Conservationists Blaming The Internet For Clubbing Baby Seals

from the well,-almost... dept

It seems you can blame the internet for just about anything these days. Some conservationists are now blaming the internet for increasing the threats to various endangered species. The argument is that because people can buy and sell such endangered species online, it’s increasing the threats to those animals. Of course, it’s easy to blame the internet, but why not focus on actually blaming those individuals responsible for the trades — and rather than lashing out at a communications platform, why not look for ways to use the internet to help stop such illegal trades? If this is happening online, that also means a record is left and it’s easier to track down those responsible.

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Comments on “Conservationists Blaming The Internet For Clubbing Baby Seals”

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Dark Helmet (profile) says:

That's just dumb...

“The argument is that because people can buy and sell such endangered species online, it’s increasing the threats to those animals.”

Wouldn’t the additional marketplace provided for by the internet for the purchase of these endangered species actually INREASE the likelihood of those species being reproduced, even it’s only for nefarious purposes?

Ian (profile) says:

There was something similar with the trade in stolen antiquities, but see this:

Basically, they found that the rapid rise in fakes sold over the internet was actually greatly limiting the plunder of real antiquities.

While that likely won’t help with a lot of the animal trades, I can expect that some of the other examples cited (wine with tiger bones) are likely to be subject to a high degree of fakery.

That said, I agree that blaming the technology is a bit stupid. When people communicate, they may do bad things. They may also do good things. Still, this is the same thing as a catalogue and telephone system, just making it easier.

Anonymous Coward says:

it is like pedophiles. there are not more pedophiles in the world but the internet has made it possible for them to connect easily. the internet promotes trade good and bad just in the same manner that a telephone or an automobile might. they are correct the internet has made it easier to get things from the other side of the world and increases trade which could hurt endangered species.

BBT says:

Looking at the actual article, I see the quote:

“The internet is becoming the dominant factor overall in the global trade in protected species”

It seems that calling the internet “a threat” is the BBC’s doing, not the conservationists. Simply saying it is an important element in the black market is not “blaming” the internet, so this seems like it’s a bit of a misguided attack.

mattmc3 says:

Fine... if you want to make this a liberal/conservative thing...

This type of argument is not reserved to just conservatives. It’s the very same argument liberals makes with assault weapons. They blame the guns instead of the individuals using them to commit crimes. The truth is that there is a balance of blame between individual choices and the technology that enables people to more easily make bad choices. Don’t make this a political left/right thing. It only serves to add your unnecessary bias a legitimate discussion. Are reasonable law-abiding people more likely to trade in products from endangered species because the internet makes it easy to cross a moral/ethical/legal line?

known coward says:

known coward

we must stop this abuse of the interweb to protect the children.

if this were a serious comment. i would have taken the point of view of that the internet makes it easier to make this sort of trade, but it is still the trader at fault and not the interweb.

Ordering seal skin on line and in person is illegal, unless you are an inuit, then it is your cultrual heritage.

DJ (profile) says:

Stop it at the source!

We must demand that all communication of any kind cease immediately (after you read this posting of course), and that all materiel associated with communication be stricken from existence!
This includes all works printed, handwritten, drawn, sketched, or otherwise created; yes, even cave drawings.
Destroy it all now, for the sake of the baby seals!

MAC says:

Club em all! We’re all going to die anyway…
Earth is going the same way as Venus and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

In a short time:
“Today it’s a balmy 950 F in Miami, the lead canal is flowing easily…”

Ummm, baby seal, taste good…

Hey, maybe we should outlaw Polar Bears, they like to eat baby seals. They don’t just club em to death with their paws, the bite em to death too.
I also bet ya that if those critters were dog ugly instead of cute and cuddly none of you would give a @#$# about em, at all.

Seriously, we have people starving all over this planet and you’re worried about baby seals? Somebody needs to get their priorities straight… Probably the same animal rescue people who want to spend millions of dollars on the poor little animals while millions of humans starve. Bet you would not be so ready to go to bat for them if a cougar ate your kid. I’d bet you’d even go out and buy yourself a 30-06 with a scope…

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Water

> Another similar issue is in San Joaquin Valley, Ca.
> It’s pretty much the most fertile place on the
> planet (at least top 5), and it gets NO water
> because of the damn Delta Smelt; a 2.5 inch long
> fish.

