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The OTHER side of the Seal Hunt March 23, 2006 3:42 PM

Alright. We all know there are two sides to the seal hunt. I started gathering information from one of my close friends who lived in Canada until a year or two ago, when she moved to Chicago. Most of us hate the people who kill seals with a passion. I am the same way, and pass out fliers to people telling them not to wear fur. Yes, the Canadian seal hunt is terribly cruel. Yes, many people, including those who live in Canada, want the seal hunt to end once and for all. People all across the WORLD are against this mass slaughter that just started a week or two ago. But this is what my friend told me: When I was growing up, my town, as well as many others in the area, were poverty-stricken. I went over to my friends' house, and they're dad would step outside, shoot a rabbit, skin it, and eat it for dinner; nothing went to waste. This was normal. Children at the age of 12 or 13 would have their teeth pulled because their teeth were so bad. They'd just get dentures because they didn't have enough money for health care for the rest of their lives. And yes, this was normal in the area she lived in. The people that DO kill seals are mainly Inuits, indians native to the region of Canada. They get most of their money from selling the pelts to buy food and clothing for their families. And it's also a tradition that has been practiced for a long time. It's grown to be part of their culture. I definitely do not agree with it, but I am also against taking away someone's culture and source of money to feed their family. So right now, I have no idea where I stand in this. I don't mean to offend anyone or anyone's opinion. Post a comment. I want to hear your opinions. Thanks for reading! Erin  [ send green star]
Barry B. March 23, 2006 3:45 PM

And thanks to Barry B. That's why I wanted to add my idea to it on my own account.  [ send green star]
cultural inconsistencies March 23, 2006 4:06 PM

if someones cultural practises are assisting extinction of species, or failing to allow the recovery of species previously in far greater numbers, then those cultural practises are in opposition to international environmental law -- the persons perpetrating those customs have a responsibility to the world, not just their families --customs are known to change over generations -- lets sincerely hope the customs continue to change for the sake of sustainable bio siversity  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 March 23, 2006 4:18 PM

Thanks Erin, Nothing is ever as simple as we might prefer - and just when we think me might understand something, the world is turned upside down. Perhaps it is slightly off topic but I just happen to be thinking of a radio show I heard on NPR the other day. I'm sure there is a link to it online somewhere - if anybody is interested, I'll search for it. They are doing a series about the effect of global warming on communities that rely completely on one or two industries. This particular story was about one near arctic-community taking advantage of the annual arrival of polar bears in their search for seals. The ice is arriving later, the bears are arriving later and the tourism business is hurting. One of the long time residents, of Inuit descent, voiced his belief that although the world is changing, he believed the bears would always find a way to be there. They had always been there. If there was no snow or ice for the polar bears, he believed they would evolve into grizzlies and eat berries rather than seals. It's a beautiful story but it's not reality. The 'forward' thinkers of the community are recognizing that with less ice, they could become a major port city as more shipping traffic takes advantage of the shorter routes between North America and northern Europe. I don't doubt that there are some people that are hunting seals and using every last part to sustain their meager lives. I am nobody to tell them that they are wrong and if it weren't for the industrial scope of the seal hunt that people are objecting to, most of us wouldn't even know about the people like your friend. The closing lines of the story I referred to above were that the local workers, who were struggling to stay above the poverty line in the tourism industry would likely become port workers - struggling to stay above the poverty line while those at the corporate offices down south got fat. Perhaps those left behind might still use the seasonal seal hunt to supplement their incomes but the cultural ties get weaker every day as industry expands.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 March 24, 2006 2:44 PM

I only can think about the beautifull seals, they are the only one, ho have nothing to say, they only can feel what people are going to do with them. They can not protect themself, I can only cry when I thinking what is going to happen with them. I hate all the men ho are going to kill them on a cruel way, only for the money, for spolled humane to where there fur. I can not write good English, but my feeling is clear, and I can say, it hurts so much!!!!! Annie  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
No baby creatures should be slaughtered like this! March 25, 2006 3:57 AM

I do not believe there is any justification for this barbaric slaughter. Baby seals clubbed to death in front of their poor mothers, skinned alive and left to die in agony! For a few dollars more, that's all it is. It is needless and it is the most horrifically cruel spectacle that I have ever had the misfortune to see on film. It's unbearable. Put yourself in a baby seal's place before you say it is acceptable. Be willing to go through that yourself! Thanks, Boris, for your input here. We might as well say it is acceptable to wipe out tigers for their bones or elephants for their tusks because they have been slaughtered for them in the past! Some traditions just can't be accepted any more and people should find a decent way of making a living or extra spending money. And I share Annie's strong feelings!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
my opinion...:-) March 25, 2006 4:07 AM

