Ouch! Inukshuk clubbing a seal – Peta’s new seal hunt campaign

Written by Glenn on February 18th, 2009

logoI just got back from Peta’s press conference outside of Vancouver city hall unveiling the logo for their new campaign against Canada’s seal hunt.

I am not always a supporter and I sometimes cringe at Peta’s stunts, but this time I think they are dead on. Co-opting the Olympic logo, which itself is co-opted from the Inuit who will see no benefit from the games, seems appropriate and right.

The seal hunt is a shameful stain on Canada and it’s about time it was stopped. The amount of money and resources that get dumped into maintaining the hunt could be used for more constructive purposes, and we could save all the innocent animals’ lives. Canada deserves to be in the spotlight for this horrendous abuse of animals and nature.

Watching the footage of seals getting clubbed is horrific. As a child I saw animals get shot, and those images have stayed with me my whole life. I wonder, what are the psychological effects of committing those violent acts? Does violence begat more violence?

For more information on the seal hunt, check out our page.

Peta really impresses me with their ability to get media out and consistently get coverage for their stories. They recognize media opportunities and plan and execute their events really well all the time. And, with the prominent place that media takes in our everyday lives, getting messages into the media is hugely important.

Here are a few photos from the event:

Lindsey speaking to the media

Lindsay speaking to the media

So many cameras!

So many cameras!

Gotta get a good shot...

Gotta get a good shot...

Hanging out after.

Hanging out after.

 

30 Comments so far ↓

  1. paul says:

    i wish i could like PETA a lot more, but some of their campaigns are seem so far off the mark. this one, i agree, is pretty good.

  2. Ed Coffin says:

    Looks like there’s quite a bit of press there. Pretty awesome!

  3. Becci says:

    I’m with you, Paul. PETA does some annoying stuff, but this campaign seems pretty well put together.

  4. Adam says:

    This is disgusting. They are disrepecting a cultural symbol for an entire population of people (the Inuit). This is a generalized symbol, basically implying that the Inuit population are seal clubbing evil-doers. What do we call that in modern society? Prejudice… racism….. pick one. And you three praise them for it.

    Good work.

    Think for yourselves once in a while.

  5. Qoelet says:

    There is a little bit of confussion and ignorance here. The Inuit do not club seals, those are the Newfoundlanders that go for harp seals in the Labrador sea. Inuit seal hunting is done with rifles either at breathing holes or floe edge. A very humane practice with subsistence purposes. PETA got it pretty wrong connecting an Inukshuk, Inuit symbol, to seal clubbing. When these guys are going to learn that perpetuating that stereotype screws up an entire way of life?

  6. Glenn says:

    This is in response to both Adam and Qoelet.

    PETA is attempting to connect the Vancouver Olympics with the Canadian Seal Hunt. It’s the Vancouver Olympic Committee which first co-opted the Inukshuk.

    By using an Inuit symbol as a logo, the Olympic Committee has reduced the Inukshuk to the level of commerce, and PETA is taking aim at VANOC here, asking them to speak out against the seal hunt.

    But that’s just how I’ve seen it. I think I see your point, that this is a recognizable Inuit symbol clubbing a seal. I’m glad you are speaking up and saying that the Inuit do not take part in the seal hunt. The DFO often characterizes the seal hunt as a native hunt, which I have found to be a false claim. Sealers, as you say, are Newfoundlanders of European descent.

    Have you ever read William Vollmann’s book “The Rifles”? It is a look at how the introduction of rifles into Inuit society actually made seal hunting less efficient (lots of seals get shot and fall into the water and can’t be retrieved) and less humane. It is a novel though, so I’m not sure how on target he is, although he has spent quite a bit of time in the north.

    Anyway, thanks for speaking up about the use of the Inukshuk. If Peta were simply using the symbol in this fashion in another context, I would totally agree with you. But, here, in this context, the Inukshuk has unfortunately become a symbol of the Olympics.

  7. Tim says:

    Can’t wait for the Inuit campaign — a PETA activist clubbing an Inuk.

