Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kazakhstan Should Shut Up

In the news this morning  Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus have banned the import of non-Inuit Canadian Seal products. It's not exactly new, I see, but I'm reading about it for the first time, and my initial thoughts are:

Really? Really Kazakhstan? You honestly think you can take the moral high ground on anything? Really? Ummmm... exhibits for your consideration:

  1. http://blog.soros.org/2010/03/torture-in-kazakhstan-eradicated-by-2013/
  2. http://www.soros.org/initiatives/justice/news/kazakhstan-gerasimov-20100422
  3. http://jurist.org/paperchase/2010/03/kazakhstan-failing-to-prevent-torture.php 
I will admit that I'm slightly pro-hunt but I am pretty uninformed about it all. The world-wide media has done a pretty good job of making us look like monsters for the hunt, which is, according to the facts, the largest slaughter of marine mammals on the planet. Huzzah! We're number one! Oh, wait..... I see they had to specify 'marine' mammals on that as even at 2 million we can't claim the number one spot for the largest slaughter of mammals on earth..isn't that right Germany?

I'm not going to go in depth into the Sealing debate (especially not on my gaming blog) but I will say that if they weren't so furry and cute the world wouldn't give a shit. Ireland kills thousands of Greyhounds per year and no one bans any of their products because it's not as publicized, Greyhounds aren't cute, and everyone loves the Irish! Except Greyhounds, of course- I bet they aren't very keen.

As Canadians we have a pretty good reputation in the world- generally. We're not perfect, of course, but I would venture to say the world view of Canadians as 'nice guys', peacekeepers, 'quiet American's' and 'damn fine hockey players' prevails the world over. We don't have a lot of human rights issues, but don't be fooled, they are there. My point is, were not known for flying off the handle and committing atrocities so I would venture to say there is a good reason we regulate, and perform a hunt of any specific animal. Look past the fact they are cute, and we might get to some of the real issues. Maybe we should re-evaluate all furry mammals which are routinely slaughtered. How about rats? Is that poison we use humane? Okay, that may be an extreme point due to the disease angle (and the fact they are just gross). I've lived with rats, and it isn't fun- but you see my point.

It feels a bit strange as an animal lover to come out on the side of the Seal hunt, but not as strange as it must feel for a regime (yes, I said regime) which still has problems with the torture of humans to come out all morally indignant that some cute, furry animals are being killed. The sharpest twist of the knife? The ban excludes Inuit-related products which shows an awareness of, and compassion toward, our First Nations people who might depend on these products. L. O. L.

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