Animal rights activist Morrissey has delivered some harsh words condemning Canada's seal-hunting practices – and the Canadian minister of fisheries and oceans herself.
The famously mournful English rock star gets straight to the point in his sharply-worded essay titled "This Sorrowful Canada," published yesterday on his True to You fan site.
In his own words: "Gail Shea, the Federal Fisheries Minister for Canada, says that baby seals are 'killed humanely,' and explains how the baby seals are shot by high-powered rifles."
(Note: A Rolling Stone piece points there that there is no record of Shea actually saying those words, although she has been quoted as supporting the seal hunt on several occasions.)
The Morrissey missive continues: "Is this a death that Gail Shea would want for herself? Would it make her happy to be shot by a high-powered rifle?"
Which he follows with: "If she considers such butchery to be so 'humane,' why doesn't she place herself among the tens of thousands of grey-coated harp seals that will be slaughtered within the next few weeks? … Only then could she be thought to speak with any authority on the subject."
Best known for his years as frontman for the eighties English band The Smiths, Morrissey (real name Steven Patrick Morrissey) has long attracted media attention for his involvement in vegetarianism and animal rights. He has frequently referred to himself as an "animal protectionist."
While firmly castigating Canada, Morrissey uses the same note to lavish praise on China and the European Union for their "humanitarian stance" in refusing to sell Canadian seal meat.
The 54-year-old singer momentarily reins in his vitriol for his final paragraph, in which he says, "Canada is a beautiful country, and the people of Canada are good people."
Then he ramps up his rage all over again: "But good people are often ineffectual. Internationally, Canada's sorry image is due entirely to its seal slaughter – which is greedy and barbaric and it is dismaying to witness such ignorance in 2014."
Morrissey closes off his 277-word statement by stating, "Killing baby seals with lightning brutality is now Canada's primary global image."
And then the final shot to the gut: "Until this annual massacre is abolished, Canada itself is regrettably fashionably dead."