I thought I read somewhere that the Dems promised to turn the water back on in exchange for that area’s congressman’s “yes” vote on health care.

Anonymous Coward says:

To blame the internet lacks any sort of reason or logic. Like currency, the internet is neither good nor bad, it is how it is used that is good/bad.

However, since it is a tool, it can be and regularly is used for nefarious purposes.

Instead of suggesting the internet is part of the problem for illegal trade, conservationists should be looking at how they can use the internet to combat such questionable activities like trade of endangered species.

Mac says:

It is a real shame when the gov’mt puts the needs of a stupid little fish that should have gone extinct a long time ago ahead of its constituency.

What would the Founding Fathers think? We already know the answer to that one, from the top down…
And since I’m on the subject, let’s really $%@@ the animal rights activist off, where do you people get off thinking that animals have rights? Does it say in the Constitution of the United States of America that animals have rights? Does it say in the Bible that animals have rights?
Of course not. Why? Because animals are either:
If they are wild many of them are threat. Just try hiking through Alaska and being buddy buddy with the Grizzley Bears. Even if they are not a direct threat there are still indirect threats. Rats devour fields, oh, I forgot rats are not cute and cuddly so $#@#$$ them…
If they are domesticated then they are PROPERTY. Does your property have rights? No, property only has the rights that the owner grants it. Now, I’m not one to suggest that we should mistreat other living things. I have a dog that I really love and I was raised on a farm and did the 4H thing with the show stock that I raised, fed, groomed, etc. But in reality, unless you are a strict vegetarian you are engaged in mistreating animals. How? By causing their deaths in order for you to survive. Let me say that again, “If you are not a strict vegetarian you are causing pain and suffering for animals through their deaths in order to promote your survival.”
Think about that one next time you bite into a Big Mac. Somebody, somewhere used an air powered nail gun and shot a spike one quarter of an inch in diameter and about 9 to 12 inches long into that cows brain and watched it drop into convulsions for about 3 minutes before hoisting it up and cutting it’s head off so all the blood will drain out of it. Prior to the air gun they used a sledge hammer. All so you can eat your Big Mac…

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Sweet Christ, I hope you’re going for sarcasm, because this is just a wonderful example of ignorance at work:

“It is a real shame when the gov’mt puts the needs of a stupid little fish that should have gone extinct a long time ago ahead of its constituency.”

What in the world are you talking about? SHOULD have gone extinct? According to whom? If you haven’t noticed, humankind is a part of our ecosystem, so there is no “should” in terms of our current ecology other than the exact path we’re on. Any future changes are what “should” have happened as well….

“What would the Founding Fathers think?”

They’d likely have diverse opinions, as do we. It’s also likely that they had far less ecological information to work with compare to us. What difference does the opinions of the founding fathers make in this regard?

“Does it say in the Constitution of the United States of America that animals have rights?”

Nope. It also doesn’t say that we have computers. That’s the wonderful thing about that magnificent document, it allows for future developments and flexibility within its doctrine.

“Does it say in the Bible that animals have rights?”

First, let’s dispel with the ethnocentric “bible” and replace it with “religious texts”, shall we? That’s what those sweetheart founding fathers would have wanted. Once we do that, the answer to your question is complicated, because it varies by religion. To start with your Christian Bible, the old testament SPECIFICALLY inculcates kindness towards animals:

1. The practice of muzzling oxen during plowing, a painful experience, was outlawed (Deuteronomy 25:4)

2. As was yolking an oxen and ass together (Deuteronomy 22:10)

3. There is also a verse, depending on the version, that prohibits taking a mother-bird with her young

4. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, their doctrine “denounces cruelty to animals as vigorously and as logically as do those moralists who make our duty in this respect the correlative of a right in the animals.”

How about other religions?

-Islam: recognized as the first religion to confer rights upon animals; per the prophet Muhammad – The people asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?” He said, “(Yes) There is a reward for serving any animate (living being).” – [Bukhari Vol. 8, Book 73, #38] & [Muslim Book 26, Chapter 39

-Judaism: According to “Judaism places great stress on proper treatment of animals. Unnecessary cruelty to animals is strictly forbidden, and in many cases, animals are accorded the same sensitivity as human beings”

-Ba’hai: recognized as one of the consumate vegetarian religions, with texts on respecting animal rights going back to their origin religion, Babism as written by the Bab himself

-Hinduism: Another largely vegetarian religion, Gandhi in particular viewed animals with great respect, and having rights

-Buddhism: Specifically affirms the unity between all living beings, including animals, and considers animal rights to be equal to human rights

Or do you practice some other kind of religion? Cuz you sure don’t seem to know much about any of those….

