Canada's governor general guts animal, eats raw seal heart - AP
RANKIN INLET, Nunavut, Canada -- Canada's governor general ate a slaughtered seal's raw heart in a show of support to the country's seal hunters, a display that a European Union spokeswoman on Tuesday called "too bizarre to acknowledge."
It's a different culture, my dear. Please be properly respectful. I'd a friend who, when working in Japan, ate a large, live insect because that's what the guys at the plant were eating -- an annual ritual, I believe. As a result, they did everything he wanted without demur, a much more satisfactory situation than had he insulted them by refusing. When in Rome, and all that.
Sure hope he washed it down with a bottle of Molsons ...
Or the Japanese equivalent. I imagine so -- he was a big Irish lad from the cow-tipping part of Pennsylvania. He and Mr. Wife put away a couple of cases of this'n'that one New Year's Eve to show me what drunkenness looked like, but I couldn't see any difference. Still, they tried, which was awfully sweet of them.
Governor General Michaelle Jean, the representative of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as Canada's head of state, gutted the seal and swallowed a slice of the mammal's organ late Monday after an EU vote earlier this month to impose a ban on seal products on grounds that the seal hunt is cruel.
Thus leaving more for everyone else. Thanks, guys!
Asked Tuesday whether her actions were a message to Europe, Jean replied, "Take from that what you will."
The governor general expressed herself so much more tactfully than the EU spokesperson, which no doubt explains their relative positions.
Hundreds of Inuit at a community festival gathered Monday as Jean knelt above a pair of seal carcasses and used a traditional ulu blade to slice the meat off the skin. After cutting through the flesh, Jean turned to the woman beside her and asked: "Could I try the heart?" She swallowed a piece whole and deemed it tasty, saying: "It's like sushi. ... And it's very rich in protein."

Jean, whose post is largely ceremonial, defended the hunt as an eons-old traditional hunting practice that is not inhumane. A spokeswoman for EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas offered no official reaction. "No comment; it's too bizarre to acknowledge," Barbara Helfferich said.
Ms Helfferich not only insulted the governor general, but also the ancient customs of an aboriginal culture? My dear, we simply do not behave so -- what were you thinking!
Animal rights groups believe Canada's annual seal hunt is cruel, poorly monitored and provides little economic benefit. Sealers and Canadian authorities say it is sustainable, humane and provides income for isolated communities.

Barbara Slee, an anti-seal hunt campaigner at the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Brussels said she was disgusted by Jean's actions. "The fact that the governor-general in public is slashing and eating a seal, I don't think that really helps the cause, and I'm convinced that this will not change the mind [sic] of European citizens and politicians" because the deal is largely finished, Slee said.
Does anyone other than activists and the self-congratulatory EU care about changing the minds of European citizens and politicians on such issues?
EU governments are to sign the ban into law on June 25th after the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to impose the measure. The new EU rule offers narrow exemptions so Inuit communities from Canada, Greenland and elsewhere can continue traditional hunts, but bars them from large-scale trading of their pelts and other seal goods in Europe.
The governor general ate the heart, she didn't offer up the freshly skinned pelt as a gift to the appalled EU spokesperson. Please calm yourself.
Rebecca Aldworth, director of Humane Society International Canada, said Jean's actions were misleading and offensive because of the exemptions. "Inuit people are protected in the legislation. To suggest otherwise is deceptive on the part of the Canadian government," Aldworth said.
I don't see any deception, but admittedly I am due for my annual vision check.
Newfoundland sealer Jack Troake chuckled after hearing of Jean's actions. "That's great stuff," he said. "You've got some of these environmentalists that are going to jump on her, but I think she's strong enough. She can take that, I think."
She cut out the heart of a seal and ate it. I think she can take that, too.

Posted by: Besoeker 2009-05-29