  8. Glenn says:

    I’m not sure I understand what you mean?

  9. Erin says:

    Although I am not completely supportive of the seal hunt, as a Newfoundlander myself who have memebers of my family involved in the seal hunt I think it would be a good idea for people to stop relying on what they see from PETA and find out exactly what happens from the sealers themselves.
    Clubbing actually is a more humane practise then shooting because when done properly death is instant however with a gun they bleed to death internally. But of course that doesn’t look as horrific which is why anti-sealing programs always show pups laying on the ice covered in blood.
    As for this new campaign, it’s unfortunate that a group who works so hard for animal rights would be so rasist towards humans.

  10. Melanie says:

    I believe that Seal Clubbing should have been banned a very long time ago, we live in a modern world with modern technology, surely if we can clone a sheep we can creat artifical fur to resemble seals fur for people with poor taste.

    Connecting the Olympic Games with Seal Clubbing is PETA way of saying that the Olympic Games condone the seal clubbing by awarding the Olympic Games to Canada. With so much controversy around this topic, Canad should have been given an ultimatum, either stop the brutal, evil , genocide of seals or the Olympic Games will be awarded toanther country…

    Go PETA…. & may every man that lifts a club to a baby seal , wither with excruciating pain!!!!!!

  11. Erin says:

    In reference to Melanie:

    Every country has laws that PETA doesnt agree with, should they never award the Olympics Games to any country then?

    Come on, think it through.

  12. Nancy says:

    To be honest, the idea of the “Canadian Seal Hunt” blows my mind. It makes it sound like every Canadian is out there to club every cute little baby seal that pokes its head through the ice. The way that it’s being publicized by single-mission groups like PETA is completely disrespectful to the people that they’re attacking, and the cultures that they’re misunderstanding.

    There MUST be recognition to the fact that the Inuit have been hunting seals (and whales and other animal life) for literally generations. They have done so in a manner that respects the circle of life and the importance of subsistence hunting. This is not what should be attacked. I agree; if every person in Canada was constantly scouring the ice for seals to pop their heads up, and then beating them mercilessly, this would be cause for an attack. Fortunately, that’s not what’s happening. Not even CLOSE. This ad campaign, is racist and completely ignorant.

    If people are going to protest an act, they should probably understand what it is. This is yet another way that PETA is alienating themselves from the mainstream public. It’s extremist crap like this that indicates just how little they really do know – and more importantly, try to know – about the issues they attack.

  13. Sean Michelin says:

    This response is to Glenn: then why are they portraying Inuit in that manner… the Inukshuk is one thing.. but its being used as a universal symbol for Canada (as an Inuit i am far from insulted by the IOC using it.) i am however insulted at Peta taking it upon themselves to portray my people as ‘neanderthals’ and ‘bloddthirtsy’. the famous Peta Misinformation Machine rears its ugly head again. if this was any other group doing this towards, say, middle eastern ethnicities it would be labeled a Hate Crime!

  14. Glenn says:

    That is definitely a good point. I am glad to see more attention drawn to the issue of the seal hunt. I don’t think that any tradition can justify this slaughter of animals.

    As for the use of what we know as an Inuit symbol, the rest of the world will see this as a symbol of Canada’s Olympic games. In that case, it does make some sense to take that symbol and repurpose it in this way.

    I just (finally) watched the video on Peta’s campaign website, and I only saw the Olympic mascots going seal hunting. I didn’t see any Inuits involved. Did I miss something? Do we think there’s a portrayal of Inuits here when there actually isn’t?

  15. Glenn says:

    Ok, so I really looked through the Peta website, and there are no Inuit. I don’t know what everyone is getting so worked up about.

  16. Tim says:

    Where does PETA get off being so racist?

  17. Glenn says:

    I’m not sure I understand what you mean… I don’t see any racial references anywhere in this Peta campaign.

