Harrowing images of seal pups and bloody clubs have been circulated for years. Who doesn't hate the annual Canadian seal cull? The Telegraph's Daniel Hannan,
for one. He thinks the EU's ban on seal products is hard to justify,
and he was glad to see Canadian politicans "tucking in ... to seal loin
in port jus" the other day. Our revulsion to seal
about our instinct to protect our own young, not
morality or ecology:
Seals are not an endangered species: on the
contrary, their voracious appetite has played no small part in the
reduction of cod stocks. And, while seals undoubtedly look cuter than,
say, oysters, it is hard to see what places them in a different moral
category ... We are programmed to respond warmly to the features of our
own young: big eyes, little button noses and so on. So powerful are
these genetic impulses that the same features in other species still
seem adorable to us. I quite understand why people hate the idea of a
seal waddling trustingly towards the clubman: I'm not wild about it
myself. But we can all choose whether or not to buy the resulting
products. It is surely a bit much for the state--let alone the EU--to
enforce what is essentially a matter of taste on its entire population.
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