I probably won't be rushing out to buy a seal heart sub any time soon, but good on Michaelle Jean
The political indigestion over Jean's meal of seal roiled loudest among animal-rights activists, who used the terms "Neanderthal" and "blood lust" yesterday to describe how the Governor General revelled in helping herself to the heart of the dripping carcass.
"It amazes us that a Canadian official would indulge such blood lust. It sounds like she's trying to give Canadians an even more Neanderthal image around the world than they already have," said Dan Mathews, vice-president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Jean was unapologetic, pronouncing her taste of seal heart to be "absolutely delicious," much to the delight of bloggers unaccustomed to such a high-profile public figure committing herself without so much as a hint of squeamishness.
"These are ancient practices that are part of a way of life," Jean said, framing her gutsy gesture as an act of solidarity with the Inuit. "If you can't understand that, you're completely missing the reality of life here."
That doesn't mean animal-rights activists approve of Inuit seal-hunting traditions. PETA yesterday likened Jean's sampling of seal heart to "taking part in the beating of women in the Middle East because it is part of local practice.
A spokeswoman for EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas declined to react, saying: "No comment; it's too bizarre to acknowledge."