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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 15, 2009 / 20 Nissan 5769

Time to retire the hakapik

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It isn't every day that one's very own hakapik arrives in the mail.


It is probably reasonable to assume that I'm the only person on my block to be the un-proud possessor of the aptly named bludgeoning and hacking instrument used to slaughter baby seals. 'Tis the season.


April 15 may be tax and tea-party day in the U.S., but it's baby-seal death day in Canada. Although the season began March 23 (19,411 down), the largest phase was to begin Wednesday, during which sealers will destroy and skin another couple hundred thousand seals, most between 25 days and three months old.


It's a living. I guess.


Like most, I've known about the baby seal hunts for decades and have averted my gaze. From my fetal curl, I've merely wished feverishly that someone would put a stop to it.


I might have managed another year without weighing in on the world's largest maritime massacre if not for my hakapik, delivered compliments of PETA. It arrived innocuously enough in a flat, 5-foot long package. Unsheathed, the hakapik is menacing — like having a "Shining" Jack Nicholson crouched in the corner — and seems more suitable to an exhibit of medieval torture instruments than to the office of someone who delivers to the outdoors (rather than squishes) visiting insects.


My hakapik — a phrase I never expected to utter — has a 42-inch long handle with a combo hammerhead/spike on the end. The hammer portion is used, theoretically, to crush the seal's skull, while the spike is used to haul the carcass away. (Older seals are usually shot with rifles.)


Those who favor hakapiks argue that they are efficient and humane. Efficient because they allow for a "clean kill," meaning the pelt isn't damaged. "Humane" because a properly delivered blow to the head causes instant, painless death.


Opponents of this gruesome drill claim it isn't possible to properly administer a blow to the head when one is standing on a slippery ice floe swinging a heavy club at a small moving animal. Consequently, at least some animals are not killed humanely — or even killed at all before being skinned and gutted.


A 2007 European Food Safety Authority report concluded that effective killing doesn't always occur, causing animals pain and distress. Another 2007 report by scientists at the University of Bristol found "widespread disregard for the Marine Mammal Regulations" during seal hunts (though bashing the head of a defenseless baby hardly qualifies as "hunting").


The researchers said that a maximum of 15 percent of seals observed on videos were killed in a manner that conformed to the regulations and that violations were probably worse because they didn't have access to continuous sequences for all seals.


Andy Butterworth, senior research fellow, wrote that "although many of the seals observed were clearly wounded by the clubbing and shooting, sealers did not routinely monitor for unconsciousness (as required) before skinning them."


Too gruesome to consider, but then, hunters argue, so are slaughterhouses. The baby seal "harvest" is simply more visible than, say, the factories where baby calves and lambs are destroyed for scaloppini and party chops. But does one cruelty justify another?


Increasingly, the answer is "no," as other countries follow the lead of Americans, who banned seal products in 1972.


As of March 18, Russia has banned its own seal hunt after the bear-hunting Vladimir Putin called sealing a "bloody industry." And, the European Parliament has adopted a declaration banning commercial seal products (but still allows for traditional hunting, e.g. Inuit). The Parliament plans to vote on a complete ban later this month, which could further emasculate the seal market.


In the meantime, market and other forces seem to be tilting favorably toward the baby seals. Pelt prices are down from $100 per animal in 2006 to just $15 this year, thus undermining government claims of the seals' economic importance.


In other news, which one may interpret as one wishes, the weather is making life difficult for sealers. Strong winds and freezing rain have been slowing them down. The pelts they seek so that human bipeds can be fashionably warm are secure for the time being on the animals who need them most.


Pressures, meanwhile, are mounting across the border where U.S. Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, recently introduced a resolution urging the Canadian government to end the commercial seal hunt.


Come on, Canada. See things Putin's way and I'll donate my hakapik to the museum of your choice.

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