Mac says:

Re: Re: Re:


If your kid was starving too death you would not give one $@## about the fish, the environment or anything else.

And guess what, there are a lot of people whose kids are starving to death.

I’ve been to the third world and it’s not a pretty sight; for too disturbing for most wannabe socialite suburbanites…

And this unity between all things? Have you ever heard of survival of the fittest or natural selection? The planet itself can be very indiscriminate about what survives and what does not.

And you’re quote from Islam? Come on, there are passages in every text that allude to something else when taken out of context. Perhaps he meant shish kabobs, you don’t know; you weren’t there.

The bottom line, which is more important? People or animals? I vote for people every time.

I’m not purporting that we should be cruel to animals quite to the contrary however, if you quit eating your big macs, steaks, salmon patties, whatever then you’d have a leg to stand on.

But if you are still eating meat and saying ‘don’t be cruel to animals’ your a hypocrite and lying to yourself. Perhaps you’ve never been in a slaughter house. I have and I’d bet you could not stand it more than seeing it one time. It is cruel beyond belief.

Death by its very nature is cruel and unpleasant. Nothing wants to die except maybe someone who has lost their way and needs to wake up before it’s too late or a hero protecting the lives of those around them.

The point I’m trying to make is that people must necessarily come first. Anything else and you are betraying your responsibility to your fellow man, woman, kids, parents, etc.

Tell me something dark, do you eat big Macs? Do you feel responsible, a little ashamed when you eat the burger knowing how that animal died? Or do you take the German peoples approach after WWII? “We didn’t know? It wasn’t us? We could not control it…”

Everything we do has consequences, both good and bad. I personally think that the huge amount of meat that we consume is part of the problem with starvation. The 100 pounds of plants need to produce 10 pounds of beef could go to a better purpose, but our selfish, capitalistic society is not set up that way. However, I’ll stick with our system until someone proves that they have a better mouse trap.

You and I are not so far apart but I’ve seen a lot, good and bad, the good outweighs the bad at least for now but don’t think for a minute any of us are excused. Everything we do has consequences.

Or to put it another way:
You are trapped on a desert island with your kid, your wife and your dog and no food, no fish in the ocean, nothing. Which one will you eat first? Will you let your wife and kid starve? You know when you die the dog will have absolutely no qualms about eating you, or your wife and kid.

Another story:
I grew up on a farm in rural America raising cattle, chickens, horses, etc. I was never cruel to the animals but there were times when we had to ‘persuade’ the bull to get in the truck. Kind hearted city folk when they either no longer wanted or could not keep their pets would drive out into the country and drop them off.

Most starved to death, real nice of them. The survivors went wild and ran in packs of 10 to 20 dogs. These packs of dogs would attack anything, people, our cows, our dogs, kids.
One day a pack attacked and treed me. My brother had to come on tractor to get me out of the tree.
The next day we shot 15 of them, they has ran two of our cows to death besides attacking me.
Now before you get all judge mental about me or us 2 years later a pack of dogs tore a 5 year kid to pieces just 2 miles down the road. In the kids backyard.

Those nice city people, they wanted to give their pet a chance; instead of taking it to the pound. If they had done the right thing, that kid would still be alive today.


this is a joke thread right?

Perhaps the sheer stupidity wait..
differance between dumb and stupid is stupid knows better….
SOOO , maybe if they learned how to use the net and how to look and use things properly THEY WOUDLD NOT MAKE SUCH DUMB STATEMENTS. ITS almost defamatory to the entire user hood of the net.

IMAGINE some day idiot comments like this will get you sued and stop doing it now…..

ignorant YOU BET these people are…
as for religion OH PUH LEASE
if not for religion wed be 1000 years or more in the future thanks to there wanting to literally keep us all ignorant.

sorry but wanting to be ignorant MUST be a prerequisite for wanting to be overly religious. WHY? Ever notice most of the really smart people that invent stuff aren’t overly religious types? WHY? Cause they have to go beyond what you call faith to dream and think THINK beyond what IS and shall always be to what can and should be.

