Putting the club back in seal clubbing

Ke$ha, the face of the seal protest.

As “pop” “super” “star” Ke$ha throws her weight (90 pounds) behind the fight against the Atlantic Canadian seal hunt, the question must be asked: Who spoke for the seals before pop culture sucked?

Every year there’s some sort-of celebrity who clubs us over the head with the message that Newfoundlanders and Maritimers are barbarians for taking part in a tightly controlled hunt of sea mammals (horrors!).

There’s been Pamela Anderson, MacGyver, an America’s Top Model host, and generally just a cavalcade of Z-listers who need something to do now that there’s no such thing as Hollywood Squares.

You can make an argument that Paul McCartney has been the exception, but a) he spoke out because of his wife/master Heather Mills (who could pay the sealers’ wages with her alimony) and b) McCartney wrote Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime, which is the sonic equivalent of a seal being strangled.

And this year there’s Ke$ha trying to $ave the $eals despite an apparent shortage of funds that keeps her from replacing the S on her keyboard. The irony in this case being that her music can kill surrounding animal and plant life at 100 paces.

All celebrity-bashing aside, there are only a couple of reasons why people care about the seal hunt.

First and foremost, seals are so cute they’re basically children’s toys with intestines. The acceptability of animal slaughter is based entirely on how adorable a species is. That’s why you never see a supermodel on the ice floes promoting the Save the Flounder foundation.

The second reason is that seals are killed for one brief period each year, which by definition makes it news. No media outlet covers the bloody slaughter of cows, chicken and sheep because it’s 365, 24-7, and budgets these days don’t allow that kind of in-depth reporting.

I feel particularly bad for the cow. It’s dopey-looking and is killed by the tens of millions. That’s why many celebrities have posed for those Got Milk? ads. Think about that. Famous people pose with the food made for the cows’ children smeared on their face, all with a big smile. Barbarians.

If you’re a vegetarian, cool, add the seal hunt to the list of things that offend your sensibilities. But if you like steak, chicken or lobster, then you’re a hypocrite, and possibly a big, fat one.

I just looked it up, and Ke$ha is a vegetarian, so I guess she’s off the hook. The seal hunt is a heated discussion, but I’m always up for differing, honestly held opinions.

I call a truce, Ke$ha. If we’re ever in Newfoundland at the same time, let’s go clubbing.

Follow John Mazerolle on Twitter



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