Seal clubbing

The Guardian summarises the Canadian responses to Paul and Heather McCartney's campaign against seal clubbing, replete with a funny pic of H-Mac getting nipped by a harp seal. A worthy cause, in my book - I can see why people get annoyed by the celeb intrusion but I tend to think that the "there are better causes to support" argument that some of the people quoted used is sometimes fatuous: no one can support everything in one lifetime, after all, and why shouldn't celebrities promote their own pet causes? (The point about overfishing of cod not getting enough attention, though, is a good one...)

Actually, the pic is just screaming to be captioned. Paul looks like he's going all Henny Youngman: "take my wife - please!"

Tangentially, here's a photo of one of my favourite T-shirts, combining an ostensible animal conservation message with a clubbing reference:


The problems with Sir Paul's opposition to the seal hunt are many. There are two that readily come to mind. The first is that the baby seals they were so happy to be photographed with (which, incidently, they actually broke the Marine Wildlife Conservation Act by touching) aren't the seals being killed. The baby seals have been safe since the 70s, its the ugly adult seals who are at risk. If the McCartneys wish to help the "poor seals" from slaughter, than they should get their photo-ops next to the intended victims, not the legally protected babies.

Secondly, there are too many seals. The population has skyrocketed since the first feel-good seal protests, and now is at sufficient a level to provide an extreme danger to codfish stocks that are threatening the economic livelihood of actual human beings. As responsible caretakers of the oceans, if we wish to cull a large portion of foodstock we must also cull the predators which hunt them. Killing huge numbers of seals acheives this. If we don't kill off the seals we are risking the loss of the cod. Again, Paul and Heather McCartney didn't feel it important to "save" these examples of "nature's splendour".

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