What Do You Love?

I was reading about the Canadian seal hunt because I heard on the radio yesterday that they now have a rule that the baby seal must actually be dead before it is skinned. (Although there is no one to enforce the rule.) Apparently skinning them alive happens rather often — time is money, you know.

But then I came across an even more remarkable statement: it seems that the seal hunt isn’t very profitable. In fact, the hunters may not even break even. But they go out anyway year after year “because they love it”.

These men “love” clubbing hundreds of helpless baby seals in the head with a hakapik (sort of a pick-axe with a hammer on one side and a point on the other) — tossing them in piles and skinning them, dead or alive. The carcasses are left — just the skins are taken usually.

Is this a pathology that is masked because our culture is generally so aggressive and violent that people who “love” to kill walk among us unnoticed?

Suddenly I was reminded of my drive to work along a country road with many subdivisions off it. I don’t think I have ever gone down that road without seeing at least one new dead body.

Now I’ve been driving a long time and like every driver I’ve got blood on my wheels. I’ve picked up my share of bugs on the windshield. I’ve killed more than one squirrel that turned at the last minute and ran back under my wheels. I even hit a deer once, although I braked hard and it got up and bounded away apparently not hurt too much.

But I’ve never hit a skunk, an opossum, a raccoon, a Canada goose, a turkey, a fox, certainly not a woodchuck since they stay off to the side of the road. And definitely no cats or dogs. And yet I see their bodies every day. Too many of them to all be accidents. It seems there are drivers out there who “love” to kill animals with their cars.

In fact I saw a man run down a dog one day, and he really had to go out of his way driving onto the shoulder to get it. I think this is happening way more than we know. According to an article in USA Today there has been an upsurge in incidents of people shooting, knifing, and running down farm animals around the country — calves, ponies, horses, cows, goats, etc.

Maybe as a culture we need to get clear that the words “love” and “kill” don’t belong in the same sentence.

Maybe Blackwater recruits it’s mercenaries from a pool of these people. Maybe terrorist groups do too.

As for the Canadian seal hunt — the International Humane Society concludes that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) “not only allows, but encourages the editing and suppression of science to achieve short term political gain” — in particular a boost to the party and careers of Fisheries Managers Brian Tobin and Fred Mifflin. See the report at http://www.hsicanada.ca/seals/canadian_govt_support_seal_hunt.html