Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Paul Watson Hates Inuit

If you can stomach it, take a gander at this sensational, inflammatory tripe written by Paul Watson in response to the recent narwhal cull near Pond Inlet. It was published in the Pacific Free Press on November 30. (My thanks to Tommy Kilabuk from the Arctic Bay Hunters and Trappers Association for bringing this to my attention.) I give you the article in full along with my own commentary, because, honestly, I can't read callous, ignorant crap like this and keep silent. (Note throughout how Watson resorts to some rather flowery prose, tugging at the emotions but falls short of facts and accuracy - a typical animal activist ploy.)

Well, here goes:

Before reading this, please understand that I write this essay with a smoldering rage deep within my heart. Canada, my country, a nation in which my family has resided since 1648 has just committed one of the most savage and disgraceful crimes against nature imaginable, and once again they have spilled innocent blood into the sea and filled the air with the screams of the most gentle and social of animals - this time it is the Narwhal, the unicorn of the sea.

Well, if you're that angry, you probably should keep your mouth shut, Paul, before you embarrass yourself by displaying your own ignorance. I'm happy your family has been in Canada since 1648. In my community, people have connections going back some 5000 years, much much longer than your paltry 350. 1648 rings a bell here for some reason. Oh yes! That was the year the 30 Year War ended in Europe. Perhaps your relatives came here to escape the bloody massacre Europeans had been inflicting on each other. And you accuse Inuit of being barbarous? [just read on] Spare me.

The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans is the most evil, insidious, incompetent and dangerous bureaucracy in Canada. Nothing in our oceans is safe from the cold, calculating, greed-motivated bureaucrats that control Canada's most destructive government department.

What they have done in the past with the destruction of the fisheries, the slaughter of the seals, the damage to marine eco-systems and their abuse of the laws of the nation has been trumped this week with their decision to murder 500 trapped and defenseless Narwhals.

No government bureaucracy is perfect but this cull was undertaken after community consultations with government officials, community members, the local Hunters and Trappers Organization and local elders. Inuit have had a symbiotic relationship with Nature for centuries before your relatives showed up and starting screwing things up.

500 whales trapped in Arctic ice. Could they have been saved?

The answer is absolutely, they could have been saved. But hearts as dark as the foul breath of demons from the bottomless pit of hell have prevailed and where Canada could have delivered the gift of life, they have instead unleashed a torrent of violence that has spewed the hottest of blood into the frigid seas of the high north.

The government of Canada has a fleet of powerful ice-breakers. They have the money, they have the means. They could have reached the whales and they could have broken a path for them to freedom.

And the government's response to this humanitarian solution was that "the noise of the icebreakers would have been stressful to the whales."

"Hearts as dark as the foul breath of demons......" Could you spare us the inflammatory rhetoric here? Thanks. Fact: Canada does posses a fleet of ice breakers that can handle pretty much any Arctic conditions that Mother Nature can throw at them. Unfortunately, the fleet has long since left Arctic water for the season. Our closest naval base in Shearwater, Nova Scotia is hundreds of miles away. Do you honestly believe a ship could arrive in time to save every single trapped animal? I find it ironic that the "Save the Whale Gang" are among the same crew that would be most likely to oppose increased spending on icebreakers or military ships back in the 1980's when our military defense budget was being hacked to pieces. And now you expect the country to automatically have ships to come here on some sort of rescue mission?! The grim reality, whether you like it or not, is that these whales were restricted to a few small open leads. These leads would surely have frozen over completely in the -30C weather long before an icebreaker managed to get on scene. I have seen video of the trapped whales and trust me it was difficult to watch. These animals were already under great stress. However unpalatable, a cull was the only humane answer.

WTF! Insanity reigns supreme in the Department of Fishy Business. Instead of noisy slightly irritated icebreakers delivering mercy, we had dozens of ruthless Inuit killers blasting away with high powered rifles at screaming whales frantically trying to escape the bullets, desperate in panicked horror as they dove and surfaced, frustrated with no place to go. All around them the bodies of their comrades floated on the surface, gurgling blood and thrashing in frantic mortal agony.

