27
May
09

What’s wrong with killing animals?

seal heartIt was just a mouthful, but the morsel of food that passed the Canadian governor general’s lips is making news around the world. Michaelle Jean helped butcher and eat a seal heart in an apparent act of solidarity with Canada’s native Inuit hunters  — and has won scores of praise and criticism in doing so.

Some have accused her of bloodlust — and even the EU (which has voted to ban Canadian seal products)  says the story is “too bizarre to acknowledge”.

But the governor general herself says “These are ancient practices that are part of a way of life. If you can’t understand that, you’re completely missing the reality of life here.”

gregnb responded to this article , saying “If these seals were ugly looking beasts no one would have a problem with the hunt”. Does gregnb have a point? Why are some of us squeamish about killing some animals (whales in Japan, seals in Canada, dogs in some Asian countries, just to name a few) but not about sheep, cows and pigs? If the govenor general had eaten raw tuna, would it have made world headlines? Probably not. Is it the method of killing that matters to us? Or is it the fact that we’re simply more used to the idea of killing some animals rather than others?

And where do we draw the line between preserving cultural traditions and ethics?


18 Responses to “What’s wrong with killing animals?”


  1. 1 steve
    May 27, 2009 at 11:51

    Goldenrule. Why do humans go nuts when a shark kills a person, despite we must kill 5,000,000 sharks per human killed by a shark?

  2. May 27, 2009 at 12:44

    Culture of Lettuce and Tomatoes!
    meat and poultry no longer lure me, I’m after taste. Conjure an assortment of broccoli, cucumber, tomatoes and lettuce with a dressing of olive oil, wine vinegar and a dash of mustard! Beats any meat dish.

  3. 3 Jennifer
    May 27, 2009 at 13:33

    Re: Why are some of us squeamish about killing some animals?

    Because it’s a politically motivated concern that makes people feel guilty! Without people hunting through time; where would we be? Without food and clothing.

    Re: Michaelle Jean helped butcher and eat a seal heart in an apparent act of solidarity with Canada’s native Inuit hunters — and has won scores of praise and criticism in doing so.

    Ethics? Um, yeah, imagine how she would be perceived if she had refused! She deserves praise!🙂 She honored a tradition.

    • 4 Todd
      May 28, 2009 at 18:28

      Tradition – Something a group forgot to stop doing.

      “Without people hunting through time; where would we be?”

      We’d be less violent toward each other.

  4. 5 patti in cape coral
    May 27, 2009 at 14:29

    I think most of the world does not butcher its own meat anymore, so it is difficult to watch animals being butchered and eaten, especially a cute seal. I would probably become a vegetarian if I had to kill my own food.

  5. 6 steve
    May 27, 2009 at 14:57

    @ Jennifer

    Not all traditions are something that should be upheld. It’s traditional in some places to have honor killings. If someone killed you, gutted you, and ate your heart, would you want someone to feel guilt over that, or is the world yours and you should be free to do whatever you want with everything on it?

  6. May 27, 2009 at 16:32

    I think there is so much so wrong with, and in the world to worry about who ate what, when and how.

  7. May 27, 2009 at 16:49

    Except for vegetarians, we all should hold our piece. Just as a seal is cute to some, and should not be killed (they think), cows are considered sacred and should not be killled or eaten by some.
    Whether we kill with our hands, or wait for someone else to kill while we do the cooking and eating, it is the same thing.
    If already there are legistlations in place which individuals violate, prosecute them, but until then, let all butchers (be they governors-general, or the meat-men downtown) be.

    • 9 patti in cape coral
      May 28, 2009 at 13:15

      You are right, of course, killing with our hands or waiting for someon else to kill is the same, but we are so removed from our food (here in the US, anyways), that we are no longer used to seeing the reality of what it means to kill your own food, or even grow your own food. I don’t see anything wrong with what she did, I would just find it difficult to do. At least I would have to be very, very hungry.

  8. 10 Jonnan
    May 27, 2009 at 22:00

    At the end of the day, for me the question is what options are available.

