The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, is in the middle of animal rights controversy. In a gesture that has widely been denounced by urbanites and activists, but warmly applauded by the Nunavut natives the Governer General is undeterred.
‘Take from that what you will,’ Michaëlle Jean says when asked if her actions were intended to send a message to Europe, where opposition to the seal hunt runs high and a ban on seal products is poised to go into effect.
Inuits from Canada and Greenland are allowed to continue their traditional seal hunts by the EU. However, those exemptions are subject to a number of restrictions.
Bruce Friedrich, PETA’s vice-president for policy, said the Governor-General was giving Canada even more of a “neanderthal image than it already had.”
“The seal hunt is Canada’s shame, and in 10 years, Canadians will be horrified, saddened, and ashamed that their government defended it for so long. The Governor-General will come to understand her disgusting stunt as the most immoral and stupid thing she has ever done in public life,” Mr. Friedrich said.
A spokeswoman for EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas offered no official reaction.
“No comment — it’s too bizarre to acknowledge,” Barbara Helfferich said.
When asked if he would eat a piece of seal heart, Federal Defence Minister Peter MacKay, who said he has eaten seal liver and flippers, replied, “Sure! Absolutely. I’d love to try it.”
In my opinion the Canadian public should give the Governer General some breathing room. As television cameras followed, she joined the locals on a traditional community feast at the Rankin Inlet, Nunavut and used an Ulu knife to carve the seal. The Inuit Peoples applauded the gracious gesture and are grateful to the Governer General for this show of solidarity with seal hunters of the Arctic.
The public reactions included comments like ” Can I order Sushi, the Seal kind preferably with freshly carved meat from the heart” and “Coming soon to T&T Supermarket near you”. However, we should support the Queen’s representative in Canada for maintaining her demeanour despite harsh criticism.