- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
Move over Roquefort. The newest niche transatlantic trade dispute involves Canadian seal products, which the EU has banned because of Canada’s commercial hunting practices. Inuit hunters are exempt from the ban, but fear that it will inevitably affect their livelihoods.
While touring Inuit Communities in Northern Canda, Governor General Michaelle Jean — Queen Elizabeth’s representative in the Canadian government — butchered and ate raw seal heart in solidarity with the hunters:
Ms Jean used a traditional Inuit knife to help gut the animal then ate a slice of raw heart.
It came weeks after the EU voted to ban Canadian seal products, but Ms Jean did not say if her actions were in response to the EU proposals….
Asked later if her actions were a message to the EU, she said: “Take from it what you will.”
An EU spokesperson called Jean’s actions “too bizarre to acknowledge,” which the Inuit, who I presume have been eating seal heats for quite some time, would probably take umbrage at. And this from the continent where its a major media scandal when companies paint fake black hooves on ham legs.
Update: Video from the CBC if you really want it:
ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images