sealAww, would you eat this seal? A restaurant called Côté-Est is serving burgers made with seal meat and topped with fois gras. Holy taboo-burger! It's called the "Phoque Bardot" -- "phoque" is French for "seal" and "Bardot" is a reference to animal rights activist/movie star Brigitte Bardot. But if you say "Phoque Bardot" out loud, I think you'll get the intended pun. They've been serving the seal burger for about a year, but it flew under the radar until someone mentioned it on Facebook. That's when the seal poo hit the fan.

You could probably tell me what happened next: People attacked the restaurant's Facebook page, there were swear words and misspellings and even some death threats. But the chef will NOT be removing the seal burgers from the menu. And for your information, selling seal meat is perfectly legal in Canada. The restaurant's seal meat is federally inspected (which means it's not from one of the endangered, protected seal species) and doesn't come from baby seals.

Of course, Canada considers a seal old enough to eat when it's a few weeks old, so ... it might come from baby seals, just not newborn baby seals. Is that easier to swallow?

Enough of the fine print. Let's talk about how uncomfortable I am with the idea of eating seals! I know indigenous people have eaten seals for eons. It's just meat, and if you live in a region where it's practically the only food besides fish, I can see why eating seal would seem like a good idea.

But seals are cute.

I'll admit, I'm curious. I think if I ever went to Côté-Est, I would want a bite of someone else's burger, but I wouldn't order a whole burger just for me. (I don't know who else's burger I'd sample. My imaginary friend's? This is all hypothetical.) It's just another one of those things -- the cuteness of an animal is inversely related to how appetizing it is. Cows? Not cute. Pigs? Not so much. Ooh, but suckling pig? Cute and delectable.

Aw crap, so much for my cuteness/deliciousness ethical framework. I guess I might as well sign away my soul to the devil and get on the next plane to Quebec. Phoque Bardot, here I come! Uh ... don't take that the wrong way.

How do you feel about eating seal -- or other "cute" animals?

 

Image via Michele Westmorland/Corbis