I've never seen an unflattering photo of Michaëlle Jean. She's gorgeous even with seal blood dripping from her lips.
"It's like sushi," the Governor-General pronounced after chowing down on a tasty piece of seal heart so fresh and warm it was practically still beating. "And it's very rich in protein."
The lady is a carnivore, God bless her. No tofu and arugula for her. When in Nunavut, she goes native. She'll also go to any length to defend our national honour from the ignorant attacks of those effete, hypocritical, PETA-loving Europeans. You know the ones. They love to bash the seal-murdering barbarians across the ocean, even as they gobble down plates of foie gras produced from the monstrously enlarged livers of force-fed ducks. European Union politicians don't really care about the seals anyway. They're just after the bleeding-heart vote.
"She's Canada's new Braveheart," declared Peter MacKay, who, coincidentally, is the cabinet minister for the Newfoundland and Labrador vote. You remember Braveheart. He was the guy who charged an overwhelming enemy and cried, "They may take our lives, but they'll never take ... OUR FREEDOM!"
Inevitably, images of the comely Mme. Jean chomping on a harp seal made news around the world. "Blood lust," screamed one headline. "Sarah Palin, meet the competition," various bloggers said in either admiration or disgust, depending on their point of view. Ms. Palin hunts wild animals from helicopters and drapes their skins around her office. But our gal cuts out their hearts out and eats them raw! As one blogger wrote, she is "clearly the more badass of the two."
Raw seal heart may not be to everybody's taste. ("It has a very marine flavour," one chef explained.) But it's a traditional delicacy, like haggis. It is also nutritious, low-fat, locally based, sustainable and 100-per-cent organic. Needless to say, none of these facts impressed the seal-huggers.
"It's too bizarre to acknowledge," an EU official sneered when asked to comment on Mme. Jean's meal.
"It's barbaric," declared Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. "I'm extremely embarrassed to be associated with a governor-general of my country eating raw seal meat in that manner."
A spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals compared eating seal meat to "taking part in the beating of women in the Middle East because it is part of local practice."
The Palace had no comment. But Dickie Arbiter, the aptly named former press secretary to the Queen, was not amused. "I find what she's done extraordinary to comprehend," he said. "To start cutting up a seal and eating it is sort of making a political statement and not what one expects a governor-general to do."
Personally, I think she showed a dab hand with an ulu, a traditional women's knife used to skin and gut an animal. It can chop, slice, dice and carve. It can cut a block of ice and saw through bone. You don't want to mess with a woman who can use an ulu .
I am not in favour of the commercial seal hunt. It's too small and too much of a public-relations headache to defend. But I'm happy to defend anyone who is willing to slaughter her own dinner. Most of us are not.
"Both she and the Inuit are showing great respect for the animal and great respect for each other in the sharing and accepting of this seal that has offered itself to the hunter," a local man, Aaju Peter, said in an e-mail to CanWest News.
In truth, I doubt that the seal meant to offer itself up any more than my pork chop did. But at least a hunter has to look his dinner in the eye.
"These are ancient practices that are part of a way of life," our Braveheart declared after slicing the creature open from stem to stern and plunging her hands into the steaming guts.
I'd be way too squeamish to do anything like that. But it's great to have a G-G who can. She's just the kind of gal I'd want to have my back.