Canadian restaurants that serve seal come in for criticism
“It’s no worse than veal”: The handful of restaurants in Canada that serve seal got a boost last month, when the European Union banned imports of commercially caught Canadian seal products. Canada allows two different hunts each year: a small one by Inuits in the Arctic that pretty much no one objects to, and a much larger, fur-driven hunt on the Atlantic coast that produces all those horrible images of cute baby seals getting clubbed to death. The seal served in restaurants comes from the latter, and many think it's (ahem) in poor taste to serve it. The meat doesn't sound very yummy, either: the reporter describes seal tartare as "both gamy and fishy, with the consistency of shredded pork." (New York Times) Fishermen are allowed to kill 280,000 seals out of a herd that Canadian officials estimate at 5.6 million — not a lot. Like the foie gras debate, seal meat seems a distraction: sure it's objectionable, but it's a drop of blood in the ocean of inhumane animal treatment: what about the 60 million hogs in this country living in concrete-floored factories that never get a breath of fresh air? Pigs just aren't as cute as seals?
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