NEWS MEDIA ONE-DIMENSIONAL ON SEAL HUNT
by Robyn Lee
I’m alarmed that Canadians heard only one side of the seal hunt story while the rest of the world was exposed to a disparate perspective. One example is a recent MacLean’s magazine article entitled "The Good Hunt," which was a defence of this highly controversial annual event. Positioned simply as "a way to make a living," there were transparent excuses and glib jokes that glossed over all the reasons why there are two sides to this story.
If you look outside mainstream Canadian news media you discover that much of the rest of the world sees the seal hunt as a wasteful, unnecessary, and brutal slaughter. Clubbing defenceless seal babies who can barely crawl, let alone swim, is akin to shooting fish in a barrel. But the Canadian government defends and subsidizes this tradition on the basis that it provides jobs in rural Atlantic Canada. Sealing is only a small part of the East Coast fishery, but fur sales to European and Asian garment manufacturers make it a multi-million dollar industry. Both sides agree that the hunt is a lucrative business.