The Canadian Seal Hunt

harp-seal-485027So this seems to have become a passionate issue for me recently.

The European Union has recently voted to ban the sale of seal products. Article here. This has caused joy and elation among animal rights groups. So much so that it seems everywhere I turn I see the lines “ban the cruel seal hunt”. I’m tried of it!

What, exactly, is cruel about the seal hunt? Sealers and northern natives go out and hunt seals. The majority (~90% is the quote from Danny Williams) are killed with a gun, not a club. Imagine that. Also, you cannot kill a baby seal. If I hear the phrase “clubbing baby seals” one more time I will lose it. I do believe the seals must be a minimum age before being killed, judged by the colour of their coat. The “club” is also a traditional weapon called a hakapik that has been judged to be a humane way to kill seals.

How is this such a major animal rights issue? There are many, many more issues that I feel do not receive the press they deserve. The slaughter of tonnes upon tonnes of cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, etc. happens everyday. These animals are herded, crammed, stuffed into slaughterhouses and killed.

I feel animal rights groups have picked the seal hunt as an issue because seals are cute and have large eyes and it is easy to win over the hearts of the people. They have picked the easy battle and I feel their efforts could be much more helpful in other areas of animal slaughter.

In Danny Williams’ interview on Larry King he claims the WWF has observed the seal hunt and finds nothing inhumane about the process.

In conclusion, please redirect animal rights efforts to a cause that needs it.

Obama…why do I love you so much?

I tell ya, this Obama guy keeps doing the most amazing things! It seems every other day he makes an announcement about going greener. Love this guy! I’m just waiting for the bubble to burst. He can’t be this great!

Anyway, enough blubbering about him. On to the issue!

President Obama Announces National Fuel Efficiency Policy

The new standards will set nation-wide levels for emissions, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2016. This is the first time a nation-wide standard has been attempted.

An article in The Canadian Press talks about what this means for Canada. After all, we’re going to need to be making/driving the same cars they’re making/driving in the US, the two auto sectors are not separate. Yay! Emissions standards basically forced on Stephen Harper. I wasn’t holding my breath on his announcement about setting emission standards. car

On a nice note about Canadians (what isn’t nice about Canadians?), given the same options for car models as the US, 60% of cars bought by Canadians are small, fuel-efficient models while that figure is only 30% in America. Way to make a statement about your values Canadians!

Swine Flu: What can I do to help?

swine-flu1So, having taken a class that covered the Spanish Flu of 1918 (Dr. Perrins’ History of Medicine, Acadia…great course…take it!), the Swine Flu is terrifying. This is what I’ve been waiting for ever since that course. A new flu that is going to be more deadly than anything we’ve seen for decades, maybe worse. Now, I’m not saying that is what is going to happen, just that this virus seems to have high potential to become very serious, based on what the WHO is saying.

Now, fingers point to Mexico as the starting point of this outbreak, although it hasn’t been confirmed where/how the virus was created. Possibly due to conditions and practices at huge factory farms (not confirmed by research yet!). Hmm….why do we have those huge factory farms again? Oh right! Huge demand for meat products!

Now, in an effort to not be preachy (I am in no position to preach, as I have been know to ingest meat products every blue moon), I in no way expect you to become a vegetarian. That is a personal decision that requires a lot of research and thought. But what are small ways we can all change to maybe take the pressure off intensive livestock practices that are not in the best interest of the future of our society?

1) You can eat one less meal with meat a week. That’s not too bad! Have a veggie lasagna. It’s so filling you won’t even notice. Burritos can be made with just re fried beans, skip the beef. Don’t say it’s too hard…my parents (former meat and potato people) are doing a great job of it, and I didn’t even have to harass them! Here’s a recipe for black-bean burgers even my super meaty boyfriend likes.

2) When you do buy meat, buy organic (when you can, I know it can cost more). That way, you can increase the demand for organic, causing more farmers to become organic, causing less use of antibiotics that can create super-bugs.

3) If you live in the country, try the farmers markets or even go direct to your neighbours. It night not be certified organic, but many small scale farmers don’t need to use heavy loads of antibiotics.

4) Know a hunter? Ask for some wild game! Rabbit stew is yummy. If you happen to be in Australia, try the roo (sometimes farmed, but much less intensive than cows). Grab a fishing rod and catch supper. It’s more fun than standing in line at the supermarket too.

Now, again, I’m not saying swine flu started on a factory farm. However, the conditions on factory farms are primed for outbreaks of nasty diseases than could jump to humans. So just to try do whatever you can to help a little bit. If we all help a little bit, it will help a lot (wow that’s cheesy, nice ending Carolyn). 🙂

Western Australia

Honey Bee huddle at Nationals

Honey Bee huddle at Nationals

Well we’ve gotten to do some more traveling lately after being stationary for a while. The Australian Ultimate Championships just took place in Perth, Western Australia. Did you know it’s the most isolated capital city in the world? (So said one of our guides…I have not actually checked this fact)

I definitely recommend that you make the effort to get there if you’re in Australia. Basically, Australia seems to be mostly concentrated on the East Coast, so I imagine most travelers don’t make it over to the west. If it hadn’t been for the frisbee tournament we probably wouldn’t have made the trip.


We actually didn’t see the city hardly at all. We took a 3 day trip

to the South, going as far as Wapole, where we did the tree top canopy walk, which was a delight for the botanist in the group. We also climbed the bicentenial tree, 75 high. The way up is via a ladder made of re bars stuck into the side of the tree. Totally worth it but also totally insane. This tree ladder would not but legal in Canada.  There were also some wineries on the way and the really cool Ngligi cave.

Look up…look waaaaaaay up (Bicentennial Tree)

We spent a day going north to the Pinnicles Desert. It was pretty cool but if you have limited time I might skip it.

Pinnacles Desert

Pinnacles Desert

And finally we spent a night and 2 days on Rottnest Island. Loved it! Could have stayed longer. It’s a great place to relax, ride around on a bike and meet the local ‘critters’ as Brad calls them (actually called Quokkas). Also, if going and you’re not rich, BYO food. There are minimal places to eat, which surprised us; and that allows them to jack the prices. $16.50 for fish and chips? Ouch.

In summary, it was a great trip. I would have loved to have had the time/money to head up the coast to Broome and other lovely sounding places. But ‘dems the breaks!

Cutie Quokka

Cutie Quokka