Inuit vocalist Tanya Tagaq posted an extensive attack on opponents of seal hunting on Tuesday, accusing them of inadvertently siding with multinational corporations while allowing people to die.
Using her verified Twitter account, Tagaq wrote: “We are expected to perish because you think seals are cute. F*** you.”
Her response joined a recent resurgence of opposition toward The Ellen Show for its host’s views on seal hunting and her support of anti-hunting groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States.
Having claimed Ellen and her show were “responsible for hungry children in Nunavut” earlier in the week, Tagaq said on Tuesday: “You know what’s racist? Saying we can only hunt if we ‘use the whole animal’ – like you care what happens to the rest of a pig, or cow, or goose.
You are choosing to kick the underdog and hold hands with capitalism that cause human deaths. You are not the good guy. It’s so sad.
— tanya tagaq (@tagaq) April 10, 2018
“We are expected to live in a romanticized past that doesn’t exist in the same way any more. We live in the global economy just like you. People say to ‘give up barbaric traditions.’ Farming is a tradition … harvesting is a human tradition.
“So you get to thrive economically off the land and animals, but we do not? Why not? Ask yourself.
“Because you do not see us as equals. Because you do not think we deserve economic viability. Because you don’t care if we live or not. Think about how inhumane it is to be against one of the most vulnerable demographics in the world. There are no other resources accessible.”
‘You are not the good guy’
The 42-year-old former Yellowknife resident, from Cambridge Bay, said protesters “don’t mind that we are dying,” adding: “Protesters are forcing us into non-renewable resource development that will destroy the environment and kill more seals than we can.
“Big organizations are making millions of dollars off the seal protest. It’s their bread and butter. You are standing with big corporations. You are choosing to kick the underdog and hold hands with capitalism that causes human deaths. You are not the good guy. It’s so sad.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, defended the nature of its opposition to seal hunting in a separate tweet on Monday, saying: “Although Indigenous people in northern Canada hunt seals, PETA’s campaign has always been against the commercial East Coast seal slaughter carried out by non-aboriginal fishers as an off-season cash grab.”
That claim is rejected by some Inuit residents, who believe PETA does not make that distinction in its campaign materials.
The Ellen Show has not commented.