This was a Dantean canvas of horror from the deep depths of hell and a reminder of just how utterly ruthless humanity can be.

Nice! Profanity and a reference to Dante. Really, you should be teaching creative writing courses in a university somewhere. Might I suggest the University of Windsor? Essex County is a nice place and a drive through it might calm you down some. It sounds like you could use that. Seriously though, HOW DARE YOU CHARACTERIZE AN ENTIRE GROUP OF PEOPLE IN SUCH A WAY! HOW DARE YOU!! I suppose you are just carrying on in the vein of good old Brigit Bardot - Love the animals, hate the Muslims and homosexuals. What a heartless mean-spirited thing to say!

To the Inuit it was like shooting fish in a barrel - literally.

And the Inuit were quite happy to pull the triggers. Narwhal tusks sell for thousands of dollars and this bonanza was 4 times their allowed "legal" kill. This was an opportunity to put hundreds of valuable "unicorn horns" on the market and to bring hundreds of thousands of dollars into the economy of the far North. That was the motivation for the decision to kill the whales and that is why the DFO chose not to save them.

It was a completely unregulated bloody massacre. Not a single DFO officer was on the scene and the Inuit killers roared and laughed barbarously as they inflicted tortuous death upon these gentle creatures. The DFO displayed incredible insensitivity and utter stupidity to suggest that icebreakers would stress the whales, yet can they honestly believe that what the killers were doing was not stressful?

Well since you characterize Inuit as nothing more than blood-thirsty killers, why not call them greedy too? You neglect to mention here though that the majority of the narwhal were female. Female narwhal DO NOT have tusks. But lets assume for a moment that they all had tusks. I have a 4 foot tusk at home that I bought for around $400. There are regulations in place. In order for me to get that tusk to Ontario I had to have a tag. Otherwise, it would have been seized if discovered by wildlife officials. Let's assume for the sake of argument that each animal had a tusk with a length of 6 feet and that they would be sold for a price comparable to what I paid. Well, let's see that's $100 a foot, $600 per tusk. Multiply that by 500 animals and you get a grand total of $300 000. Wow! But wait a minute. Nunavut's population is currently around 30 000 people so the "hundreds of thousands" of dollars of which you speak works out to a grand total of $10 for every man, woman and child. Perfect. I can now afford that box of Kraft Dinner I've been eyeing at the Northern Store for the past week! You make Inuit hunters out to be a bunch of incompetent, bloodthirsty killers. Obviously you have no experience in how a hunt happens. It is hard, cold and often dangerous work, no matter what the conditions are. Were you even there? How do you know the hunters involved were laughing the way you claim they were? Why didn't you send one of your ships up to cut a path. Come on. You guys must have a fortune from all the fundraising you've done over the years exploiting baby seals and traditional culture.

"Local hunters shot the narwhals as they surfaced to breathe in the only leads of open water," said Rebecca Aldworth, director of Humane Society International/Canada. "The DFO has tried to defend its unconscionable choice not to break the ice and free the whales, claiming that the noise of the icebreaker would have been 'stressful' for the narwhals. Clearly, the deafening blasts of the rifles, and the volumes of blood filling the water in the only breathing holes available is far more stressful."

The DFO spends millions sending icebreakers to break paths for seal killing ships every Spring. The [sic] spent over a million dollars dedicating a single icebreaker to trail the Sea Shepherd ship 'Farley Mowat' to prevent documentation of the harp seal slaughter. Millions spent to subsidize slaughter and not a penny to help break a path for 500 trapped whales.

Well, obviously they shot them as they surfaced. How else would they have done it? And exactly who is this Rebecca Aldworth anyway? Just another activist anti-sealing leader. How better to buttress your argument than to quote only those who are in agreement with your inflammatory, off-the-wall tactics? Obviously this lady has never been around a rifle as it is being fired. The noise is hardly deafening. In fact, when I mentioned this comment to some of my students (avid hunters themselves) in class this morning, they all rolled their eyes and laughed. Again, if you are such an activist, why did you not seize the initiative and get a ship of your own up there for a rescue mission? Or is it just easier to whine and complain about someone else after the fact?

