Are we to abandon our objection to a poor fisherman skinning a live beater just because his poor father and poor grandfather before him skinned live beaters too?

By Chris Love
Thumbnail image for Screen shot 2021-04-25 at 3.26.32 PM.pngThey are like balls of white fluff, shockingly soft fur, the colour of the snow and snowy sky, frame impossibly black eyes that reflect one's own face back at them. For hundreds of years, the men of Canada's Northeast coast have brought their hakapiks and gaffs and clubs down through the fragile skull between these eyes, sending gushes of familiar red squirting into the frigid wind. Steam rises from their young, undeveloped muscles as their skin is cut; a careful slice below the flipper, avoiding penetrate of the large sac holding their guts, down and around the abdomen and up to the other end. The flippers are removed, collected from each seal (a maximum of 12 per man) to be taken home for Mom to make the obligatory stew or to be sold privately. The pelt is removed as efficiently as possible and piled with the others. Steam rises from their young, undeveloped muscles as their carcass are left behind at the scene. Nature will take care of the thousands upon thousands of skinless corpses.

A man has got to eat.

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