Meat Is Murder isn't just the title of one of the best Smiths' album; it also seems to be the driving philosophy behind Morrissey's latest media outrage. Some of you may have been following the very public back-and-forth between The Smith's former moody, crooning frontman and Canada's Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea.

For those who haven't, here's the deal: every year the Canadian government sanctions a seal hunt. According to PETA, it "gives hunters the green light to bludgeon to death hundreds of thousands of baby harp seals."

Furthermore, the animal rights organization claims that hunters fail to uphold Canada's animal welfare standards, and many of the creatures carcasses are left in piles to rot because there is no market for seal meat.

Moz, a self-proclaimed animal protectionist, took aim at the seal hunt with an essay posted to the Morrisey e-zine, True To You. In the post, Morrisey stated that the Canadian government is only concerned with animals economically, and claimed, "Canada's sorry image is due entirely to its seal slaughter."

Sophie Doucet, a spokesperson for Shea issued a statement, reported in Canada's National Post, in response to the singer's online outburst. An excerpt reads:

"Anyone who takes a careful look at the seal hunt will see that it is humane, sustainable, and well-regulated. In fact, the process used in the seal hunt was designed by international veterinary experts, and is the most stringent of any wild animal hunt in the world.

This is clearly just another case of a millionaire celebrity, desperate for a hobby, shamelessly regurgitating misinformation and myths that fringe animal-rights groups have been pushing for years. In the future, I would urge Mr. Morrissey to consider the impact that his ignorant and inflammatory statements have on the livelihoods of thousands of hard-working men and women in rural communities."

Not to be outdone, Moz responded in kind with another post on True To You, entitled "Canada: right of reply." In it, he said Shea's response seem desperate and compared the economical implications of the seal hunt to the construction and maintenance of German concentration camps in World War II. Morrisey also confirms his expertise on the seal hunt by assuring Doucet that he knows more about the seal hunt than he wishes to know.

While this war of words seems like a childish pissing match between a headstrong bureaucrat and an outspoken celebrity, the fact remains that the United States banned the sale of seal fur in 1972, and the European Union voted to end the sale of seal products in 2009. The market for seal fur has been narrowly relegated to China, Japan and South Korea.

In this regard, Moz makes a good point. Is it really worth killing so many animals for a small, seasonal economic boost? Common sense would say, "probably not." Then again, unlike Morrisey, this writer is no expert on seal slaughter.

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