank you, and sorry for a long post
:Dario

Posted by: Dario Martinelli | March 29, 2006 02:15 AM


Trying to talk about this subject is SO hard without breaking into the rudest words I can think of! When I saw this ATROCITY on tv the other day I was so angry and so very upset. Yes, I am a vegetarian and I wouldn't dream of eating meat, but I encourage all meat eaters not to sit back on this one. The same with other animal cruelties such as the barbaric hunting of animals for fun. Bullfighting in Spain. And you can still be a meat eater but at least campaign for better rights for the animals you choose to eat. Live transportation for example. That's cruel and disgusting too. Vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters alike should be shouting out for better animal rights. We managed to stop the dreaded, barbaric foxhunting in the UK so there's encouragement for us all. We can do the same for seals too, and all the rest of the planet's animals, but we've got to start SHOUTING! We need the name of someone like (hint hint) the wonderful, charismatic Beppe Grillo to head this campaign. We'll all be there behing you Beppe IN FORCE so get shouting for us.
From Sonia (Reggio Emilia)

Posted by: Sonia Knox | March 28, 2006 07:50 PM


@Maxim Pichè
It doesen't matter if the seals are babies or not, this thing ist disgusting!
Cruelty is cruelty.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | March 28, 2006 07:26 PM


Hi,

I'd just like to mention that hunting baby seals is actually illegal in Canada. The activist still use the baby seals in their propaganda, but the seals that are hunted now are actually adults.

The technique used might appear cruel but when they are "beating them with sticks" they are already dead, and the procedures is mandatory by law to make sure, by destroying the brain, that they are dead before skinning.

Considering that this specie is doing quite well in terms of population, I find it appolling that we are wasting our energies on this issue at a time where a great mesure of earths biodiversity is going extinct because of our inaction.

Posted by: Maxime Piché | March 28, 2006 06:41 PM


ESTERI
Cina protesta per frase di Berlusconi su bambini bolliti
28/3/2006



Silvio Berlusconi
SPECIALE ELEZIONI
PECHINO. Il governo cinese ha definito oggi «affermazioni senza alcuna base» le dichiarazioni del presidente del Consiglio Silvio Berlusconi, secondo il quale durante la rivoluzione culturale i cinesi bollivano i bambini. «Siamo scontenti di queste affermazioni, che sono completamente prive di fondamento», ha affermato il ministero degli Esteri di Pechino in una nota. «Le parole e i comportamenti dei leader italiani dovrebbero favorire la stabilità e lo sviluppo di relazioni amichevoli tra la Cina e l'Italia».

Citando il 'Libro nero del comunismo', durante una manifestazione elettorale sabato a Napoli, Berlusconi ha affermato che «...all'epoca di Mao, in Cina non mangiavano i bambini ma li bollivano per poi usarli come fertilizzante per i campi».

Posted by: MC | March 28, 2006 05:48 PM


Listen, it's wrong and ugly any way you cut it, but the only reason people are freaking out is because it's getting so much press and the majority of the population don't derive any benefits from it. If the evening news were to show images of how cattle get pushed through a turnstyle and then shot with a pellet in the head, would protestors start lining up at the gates of all the slaughetrhouses? That wouldn't happen, because the cattle industry wouldn't allow it. Too many people are making money from it. Paul McCartney and his wife didn't swoop down in a helicopter on top of the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma and ask all his fans to boycott all cured meats. If we want to tell the hunters to stop with a clear voice, we should wipe the blood from our mouths. When did we get to decide what lives were more important?

Posted by: Enzo Anile | March 28, 2006 05:43 PM


From National Geographic news: Ice floes are sparser and thinner than normal this year in the waters north of Prince Edward Island, where hundreds of thousands of harp seals congregate each year to give birth to their pups. As a result, hunters may be forced to pursue their quarry in the water as well as on ice.

Posted by: Barbara Mussi | March 28, 2006 04:23 PM


Grillo,

if eating meat is in our nature,

why don't you go and chase the animal yorself? why don't you kill them with your hands.
In addition to this, being vegetarina would be beneficial to men, especially in Africa.

Posted by: fa | March 28, 2006 04:11 PM


In response to Enzo's comment, yes, it is cruel to subject veal, chickens and pigs to the conditions they are in. But remember that these animals would not have been alive if it weren't for our appetites. The seal, on the other hand, were born in the wild. Let the killer whales take care of the excess population. That's what natural selection is all about. The conditions we subject chickens and veal to are simply for efficiency and other business reasons (money). It's analogous to hiring the Chinese to make something cheaply.

Posted by: Peter Monaco | March 28, 2006 03:48 PM


Gia lo scorso anno ho seguito la vicenda, e sono rabbrividito alle immagini, un vero schifo... finalmente quest'anno in Italia è vietata l'importazione di pelli di cuccioli di foca era ora!!!,questa volta una bastonata in testa se la sono presa quei maccellai senza scrupoli di canadesi... concordo con beppe mai più prodotti canadesi.. e per chi vuole fare un'offerta all'associazione che si trova sul luogo a rompere i cogl..ni a quei bastar..i l'indirizzo è: https://secure.hsus.org/01/saveseals?source=gabac5

Posted by: Paolo Paiola | March 28, 2006 03:34 PM


Let's be serious about this. The world, (Italy included) can't cry out with moral outrage without looking seriously in the mirror. Let me first state clearly: I am not a vegetarian.

Take a walk through a farm where veal are raised in pens no bigger than their bodies, and tell me that’s less cruel. Take a stroll through a chicken farm where the birds are de-beaked and stuffed into cages with not even enough room to turn, and tell me that’s less sadistic. So why is there so much outrage over the seal hunt? They’re cute. They make good press, take good pictures. Who cares how a pig dies, it doesn’t have big round eyes. Besides they taste so good. If they could find a way to make a good steak out of seal meat, the only cameras following the hunt would be from “Linea Verde”. They’d have a full table with local cheeses and seal related products set up on the biggest ice flow. When we assign levels of cruelty, let’s be clear why we do it. When we choose what animal lives are expendable, let’s understand that our appetites and wallets govern our moral righteousness.

Posted by: Enzo | March 28, 2006 03:22 PM


prodotti canadesi sono:
"Cevello gelato"
" Palle surgelate"
e altre cavolate,
ma scherziamo? Leggi l'etichetta e COMPRA PRODOTTI ITALIANI.

Posted by: Giulio | March 28, 2006 02:15 PM


ok, but which are canadian products?

Posted by: Matteo Raggi | March 28, 2006 01:21 PM


ok, nice, but which are the canadian products?

Posted by: Poland Real Estate | March 28, 2006 01:20 PM


concordo pienamente. non si può avere sensibilità solo per delle cose e per altre no. il rispetto è dovuto a tutti gli esseri viventi. la crudeltà è da condannare sempre e verso chiunque. è per questo che intendo boicottare tutti coloro che la praticano, canada compreso.

Posted by: sofia mannozzi | March 28, 2006 12:32 PM


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