As a Canadian, I am deeply ashamed to be a citizen of a nation that can so willfully condone lethal destruction of 500 endangered and incredibly unique sentient creatures.

The Narwhal is on the red list of endangered species published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and this means that they are at the highest risk of global extinction. The Canada-Greenland Joint Commission on the Conservation and Management of Narwhal and Beluga and the Whaling Commission have both stated that narwhal hunting is not sustainable.

Canada this week just pushed the Narwhal 500 animals closer to extinction.

Every Canadian should hand their head in shame at this atrocious crime. That [sic] a bloody disgrace for a nation my country is!

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature is an international umbrella group for several conservation-minded organizations. in 1994, this group rejected membership for activist groups such as IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) which both Watson and Aldworth support. These clowns are too radical for the IUCN and they have had disagreements over tactics in the past yet Watson willingly cites them when it serves his purpose. There's integrity for you. I should reiterate that when it comes to marine hunts involving such animals as narwhals and seals, Canada has one of the most regulated hunts in the world. I could go on about this but that would require another post entirely. Wildlife is incredibly resilient. Events such as the large number of narwhal getting caught so far from the floe edge are very rare. This has happened occasionally in the past I'm sure back when there was no media around to witness it. It may happen again. This may not seem fair but that is how nature works. Watson clearly has no clue about how things work up hear and professes an ignorance of Inuit culture that truly disgusts me. Why don't you just substitute the word "Inuit" for "Jewish", "Irish", "Black", "Homosexual" or any other marginalized group, you disgusting, insensitive, ignorant, hate-filled man? You mention the bottomless pits of Hell in the opening paragraphs of your rant? Why not just take a leap in and spare us all? Say hello to Hitler while you're there too, you racist moron!

I can conclude by saying that I am a proud Northerner and a proud Canadian. I WILL NOT hang my head in shame. The only person I'm ashamed of is Paul Watson. If you truly loath this country as much as you profess to then please, do us all a favour and leave. Just go. And take Gilles Duceppe with you while you are at it.


Meandering Michael said...

The guy has the soul of a poet and the research skills of a... well, I'm not poetic enough to finish that.

Great response. I witnessed a narwhal hunt in Pond Inlet in the summer of 2008. While it may have been difficult to watch through "southern eyes", it was hardly disrespectful. People were hunting (and working hard) to feed their families. I heard no "barbarous laughs".

The whole icebreaking argument is getting annoying. I wonder why everybody seems to think that the ice-choked leads opened by icebreakers would be anything that a pod of whales could surface to breathe through? I mean, I wouldn't want to try and surface through a thick mass of sharp ice blocks - assuming that the lead stayed unfrozen long enough for me to follow.

Take a look at this wake:

And that's only 14" Great Lakes ice.

Jackie S. Quire said...

Okay, so generally, I think his rant is ... like MM said, poorly reseached and highly emotional. I wonder if this guy is available for hire. I have some insurance adjusters who could use a good defaming.

(Because actually, this could be a case of libel... but that's another post)

MY POINT IS... and I do have one...the tusk thing. I've been curious about this for some time now. I've even asked my colleague who's working on this story to look into it.

First: from what I've heard, generally tusks go for a lot more than what you paid. At least in the Kivalliq. A hunter-colleague of mine was saying they are worth thousands of dollars. Each.

Second: I think you know as well as I do that neither of us is going to see any of that money. So *technically* I think there's a little more money to be had...for the Inuit anyways (as in, unlikely to be distributed to the whities that make up that 30 000)

But you make at least two very good points in that section:

Not all narwhales have tusks (something not everyone knows...) AND it's not like they are easy to smuggle out of the community and sell. Unless you took it by dog sled all the way to ... CD? Then took a boat, then another dog sled, then a truck just to get them down south without anyone noticing.


Matt, Kara and Hunter said...

Great stuff Darcy. I was reading the comments on the CBC and I was blown away by the ignorance of the people putting them up. But that article is unreal. Makes the comments on CBC look tame in comparison.

Thanks for the post!

Jennith said...