BIG MAC says:

and @mac blah blah blah ill say htis propoganda takes many forms and lead on macduff your trying but failing badly.

See we has this shit place called a food bank
HRM starve but know that they exist and um like ya get a job and pay for food if you can grow it etc.

theres no reason really to kill a baby seal lets say, htey aren’t feeding your kids , only making nice garmets for richy class noobs that waste money on shit they dont need.

as to beef and chickens well get over it YUM YUM
like next you can take your mentallity and say that growing corn in fields is against nature cause if god wanted you to eat it hed a put it there to begin with and suddenly your even more a retard.

natural WHAT? na its called darwins evolution fucktard you southern USA morons really are stupid dumb shits.
get out of the dark ages already.

YA see man has evolved and we now can extend life by eating better etc. Still having the odd burger or french fry really isnt gonna kill you just dont eat that every day …..

and the dog thing is a really bad bad thing to say.
YOU relaize what people go thorugh before they would get to that point youd SHUT the hell up. and to equate a human beings intellect to a dog is well showing how retardedly ignorant you really are OMG comes to mind , what parenting to you get that allows you to mouth off shut vile ideas.

how do you know about this dropping off of peoples pets , you sit and watch these animals starve to death did you?
YOUR truly sick

so you sat around watching them starve and one day GOD himself said enough and sent them after you HAHA i call that jutice you sick puppy, too bad GOD didn’t decide it was YOUR TIME. Maybe you should have fenced off an area and dropped left overs over there….maybe they’d not be so i dunno ravenous?

I grew up on a farm and let me tell you, BEFORE any shooting of say barn cats once they got to many YOUD at least try and give some to homes and peoples in cities ya know the babies. I do agree that sometimes you doo need to weed them out but thats entirely different then sitting there watching and allowing people to dump off animals and let them starve and you sitting there watching them.

DID you show the authorities this shit that was going on?
NOPE this sadist just let it happen and thus sir if i were that familly and i found out who your are i’d be asking you why you never said nothing about this shit.

ant anti mike says:

@ the engineer

btw guy just to prove a point , ya do understand that just having knowledge does not mean or equate the wisdom of its use right?

YA know the IQ , EQ idea?
Some of the smartest people you think of have very very HIGH IQ’s and mid level to above avg EQ’s, while some people with above avg IQ AND EQ may appear almost as “smart” which is a misnomer of the way the word is used in the english language to equate both wisdom and intelligence. Two differing things…

btr1701 (profile) says:

So What's the Solution?

Even assuming everything they say is true, what do they propose as a solution? Other than some kind of fascist repeal of the 1st Amendment and crackdown on free speech worldwide(or the dismantling and banning of the internet altogether), what can be done about people using the internet to arrange illicit deals?

I see stories like this every day. Some special interest group runs to the media, crying about some perceived problem, but they have no proposed solution to the very problem about which they’re so concerned. (Usually because there is no solution that wouldn’t involve massive infringement of civil liberties for everyone.)

yuregininsesi (user link) says:

it is like pedophiles. there are not more pedophiles in the world but the internet has made it possible for them to connect easily. the internet promotes trade good and bad just in the same manner that a telephone or an automobile might. they are correct the internet has made it easier to get things from the other side of the world and increases trade which could hurt endangered species.

Amanda Chamberlain says:

Tools of destruction

You cant deny that the internet being such a good communicative item has somewhat increased things like pedophiles. There are more simply because it is an EASY way to get money or perve on children etc. Of course things like the internet and guns cannot be solely blamed because it the persons choice to do an act but if you put a piece of meat in front of a tame tiger and say not to eat it it will its the same thing. We are giving people the tools to do horrible things so if you want to blame a person for the start of all this then blame those who created these tools like the internet and guns because fact is there wouldnt be as many people dying if they hadnt been invented. Yer of course good things have happened because of these “communicative” tools as well but it is necessary to act against those who utilise these effective items. You tempt someone to do a bad thing they most likely will do it. Its human nature so the best thing you can do is get rid of it.

And the only reason good things do happen as a result is solely because it IS needed its called “arms race” the more advanced guns become for example the more medicine has to and will advance as a result. It’s all about balance.

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