i agree with Eleanor, i dont think there is any justification. I dont believe that the clubbing of babys for their pelts is the only way people can survive.. Most of the meat is left to rot on the ice, meaning the idea that they kill to eat is proven wrong. It is purely for the pelts or for "alternative medication". The main problem i have with the hunt is 1) the way in which they are brutally murdered. Clubbing should be outlawed. Its primative and unnecessary. 2) people do it for pelts and money, not survival. There are other ways to make money at this point in time without battering baby seals to pulp. 3) the other reason they say they hunt is to help save cod supplys which government blame on seals, when in fact over-fishing by the government has been going on for ages. The seals may be in their millions, but that doesnt mean it will last long. The hunt isn't proven to be sustainable and one day, thanks to global warming and over fishing, these animals WILL be endangered.It is inevitable. Man always hunts animals to the brink of extinction. This year alone baby seals have been drowning due to ice cap melting, as well as the mothers being unable to give birth, again due to no sufficient ice caps..all thanks to us humans! I dont believe this is "mother nature" (how some ppl have justified it) - mother nature is natural. clubbing seals is not natural. I can not see any reason that would justify the hunt. The world we live in has other options always avaliable. It is not a necessity, it is just greed.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 March 25, 2006 7:37 AM

I dont think anyone has a problem with inuit people hunting for survival.This hunt is NOT that.It is a huge commercial seal hunt sanctioned by the government,purely to sell the pelts & as Lucy said parts for medicinal purposes. The Canadian government would have us believe it is all about peoples traditional survival and its not at all.The government destroyed the Newfoundland fishing industry and blamed the seals.Cod is such a small part of a Harp seals diet,it is ridiculous to use this as a their reason for hunting them.The government wont review their quotas and dont penalise sealers for killing over that quota.As Lucy said the seals will be hunted to excinction.What a sad world we live in  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Stupid question March 25, 2006 8:40 AM

I know this question probably can't be answered, but who buys the skins?  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 March 26, 2006 7:42 PM

 March 27, 2006 1:06 AM

Studies from Professor Linzey of the Oxford universty highlighted that only in extreeemly ideal circumstances,the seals are killed straight away. But because the wordking conditions rae hard ,they are on the ice,they are tired,cold (and most of them drugged up or stiff with alcohol) he estimated that approximately 70% of the seals will be skinned alive...... Indeed, the hunters come from poverty sticken areas, but it is up to the government to help this people to increase their possibillities and create decent work. Seal clubbing is not a solution. Btw isnt it a bit weird that for the seal clubbing those poverty stricken areas have acces to ice breakers ,wich will cost millions and how about all the heli's? Now,were does all that many come from? Would that money better invested to created bettrer working and living conditions for the people there. But no one seems to talk about that.Or even think about that. Who did pay for those helicopters and icebreakers? Were does THAT money come from?  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 March 27, 2006 1:09 AM

aswell i forgot to add, those hunters have to club as many as possible seals in a short time,they have about 2 -3 weeks to do it,weather condiotions quickly can change,so they are always in a 'hurry'...they suppose to check officially to see if they are real no-one does.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 March 27, 2006 1:13 AM

And the slaughter only started 2 days ago,not 2 weeks ago.....onther thing is that the Canadian government doesnt anounce the 3 - or 5 year sealclubbing 'quote anymore.....they only give a yearly quote as that sounds less......wich was announced on the internatial dat of protest against the Canadian sealclubbing. There is absolutely NOTHING and I repaeat NOTHING that can justify this cruel slaughter.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Answering Soul C.'s question March 27, 2006 7:58 PM

Major fashion businesses in Europe buy the pelts.  [ send green star]
 March 27, 2006 9:29 PM

The HSUS website has a full list of designers who use the seal fur for coats, trimming, shoes, belts, hats, even lamp shades. Who needs a seal skin lamp shade?! The Designers Who Use Fur page on HSUS's site lists not only the designers, but their emails and addresses, so you may write to them and tell them how you feel.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Seals March 28, 2006 12:11 AM

Riane- my understanding is that the Canadian government provides the icebreakers.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 April 03, 2006 1:47 PM

I watch with pure disgust Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland as he tries to justify the seal slaughter. He uses one of the excuses that sealers need it to survive - put food on the tables etc. etc. etc. His governmentcould end this for his province easily instead of insulting those of us who are against the slaughter. Last year, the Canadian Government (of the day) signed the Atlantic Accord February 14, 2005 giving Newfoundland & Labrador's government 100 percent of its offshore (oil & gas) resources. Last year that related to 133 million. This year 188 million. Plus they are getting assurance that their transfer payments (millions given to them by the federal gov't each year) won't decrease for a total of 8 years. The province will receive an up-front payment of $2 billion which equals about three-quarters of the agreed-upon estimate of potential benefits from this agreement between now and 2012. This payment will serve as a pre-payment of the new 100 per cent protection This translates into a lot of money going into the hands of the Newfoundland Government Coffers - more than enough to easily buy out the sealer contracts and end that province's participation in the seal slaughter. Just as Paul & Heather requested he do. *I hope it's not off topic too much, but the other side of the argument isn't always what it appears to be*  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 April 03, 2006 4:05 PM

Thanks for this info Kate. I have had a few sealers/fisherman visiting my veggie blog and trying explain their side of the story.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
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