Wow... more proof that humanity is crazier than I thought.... He does have some impressively vivid imagery crammed into his mis-informed rant.

I want to say thanks for sharing... but I'm not sure I wanted to know just how nuts some of the folk I share a country with are.... but I do think it deserved your excellent rebuttal.. so I do applaud you for that.

Kennie said...

"foul breath of demons from the bottomless pit of hell" ... gee... I guess this guy has been over here sniffing the fumes coming out of our poo tank a little too much... perhaps the inspiration for his pooetic ballad?

Ferry Tales said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fawn said...

You really hit the nail on the head in your first paragraph of rebuttal. It's so annoying when someone gets so fired up with hate and passion that they stop listening to logic. I believe in being passionate, but also in being reasonable. Shame on Paul Watson.

jen said...

Great post!

I bet most Inuit are more interested in getting a full belly of meat and feeding their kids, then a bunch of money.

Jackie, your right their tusks might be going for more, but I bet the Inuit people won't see that "extra money". It is pretty much the amount Darcy says, at least over on Baffin.

COME ON GUYS! Super Man could have totally flown those icebreakers in to save the day! Or perhaps rocket packs on the icebreakers would have gotten them in on time! Why didn't the government give them Rocket Packs?

Meandering Michael said...

Gotta say, I LOVE the volume of responses from Nunavut on the Pacific Free Press editorial.

Way Way Up said...

I have to say from following the CBC commentary that they have generally become much more supportive of the hunters as more and more information rather than propaganda has been passed along.

Jackie, I am aware that tusks can go for much higher than the figure I used. I used it only as an example (perhaps a poor one) to illustrate that the total is not as much as Watson claims and even if it was, it wouldn't go very far up here given the high cost of living.

Discussing this issue over the course of the day with my Inuit colleagues I was struck at how differently both sides view the issue. Obviously, though, I am much more likely to accept their view rather than Watson's. I've learned a lot about this entire issue myself over the past 48 hours, especially after seeing first-hand some of the racist, stereotypical crap people often have to put up with.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this excellent commentary and for pointing out the relationship between the "Eco-warrior"/SSCS, Rebecca Aldworth/HSUS and IFAW. Between the three groups, they enjoy an annual income in excess of $300,000,000; "Captain" Paul has his own syndicated TV show and has been named by New Yorker Magazine as one of the "Fifty People Who can Save the Planet". These guys have a massive media machine that they use to spew their hatred of land-based cultures, boosting one another's profiles at every opportunity. Aldworth is constantly referred to as "One of the world's leading expert on seals". What's her background? A degree in COMMUNICATIONS STUDIES from Concordia University. Go Figure.

David Nickarz said...

Sorry guys, you can attack Paul Watson all you like. The Narwhal tusk trade isn't something I support, despite the fact that it brings in money to remote communities. Waste is waste.

Way Way Up said...

But the majority of the narwhals were going to expire anyway. Not using the THAT would have been wasteful. I'm not sure why people have fixated solely on the tusks when the whole time I was there (yes, unlike most people I actually LIVED up there for a few years), the concern lay mostly with a lot of meat that would have been needlessly wasted had nothing been done. Ever done a grocery trip at a store there? It's bloody expensive I can assure you.

Nicole said...

So the more obnoxious I am, the more likely I will be a person that can save the world??? As a hunter and trapper I have witnessed personally some glorious comments about being barbaric. The truth is that outdoorsmen all over, are contributing way more (money, time and expertise) to conservation than any of the high-profile animal rights terrorists ever will. I spend my free time caring for the environment at my backdoor, so does everybody else in our Trappers Association.
The only way to stop this madness is education. We talk to school classes and youth organizations whenever we can. So, If you are a hunter or any other kind of outdoor person, go out there and educate the kids. This will do more good in the long run.
Nature is cruel. The fact that the Inuit where at hand to shoot the trapped animals and use the meat for their community is a good coincidence. It is more usually more likely that something like this happens far away from any human eye.

Way Way Up said...

