Animal Rights, Human Rights: Ecology, Economy and Ideology in the Canadian Arctic

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University of Toronto Press, Jan 1, 1991 - Nature - 206 pages
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The campaign to ban seal hunting in Canada won international headlines and achieved its aims to a large extent. Most observers felt instinctively that the campaigners were "right" but little thought was given to the cataclysmic consequences the ban would have on the way of life and economy of a traditional people, the Inuit of Arctic Canada.

A distinguished anthropologist who has spent over twenty years living and working with the Inuit Community, George Wenzel provides a reasoned, in-depth, coolly written but powerful critique of this received interpretation and shows how the campaigners 'own cultural prejudices and questionable ecological imperatives brought hardship, distress and instability to an ecologically balanced traditional culture.

This book is both a careful academic study and a disturbing comment on how environmental activity may oppress a whole society, which raises serious questions about the motives and methods of the animal rights' movement in a much wider context than the case here studied.


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Traditional people in the modern world
Animal rights the seal protest and Inuit
The culture of subsistence
ecological relations
The Clyde Inuit economy
the modern Clyde economy
Ideological relations and harvesting
The seal protest as cultural conflict
A blizzard of contradictions
The controversy today
Notes on Inuktitut

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Page 191 - Directive 83/129/EEC of 28 March 1983 concerning the importation into Member States of skins of certain seal pups and products derived therefrom.

About the author (1991)

George Wenzel is an anthropologist and georgpaher who teaches at McGill University, Canada.

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