Boycott Red Lobster?

So I was walking along Bay St. last night minding my own buisness when I see this guy in a white mask (reminiscent of V from “V for Vendetta”) yelling into a microphone. I believe he kept repeating “Boycott Red Lobster”. This happened to be the Bay/Dundas instersection and on crossing the street I was requested to sign a petition to stop the killing of seals. Moi being in a relative hurry and in no mood to argue, proceeded to put my name down. I mean, afterall you can’t really go wrong with protesting the killing of a living creature, can you? However after some research and general discussion with friends I seem to be rethinking affiliating myself with the cause. Why? Well first I should probably give an overview of what this is all about.

According to statistics the largest commercial seal hunt since 1956 took place this spring, killing 352,953 seals (The International Fund for Animal Welfare). “This year, the Canadian government allowed about 320,000 young seals to be killed on March 29 to “ensure the health” of a booming seal population.”( Orlando Buisness Journal ) Consequently many organizations all over the world decided to pressurize Canada into ending the seal hunt. One of their main strategies is boycotting seafood completely in the hope that fishermen will leave seals alone to ensure their livelihood dependant on fish doesnt suffer. There is also a boycott planned for Canadian seafood produtcs ( harpseals.org ). Apparently ex-beatle Paul Mccartney happens to be a major player in the seal protection campaign as well.

Now admitted, these harp seals are super cute. All white fluff and liquid eyes. Which is why I chose not to put up an image, since it was bound to digress from the main issue at hand. A couple of questions which I think need to be reflected upon and have been brought up by various people:

Pro-Boycott:
– If an animal is not required for food or clothing purposes etc. then is it right to kill it?
– Every orgasim has a right to live
– Bashing seals over the head is inhumane
– Planned genocide (pertaining to animals)

Those who think it’s frivolant:
– The cute factor seems to have taken over.
– Cats and dogs are put to sleep regularly to prevent their population from getting out of hand. How is this any different? Take for example the cancellation of the bear hunt in the North of Canada a couple of years back. Now the population seems to have gotten out of control and is threatening humans.
– Overpopulation of seals would have a drastic effect on the fishery industry. The seals would end up eating the majority of fish meant for human consumption.
– Wouldn’t Paul Mccartney be better off aiding “humans” in say Africa or Somalia instead of sitting in his million dollar mansion and hugging seals?

6 Comments so far

  1. Geekette (unregistered) on March 18th, 2006 @ 9:57 pm

    Hi Saira,

    Yes, those seals are super cute, but what I call “cause-wankers” like the McCartneys are quite misinformed as to the actual facts regarding the seal hunt and like many celebrities, they never put their money
    where their mouth is.


  2. swoononeone (unregistered) on March 19th, 2006 @ 3:22 pm

    Not sure that GEEKETTE is fully on point on this one – “cause-wankers”. Got a lot of problems with that term. Having $$$ often means more attention on your political beliefs or social views but doesn’t mean they are anymore valid than those who have not.

    As far as the seal hunt, clubbing is barbaric. Not sure if the “culling of seals” is a appropriate solution but it’s not without precedent (wolf, bear, deer, etc..) If there’s overpopulation (starving seals) it’s more likely to be a result of other environmental and habitat damage and not that they are trying to eat an competing with fisherman to eat an already depressed/damaged fish stock. The main problem for fish in the Atlantic is more likely tied to Offshore oil drilling and over fishing. Two things that have nothing to do with baby seals.


  3. swoononeone (unregistered) on March 19th, 2006 @ 3:25 pm

    Not sure that GEEKETTE is fully on point on this one – “cause-wankers”. Got a lot of problems with that term. Having $$$ often means more attention on your political beliefs or social views but doesn’t mean they are anymore valid than those who have not.

    As far as the seal hunt, clubbing is barbaric. Not sure if the “culling of seals” is a appropriate solution but it’s not without precedent (wolf, bear, deer, etc..) If there’s overpopulation (starving seals) it’s more likely to be a result of other environmental and habitat damage and not that seals are competing with fisherman to eat an already depressed/damaged fish stock. The main problem for fish in the Atlantic is more likely tied to Offshore oil drilling and over fishing. Two things that have nothing to do with baby seals.


  4. Geekette (unregistered) on March 19th, 2006 @ 4:02 pm

    Not sure what problems you have with that term, but let me clarify:
    Cause-Wankers /koz-wan-kerz/, n. is my term for defining people with an exhibited tendency to push a crusade beyond point of reasonable discourse, usually without adequate research into facts surrounding the crusade or campaign in question. So Cause-Wankers can be wealthy/poor/any background, although wealthy ones like the Mccartneys naturally have more resources at their disposal to air and magnify their flawed views.

    Secondly, as I mentioned in an earlier post after having seen some of the debate on tv and reading the show transcript online, the facts are quite different from popular opinion and what may seem as the “likely” reasons.


  5. Saira (unregistered) on March 20th, 2006 @ 11:23 am

    Interesting article Geekete and you’re right about the McCartneys not having checked a lot of their facts. I do find it odd that all the major wildlife protection agencies are on board with this and they seem toi be creating a hullabaloo.


  6. Lorraine (unregistered) on March 24th, 2006 @ 10:18 am

    Maybe if the Canadian government cracked down on European fishing vessels who are still overfishing the cod stocks near Newfoundland, then there would be enough fish for Canadian fishermen AND the seals.



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