Sunday, February 28, 2010

The 2010 Olympic Winter Games and Animal Rights

© By Othmar Vohringer

The Olympic Winter Games in British Columbia were widely used to stage another Olympics of sorts. Animal rights activists, anti hunting groups and self-proclaimed wildlife conservationists from around the world encroached on Vancouver from the U.S.A., Germany, Australia, Ireland, Great Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, France, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland. Yes that’s right, from my own birth country. I hang my head in shame.

While the real Olympic athletes competed honourably for medals in various athletic disciplines the animal rights groups competed for media and public attention with their heated rhetoric geared to evoke emotional reactions and loosen the wallets of a largely fact ignorant people. Anti seal hunt demonstrations throughout Vancouver and on television where part of the animal rights international media blitz Olympics. Even the athletes where not spared from animal rights attacks, either because the athlete is a hunter or trapper, such as the Canadian Biathlete, Megan Imrie, who posed proudly in front of her fur shed, or like American figure skater Johnny Weir who lets everybody know willing to listen that he likes to wear fur on and off the ice.

Why choose British Columbia, or Canada for that matter, to stage the largest anti hunting and animal rights demonstration the world has ever seen? Well Canada is the only country in the word that hunts the "cuddly" seals. The images of “slaughtered baby seals” that are "torn away from their wailing mothers", according to animal right rhetoric, have been a huge moneymaker for them. It is for this and no other reason that animal rights use pictures and film footage of a newborn harp seals (whitecoats) and hooded seals (bluebacks), which by the way are outlawed to hunt in Canada since 1987. But you would never guess that fact from the old revamped 50's and 60's, or digitally made up, pictures and film clips the animal rights circulate on their websites, advertising flyers and fundraising events. It has the desired shock value and that in turn means billions of donations are flowing in which are used to fabricate more horror stories, emotional blackmail and armchair science for the gullible masses.

To add more effect to the staged drama animal rights often accuse seal hunters to “skin seals while they are still alive”. Incidentally the same unfounded hideous claims are made about slaughterhouses skinning and chopping up livestock while still alive. A study commissioned by the Canadian government in 2002 and published in the Veterinary Journal found that “seals taken during a hunt are killed in an acceptable humane manner.” The Canadian Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) cited in an inquiry to the allegations that 98 % of hunted seals it examined had been killed properly. The study and inquiry are proof that the seal hunt opponents are wrong and clearly maintain the “barbaric” image of seal hunters for their own financial gains.

What about the claim that seals are a species at risk? Well you do the math. Canada’s seal population is an estimated 6.5 Million and growing. The federal annual seal harvest quota is between 92,000 and 226,000. Harvest quotas are adjusted annually up or down to adjust to the overall seal population. You see the seal hunt in Canada is not only an economic necessity for many people living way up north but also a wildlife management program. The same wildlife management program that is responsible for Canada’s large variety of wildlife species in healthy sustainable and well balanced populations.

Despite the media circus the animal rights staged and their offensive in-your-face, often violent too, approach on the streets all over Vancouver and Whistler most people ignored them. British Colombians paid billions of dollars to have the Olympics here and we are not about to have the biggest party of our lifetime spoiled by a few hundred sour crapes.

By the way our Canadian athletes did better than anyone had expected. As of this writing 13 gold, 7 silver and 5 bronze medals is nothing to be sneezed at. Canada is after America and Germany on 3th place of the countries that won the most medals. By the end of the Games Canada could well be on 2nd. place. Congratulations to our athletes. Go Canada Go!

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NorCal Cazadora said...

Yeah, now they're getting their undies in a bunch about bear hunting too.

But you've really nailed it: The seal campaign brings in the money. If all the people getting all upset about this were vegans, I might respect their position, but I'm willing to be a significant number, if not a majority, are meat eaters who divide the world into acceptable killing (anything that they don't have to watch that feeds them) and unacceptable killing (anything there's hype about that isn't served at McDonalds). I find such hypocrisy unbearable.

Othmar Vohringer said...

I fully agree with you NorCal Cazadora. Here is something else about hypocrisy that many people are not aware of. About three years ago a seal, obviously very sick, stranded on a beach in CA. A passerby observed people tormenting and hurting (injuring) the sick seal and others filming it. The passerby called the police and the folks got arrested. Turns out they were animal rights (I forgot if it was PETA or the HSUS.) Turns out that they wanted to "obtain realistic footage of a hurt and bleeding seal for a anti seal hunting video." In theor defense they said; "Sometimes we have to hurt animals to wake people up." In other words it alright for the animal rights to hurt and injure "defenseless" animals to further their agenda, but it is not alright for them if a hunter quickly and humanly kills an animal for food. HYPOCRITES!


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