It was the seal tartar chomp heard around the world when Governor General Michaelle Jean bit into a raw seal heart. Jean helped to gut the seal before swallowing a slice of the mammal’s heart so according to Aboriginal culture she was entitled to share in the hunt.
Her actions drew heat from all over, particularly from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). PETA vice-president Dan Mathews said, “It amazes us that a Canadian official would indulge in such blood lust. It sounds like she’s trying to give Canadians an even more Neanderthal image around the world than they already have.” PETA also add that Jean’s actions were like “taking part in the beating of women in the Middle East because it is part of local practice.”
One Inuit, who wished to remain unnamed, said he felt PETA was saying all Inuit were nothing more than bloodthirsty Neanderthals who beat their women regularly. “We hunt and eat like this all the time. It’s survival and we don’t have a culture of wife-beating,” he said.
“We acknowledge the Native seal hunt is cultural. We give it a pass, even though we don’t agree with it, because our campaign is against the commercial hunt,” said Mathews.
The Inuit had something to say about PETA also on this issue. “That’s mighty White of them. I can sleep easier knowing they have given the Inuit people a ‘pass.’”
As for the Governor General, she hasn’t backed down from her tartar controversy. “These are ancient practices that are part of a way of life,” Jean said, framing her gutsy gesture as an act of solidarity with the Inuit. “If you can’t understand that, you’re completely missing the reality of life here.”
And where does the maple syrup come in? PETA is now attacking Canadian plant life in calling for a ban on Canadian maple syrup. Have a heart, PETA!