Friday November 30, 2012, 8:44 am
"Europe's last wild reindeer are endangered and North America's herds face similar threats from development "
Siberian semi-domesticated reindeer is not endangered, though. (According to Lidl the meat comes from Siberia.) Reindeer husbandry has been practiced by the Fennoscandian Sami and indigenous peoples throughout Arctic and Subarctic Russia for many centuries, long before somebody invented the story about Santa Claus and his little helpers. "Rudolph the Reindeer" is an Anglo-American fairytale creature from 1939 - in the areas where reindeer husbandry is a traditional livelihood, reindeer is about the only domesticated animal used for food (clothes, transport etc.) and it has a very central place in the culture of Siberian peoples. The only possibly suspicious thing about Lidl selling reindeer meat is whether the handling and slaughter are done according to EU standards or not, even if the slaughterhouse is EU certified. That's why it would be better to prefer Fennoscandian producers...
To put this whole thing in perspective, here's a blog by The International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry, http://www.reindeerblog.org/2010/11/17/lidl-is-destroying-the-magic-of-christmas-by-selling-dead-reindeer-the-silly-season-is-approaching/
"It is likely that Piers Vitebsky would be suprised to learn that his book ‘The Reindeer People‘ was being used by VIVA as a source on the ‘mistreatment’ of Siberian reindeer.
More interesting is wondering where the reindeer from ‘Siberia’ is coming from. Likely this is Yamal reindeer meat, given that Lidl is a German chain, and that an EU certified slaughterhouse has been built in Yar-Sale.
If you want to support reindeer herders in Yamal, perhaps send Lidl an email congratulating them for sourcing reindeer from Nenets herders, thereby supporting indigenous reindeer herders and traditional livelihoods that have survived in the Arctic for millenia."
(Btw, the book by the above mentioned anthropologist Piers Vitebsky is called 'Reindeer People: Living with Animals and Spirits in Siberia', based on his own life among the Eveny reindeer herders. Judging from the reviews, it should be fascinating reading for anyone interested in Arctic peoples and anthropology.)
Friday November 30, 2012, 3:02 pm
Endangered?? What the heck? Why isn't the federal government protecting these animals? I can't believe these people care more about their profits than they do about this animal's disappearance forever. They can't continue making money off of them if they kill them all! Some people are really sick.
Saturday December 1, 2012, 5:38 am
Sara W., if you'd read my comment, you would have seen how in the petition two different things are deliberately mixed - I would say the whole petition is based on a lie and a false premise. There are several subspecies of reindeer, of which the Norwegian Svalbard reindeer and Finnish forest reindeer are endangered wild subspecies (and monitored & protected) - but there are also DOMESTICATED reindeer, kept for their meat throughout the Artic/Subarctic regions of Fennoscandia and Russia. In Russia, there are nowadays about 1.5 million wild reindeer and 1.3 domesticated reindeer. Commercial trade of reindeer meat, which comes for the domesticated herds, is in no way contributing to the plight of certain wild subspecies or decline of some wild herds. Boycotting reindeer meat won't help the wild reindeer in any way, but it will certainly contribute to the cultural genocide of the few remaining indigenous peoples living from reindeer husbandry. Greatest threat to wild reindeer is not the commercial reindeer husbandry, but gas and oil industry (destroying the habitat and migration routes) and climate change.
A few articles about Nenets reindeer husbandry in Siberia - that's exactly where the meat comes to Lidl shops:
Frankly, if any of you protesting against reindeer meat are omnivores (I know some of you are), I find you incredibly hypocrite. Think for a moment about the confined life in factory farm that the carcass on your plate lived and compare it to the semi-feral life in natural habitat that reindeer have... and who gets the profit, Big Ag or Siberian indigenous nomads. But it's perfectly ok to eat piggies or cows because there are no Christmas song linking them to Santa Claus, right?
Monday December 3, 2012, 1:24 pm
Most definitely noted, signed, twittered, fb shared and google shared. How dare they treat our precious Rudolph's this way. There is absolutely no shame in some people. How do they sleep at night?