    There are the Japanese, (Some of whom) who claim that killing whales is part of their cultural heritage – and yet I must concede some doubt as to whether that heritage involved vast fishing fleets that traveled the world.

    These are the Inuit – while I am all for a world arising where they don’t need to kill seals to live, we are not as of yet there, and these are not equivalent.

    Jonnan

  9. 11 Tom D Ford
    May 28, 2009 at 00:35

    “But the governor general herself says “These are ancient practices that are part of a way of life. If you can’t understand that, you’re completely missing the reality of life here.””

    I think that she is right.

    I think that acknowledging man-kinds past allows us to learn about why we are the way we are in the present. We all started out as hunter-gatherers and along the way we would have eaten some, um, very odd things to survive. Like fermented shark in Iceland, the old Mongol drinking of horse blood, witchety (sp?) grubs for Australian aborigines, all over the world people have adapted to what was available when they were hungry.

    Honoring native practices doesn’t mean she has to totally convert to seal heart-ism though.

  10. May 28, 2009 at 23:28

    When astronauts go on their expeditions in outer space, they feast on pills containing all the vitamins required to keep a human healthy. How those pills are manufactured is crucial to knowing whether humans really need to kill animals to acquire those vitamins or whether it can be done by other means.

  11. 13 Jennifer
    May 29, 2009 at 17:38

    Re:Not all traditions are something that should be upheld. It’s traditional in some places to have honor killings. If someone killed you, gutted you, and ate your heart, would you want someone to feel guilt over that, or is the world yours and you should be free to do whatever you want with everything on it?

    Um, we are differentiating between humans and animals right?

    • May 31, 2009 at 20:14

      Hi Jen – there are lots of folks who hold a blurry distinction on the animal/human thing, apparently…But I liked your posts; keep up the clear thinking and good writing! -PRA-

  12. 15 Max
    May 31, 2009 at 05:14

    More to the point – animals that are kept for human consumption should be cared for in the best of circumstances, and killed as humanely as possable. Chickens too, that are kept for their eggs in cages unable to move around or scratch the ground, should not be allowed. Man’s cruelty to animals knows no bounds. The enclosures that they are kept in is very poor and cruel.

  13. 16 Ernesto
    May 31, 2009 at 18:09

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with killing animals for food. Ancient traditions of hunting or fishing form the basis of our food provision. It is the gruesome food industry that need to be addressed and the exhaustion of our natural resources.
    The industrial slaughter of seals for fur coats is an other matter entirely.

  14. May 31, 2009 at 20:04

    The killng of animals is accomplished primarily by eliminating their habitat, not by eating a single member. Everyone alive today participates in this practice by virtue of their birth membership in the apex predator class.

    The unrestrained synthetic self-serving angst displayed by the folks protesting the Canadian Governor-General’s laudible display of solidarity with her countrymen is appalling. If you want to whine about cruelty visit an American factory poultry farm or a traditional Chinese mainland market. Folks generally exibit the morality that they can afford, and morality is somewhat variable in it’s interpreitation across the globe.

    If you want to protect the seals, stop factory fishing, ban multinational agribusinesses and animal feedlot operations, and impliment sane human worldwide population quotas. None of these measures will either endanger tribal traditions or drive sea life into extinction. All will meet with severe protests from the impacted group, especially when you try to control folks preferential proclivity for accidental breeding.

    The more important question is not whether it is wrong to kill animals but whether we are just too stupid to live. If the game is to find out precisely how many degraded human lives we can support on this rocky mudball circling its isolated type-G star before a “natural” population crash occurs, we’re well on our way to finding out. If you think that there might be a more sane alternative, you better stand up, wake up and start voting your convictions.

  15. 18 Melissa
    September 20, 2009 at 14:54

    HEyy.!
    Killing animals is wronqg.! why would you think ohf killing animals . they might bee food to you bt animals are made to protect us. that was regular food is for. RESPECT animals. animals need the respect the deservee. animals didnt do nOTiNG to us for them rto be killed by you cruel peoplee.!!!!!!!!


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