Monday, April 16, 2012

The Baby Seal Issue Today

Today highly recognizable organizations like PETA and the International Humane Society still see Clubbing seals as a battleground. There has been laws prohibiting the clubbing of "white coat" seals in 1987, but bigger grayer seals are still up for grabs once a year. These baby seals, as stated in class grow up to be bigger seals that deplete fish stocks making it hard for fisherman to make a livelihood and support their economy.
Recently Ke$ha has turned her infamy into altruism. She has become the International Humane Society's first global ambassador, spreading her message "Canada's Club Scene Sucks." Ke$ha even made one of those cameos where her voice is backdrop to a slideshow of cute baby seals wiggling around helplessly. The cameo gives no mention or consolation to the fisherman locals that this ban would directly affect. She proposes that until Canada bans all seal killing, Protestors will not eat Canadian sea food. There's even an phone app called "Protect Seals" which will tell the user if a restaurant is seal friendly or not.
It's good to see Ke$ha trying to use the fame she has collected from eating beards and puking glitter for a good cause, but it saddens me that this ad might generate more support than an ad created by scientists.


Emmitt Terrell said...

Well it is a relief to see that the person who originally posted this issue has a great sense of humor! It is mind-blowing to me that an environmental agency, especially one with such a high level of reputation, would take on Ke$ha to spearhead any environmental movement! After singing songs of her blacked out escapades at trashy locales it is hard to believe that she would be able to summon any appreciable amount of backing for a legitimate environmental issue, especially one as grave as the killing of baby seals! It appears as though Ke$ha is additionally uninformed of the other side of the coin on this issue. Calling for an absolute ban would cause many to have to "go without". Many of these hunters probably have families to provide for and in such an environment there probably are not a wide variety of jobs available. I had to respond to this because I thought the notion was ridiculous but if it can generate awareness over the issue then I suppose it serves its purpose.

Rashidat Moreira said...

Yea, I agree. Her claim is very biased. Indeed, it might not be nice to kill baby seal, just like it doesn't seem nice to kill Bambi's mother, but realistically their population needs to be decreased for balance in the aquatic environment.

However,one thing I still find puzzling it that, is it our (human) responsibility to balance things? We can leave these aquatic animals, let them reproduce and prey on each other as they want, and their population will still be at equilibrium. The population (of animals) becomes a problem to us when it affects our survival. More importantly,if we have been fishing or hunting reasonably--not excessively-- then we should not be so worried about the reduction in fish population as a result of baby seal growth. so, LETS WORK ON OURSELVES FIRST.

dingsar said...

Firstly, I appreciate the two previous comments- well said.
I just wanted to add, on the topic of baby seals, that last week someone made a comment on the baby seal video clip in class that really resonated with me. After viewing baby seals being beaten to death with clubs, Professor Tantillo asked us all how we felt. I said that this movie made me feel like humans were inherently evil (I do not always think this.)
Another girl in the class raised her hand and said that it is very interesting to listen to emotional responses to the killing of baby seals in this video clip, and then to consider the atrocities that occur on a daily basis in CAFOs/the entire food industry of the US. If we think that killing baby seals is bad...check out Tyson chicken. WHAT A VALID POINT. And at first this caught me off guard- I have read books on the food industry- watched some pretty horrifying movies- and yet for some reason, the video clip of baby seal killings seemed so dramatically different. But its really not. Why is it that there is not so much public uproar about the horrifying reality of CAFOs? And the way that meat is raised and killed to support America's appetite? Is it because chicken tastes better than seal? I think that every once and a while its good to get your heartstrings tugged on by a video that seems to be very clearly, ethically wrong. But then, as a classmate so keenly suggested, it is also imperative that we realize how common practice these "ethically wrong" killings are- be it for baby seals, baby cows, or baby chickens. It seems to me, that our heart-strings should be pulled on more often.

Juliana said...

Everyone who has commented thus far has made excellent points. I wanted to add on to some of the topics previously brought up.
Ke$ha & PETA - This is ridiculous but sadly may be the most effective means to raise awareness about a significant ethical issue among people. Ke$ha says on PETA's website "Canada gets to be host to harp seals each year during their migration to the ice to give birth which is beautiful and peaceful. But because the babies' fur is so soft, there are people who club and brutally kill these young animals. The Canadian seal slaughter is barbaric and archaic. My music and my fans are part of a movement of youth taking over the world with positive change. I know they'll help me and PETA ban the Canadian seal slaughter so the only place you see baby seal fur is in a museum." Clearly she is acknowledging the clout she has as a famous artist. However, as noted before she completely ignores the other side. Which when making an argument you need to evaluate both sides in order for your statement to be taken seriously.
Baby Seal Clubbing Video- Very necessary to see! I think that people often get wrapped up in their indivdual lives and problems that we forget to step back and take a look at the bigger more complex and quite frankly more important issues that are affecting the world.
Food Industry- I believe that the movie Food Inc. should be a movie that EVERYONE sees. It is eye opening and really makes you think about the food system in the US and what the current flaws are. I think there isn't as much of an uproar with the ethical treatment of animals in the food industry not because people don't care. They do- myself included. But I think that food has been overloooked by everyday consumers because it is a "given" in society. But as Ghandi says " You must be the change you wish to see in the world." So let that drive your future actions. It has for me- I am a food scientist who wishes to improve our current food system.