Unfortunately, some people will never see the light of reason. I always find it interesting how these people will label Inuit (and outdoorsmen too) as barbaric. Anyone who picks up a general history text can plainly see that white Europeans clearly have a monopoly on barbarism given their pension for killing each other off in vast numbers over the past century alone. Actually, if you take their arguments to their logical conclusion, their are some who even advocate the world would be better off without humans and that the human race should undergo some sort of voluntary self-destruction. If only these environmental terrorists would truly put their money where their mouth is......

Kanin said...

Thank you for this article. From the bottom of my heart

I had a feeling of deja vu reading it. I thought only Faroese people were barbaric blood-thirsty killers, enjoying whaling and some other ramblings the Saviour likes to publish on his site and not only. Obviously I made a mistake, sorry for that. I see his "range" of accusations is qute limited, more then that, continues to play the emotional card, painting the people black. For better donations from naives who believe supporting this imbecile will make a difference.

I wonder where is the talk about eating contaminated meat, so much beloved by the men himself and the Paul Watson-wannabe's?

PS Last, but not least, the pilot whales were on the "brink of extention", now the narwhal adds to that? He must have such a great team of researchers if he exhibits such a certainty in regards to whale species.

Way Way Up said...

Rarely, if ever, can one use the words "Watson" and "well-researched" in the same sentence.

Kanin said...

Well, I did that lol... My mistake! Have a nice weekend!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Sounds like someones not getting any....This is just a sad pissing match full of opinions that don't mean alot.. On one hand you have someone whos trying to save lives and on the other someone trying to justify why not to bother doing anything at all. I bet if it was humans trapped out on the ice youd get a different view of things. Best to sit on your hands and take the easy way out. Then justify it by making excuses for not trying. Kinda sad and pathetic. Doubt this will make it past the author lol

Way Way Up said...

Anonymous, if we could save the immature personal commentary (and have the stenght of conviction to identify yourself rather than throw out a drive-by comment) that would be greatly appreciated. I actually have 4 children if you really care to know, so your comment actually makes you look quite ridiculous.

More to the point, I think that if Watson and his cronies actually showed up to save say, beached whales, rather than taking amplifying isolated events such as the one high-high lighted in my post and blowing them out of porportion for his own personal gains, that he would perhaps garner more respect from the average Canadian than he currently does.

jonny said...

Paul Watson doters can never argue facts and issues. That have been adequately proven for well over 17 years in my own personal experience. (and over 30 years for others who followed this pathological liar Paul Watson). And his minion of followers are equally dense because they fail to realize that Paul Watson is manipulating them all. His poetry he wrote after the Japanese tsumani proves that as well. His followers thought that it was a note of sympathy to the Japanese when it really was a big wad of spit job on them. They are that dense still to this day utterly incapable of formulating one single fact-based argument to save their douchebag existence of abject scum of the earth status.

Anonymous said...

You are just as ridiculous as he is, but on the opposite side. Canada may be more regulated than other countries but they are far from perfect. I don't believe for one second there was absolutely nothing anyone could do to help any of those whales, if you have that much faith in your officials and governement to believe that, you need to get out more. It probably was a hayday for some of those hunters, and probably very sad for others that's just human nature. A necessary cull or not that was still a cruel and horrible way for them to die and any supposed justice for why it "needed" to be done doesn't change that. And while I'm at it your level of being native to Canada (800th generation or 3rd) is comparable to a pissing contest. Everyone except for Africans originated from somewhere else, get over it.

Way Way Up said...

Anonymous, your logic makes no sense. So according to you, you either try to save them and that makes you ridiculous or you allow this resource not to be wasted which is which is it??

This story has been gone over many times. So just what was supposed to be done to save them then? All angles have been covered to exhaustion so you're not really adding anything more to the debate. I'm not saying that Canada is perfect nor that is wasn't a horrible way to die. Personally I tend to side more with the human element in cases like these. And I have been out....lots......I spent 6 years of my life in Nunavut, a far cry from where I grew up, dumbass. I don't even get your last point as it is quite irrelevant to this entire issue.

This story happened over 3 years ago. Please, if you are going to be a concern troll, move on to your next issue and do us all a favour.