Will Stephen sell seal schlongs down by the seashore?
If you’re not up for a tongue twister, try out this brain teaser: how in the world could the fur industry think Canadians would be all right with selling seal penises to Asian countries for their allegedly mystical properties?
That’s exactly what’s going to be in front of Prime Minister Stephen Harper when he’s presented with the latest plan from the Fur Institute of Canada. The nonprofit organization, which receives some of its funding through provincial and federal tax dollars, is looking for ways to make the East Coast seal hunt profitable.
For years, the Canadian government has subsidized the hunt. This year they want 400,000 harp seals, 60,000 grey seals, and 30,000 hooded seals slaughtered. The Canadian Press broke the story in early June, after uncovering documents through Freedom of Information Act requests, the only way to get information out of the Conservative government these days.
It’s important to note that this hunt is not the one undertaken by the Inuit. This is a commercial hunt on publicly owned land and waters by commercial hunters and fishermen in the Atlantic region of Canada. It should also be pointed out that all of the bans on various seal products around the world do not include the products cultivated and sold by Inuit in Canada; only the products from this commercial hunt. Even Russia—one of the largest purchasers of fur in the world—has banned the trade in harp seals.
The brief version of the plan—since it’s actually quite elaborate and has too many zeros to accurately keep track of—is that the Fur Institute would outfit 40 hunters with silenced semi-automatic rifles on five boats to go out and kill the seals for nine months. After this, the penises would be dried and sold around the world as a sexual aphrodisiac.
The Fur Institute also wants money so seal meats and oils can be sold to markets around the world. The problem is that no one really wants these seal parts. That’s why the government is subsidizing the group who is coming up with ways to pay for a subsidized plan to sell unwanted products from a subsidized hunt. But don’t worry, it’s good for the economy.
Those are the magic words these days. In what other unicorn and double-rainbow filled world but the one ruled by our current government could the sale of shrivelled seal penises be considered both sustainable and economically sound?
Sure, we know people want to buy penises (and yes, there’s a Reform Party joke in there that I’m just too classy to make). Entire populations or species of tigers, rhinos, and sharks have been destroyed by the desire for the mythical healing properties of their parts. Governments around the world are spending millions of dollars to try and find ways to prevent this abuse of wild animals. Even the future king of England thinks it’s a bad idea to keep that practice up. Granted, we can only assume that the FIC didn’t pitch him the sustainable-seal-penis-plan, so maybe we’re speaking too soon.
Yes, the selling of seal schlongs by Stephen down by the seashore is a bad plan. It’s not even that elegant of a play on words. But it is an example of how ridiculous our leadership has gotten that this proposal could even be considered for more than two minutes after too many beers.
In desperate attempts to win votes, dumb ideas (such as killing wolves to protect caribou who are actually a risk from resource exploitation by people who have plan that’s “sustainable” and “good for the economy”) are being pushed through our democratic system. And what adds the wrong to the dong is that only 36 percent of the voting public actually wanted this government in charge.
While debates on how much spying on advocates is acceptable have ruled the House in recent weeks, other topics—like the import and sale of domestic dog and cat fur in Canada or why selling the sexual organ of male seals may be a poor idea—have been ignored.
When you head out to the voting booths this fall—and we know you will—think about all of the decisions that have been made in just the last four years. Consider all of the poor choices, the bullying, the lack of transparency, and what it has meant for yourself, your family, the environment, and all of the wild families that inhabit it. And if you still decide that our current leadership is the right choice… well, that’d be a real [pun redacted by government censors].