  18. Yabbar says:

    PETA disgusts me – White Seal Pup hunting has been illegal in Canada since 1987 – that’s over 22 years, yet PETA continues to perpetuate the myth that Canada kills white seal pups. Why? Because it draws in the Rich and Famous to a “just” cause (that has been illegal for “just” over 20 years) and garners tons of money for PETA. So, not only does PETA falsely and knowingly perpetuate this type of hate-mongering, but now they claim that the Vancouver Olympic Committee co-opted the Inukshuk, so that gives PETA the RIGHT to further co-opt the Inukshuk for their use as if they had any more right to co-opt it in their minds.

    Get real! First you diss the VOC for using the Inukshuk, then your organization goes ahead and does the very same thing, but in doing so, you create a disgusting image from an innocent nations Icon, something far worse than what the VOC did, but your purpose is snow-white pure and ethical. You. Make. Me. Sick.

    Just like your “White” Seal Hunting campaign – it’s all in your collective heads. Why don’t you guys go after the Cattle industry. Big Brown eyes, long eye lashes. Hey, don’t you guys know what VEAL is made from? Pretty much the same manner of “killing” with about the same percentage of “good” kills from “bad” kills as the Seal Industry, according to a Veterinary Publication who monitored the 2002 Seal Hunt.

    Oh, yes, Right! They are NOT as CUTE as Baby Seal Pups.

  19. Glenn says:

    I have to say, your comments are a bit odd. I’ve never seen Peta’s “white seal campaign”. Sounds like you’re trying to distract from the real issue – that seals are still getting their heads bashed in for no real purpose. (We also aren’t Peta, so this isn’t “our” campaign and Peta is not our organization.)

    And you are definitely right about the horrors of animal agriculture. Their lives are horrific and their deaths are painful and terrifying. All the more reason to avoid meat and animal products althogether. I’m glad we can at least agree on that!

    For more information about the lives of animals in the food industry, check out Peta’s Meet Your Meat or our info pages.

  20. Tina says:

    Let’s face it, the Newfy Seal-hunt is cruel and inhumane. Unfit for humans to participate, no matter what their excuse is.
    To all you people who complain about the method PETA is using to bring awareness to the fact: go and do something about the Seal hunt, or shut up.
    Peta, keep up the good work. Use whatever legal means to stop the cruelty

  21. big jimmy says:

    its hunting like shooting a deer or a hog but theres a chance that you might not kill the hog or the deer and the deer will run off and then bleed to death or would yo rather a big nock on the head to make it uncontiouse then the hook to the brain to kill it id say thats better then an animal bleeding to death…. what im saying is quick or slow? and stop being such pussy ya jeriatured faggots its a seal i say club the ones that are grey an dugle but not the little white fluffy cute lookin ones :P

  22. big jimmy says:

    oh yeah and glenn yur a FAGGOT your a guy you limp dick mother fucker god i feel bad for your dad haveing a bitchy little son like you tisk tisk if you were my son id smack you over the head and say join the dam US Marine Corps and stop cryin!!!

  23. gritts nd beer for christmas... its paul! says:

    i agre with big jimmy and what the fuck is with this peta they dont need to be capitaled ther gay vegitarians you cant survive without yur meats you need proteen! and y are they racist agenst human like that all the humans should be dead and the animals should rule the earth and like we should get human clubbed no god made us the top rankung preditor

  24. gritts nd beer for christmas... its paul! says:

    what faaaggggooottts fuck you glen join the marine corps tuffin up you geriatured limp dick cack suckin little sqweemish fucker damn your just sad!

  25. I do like it that much but
    it looks good (L):D

  26. Jiggs33 says:

    Why the hell would people club any animal? Are we cavemen now, some people are sick. If you like to shoot stuff, join the army and shoot terrorists or something. But no, there mostly too scared to get shot at, they’d rather kill things that cant defend themselves. People are sick, try to club me, ill break your neck.

  27. paul says:

    i miss seal meat

  28. paul says:

    i don,t know how to farm seal caribou tarmigun fish or baluga but i eat them i,m sorry but i,m eskimo or inuk

  29. paul says:

    i rather eat what i kill

  30. paul says:

    i never seen white seal in my whole life

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