Newfoundland Government Is Pissed at PETA Germany

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3 min read
The Honorable Tom Rideout
Credit: CBC/CC

Bad PETA Germany! What were you guys thinking? Did you even take a second to think that you might be hurting the feelings of the Newfoundland Fisheries Minister when you released a video depicting the horrors of the seal slaughter that he presides over? No, of course you didn’t. And look what happened. Because of your heartless disregard for the complicated emotional needs of Canadian Fisheries Ministers (and this isn’t the first time you’ve upset defenseless bureaucrats, is it, PETA Germany?), you’ve gone and hurt The Honorable Tom Rideout’s feelings. What do you have to say for yourselves?

Here’s how it’s all going down, according to Newfoundland’s Western Star newspaper:

“The provincial government is alarmed by a new anti-sealing video which is being distributed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) 2, in Germany. The Honourable Tom Rideout, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, expressed his disappointment and concern that this group would draw such a vile comparison to the Canadian sealing industry, which includes one of the most well-managed harvests anywhere in the world. The video compares the harvesting of seals to the violent physical abuse of a human.”

And Minister Rideout has been eloquent on the subject of his “disappointment” in a press release that he’s been sending around:

“We are now witnessing a new low on the part of anti-sealing organizations. We in Newfoundland and Labrador have become accustomed to the misinformation and inaccurate depictions of the seal harvest that are presented around this time every year. However, this particular attack is the most vile that I have ever seen myself in my almost 30 years in public life. It is completely indecent for this group of people, who have likely never even visited our province, to present such a disturbing depiction of sealers. It is ironic that this group, which is making such an unethical attack, has the word ethical in its name. Their ethics are certainly nowhere to be seen in this approach to addressing their concerns with the Canadian sealing industry. It is also ironic that this attack is coming from Germany where there is a harvest of wild animals including the hunt of 1.2 million deer and over 500,000 wild boars per year.”

Now, there are those who would say that drawing attention to the vicious bludgeoning and skinning of live seals is worth disappointing the occasional Fisheries Minister, but to those people I ask this question: What about the emotional bludgeoning that Mr. Rideout might have experienced as a result of having to watch video footage depicting the horrific acts that his government is condoning? It almost seems as if my counterparts in PETA Germany (who, as the Minister so astutely points out, live in a country that still allows deer hunting and should therefore not be allowed even to talk about cruel hunting practices that occur elsewhere in the world) don’t care at all about whether their video about the internationally reviled Canadian seal hunt offends some functionary in the Newfoundland Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Unbelievable.

This is the video in question:

And this is the footage it’s referencing. Tom Rideout calls it a “harvest.” I call it an atrocity. You say tomato …

If you speak a bit of German, you can learn more here.

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