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10 November 2011

Anything With A Pulse

We already have well over two metres of snow and because of weeks of almost perpetual stormy weather any ice that has formed over the sea has been broken up by the wind. Lulls in the wind have been bringing in floating pack ice.

Bearded seals live mostly on pack ice and to bag one is a boon because they can sometimes weigh in at over 350 kg. That’s a lot of dog food.

18 bags of dog food next to Jennifer

Anything with a pulse is considered fair game for dog food although we do have strict seasons and quotas for polar bear, walrus, musk-ox and minke whale hunting. Personal quotas govern the hunting of narwhales and full-time hunters have precedence over part-time hunters. All hunters are licensed and most hunt to feed their dogs fresh meat so I wouldn’t consider it a good healthy place for anything that swims or has four legs. Flying wildlife is safe at this time of the year. Nobody eats ravens. They have nasty habits.

Dogs eat meat the world over, be it out of plastic bags or tins. What you pay for is someone else doing the killing, processing and packaging. There’s nothing wrong with that, same as there is nothing wrong with providing for your dogs by hunting for them yourself. It is only realistic to expect that because Man is part of the food chain he will hunt to survive, even if that amounts to economic survival.

So with the last few remaining days of daylight left before we head into another long polar winter, I filmed my dogs eating and looking full after scoffing hefty portions of a rather large bearded seal. A raven perched himself on top of my ice chisel for an excellent vantage point of the feast. As scavengers, ravens are not fussy and they are patient given that they’ll hang around until dog turd appears. At the sight of which the raven develops a certain fastidiousness until steaming poo freezes. Only at that point will ravens eat it. That’s why, if you believe in reincarnation, love the Arctic and always want something to eat, come back as a raven.


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