Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tables Turned

Every year thousands of baby seals are slaughtered off the East Coast of Canada. This year the tables have been turned, if only temporarily. One of the ships en route to the killing grounds capsized,  killing at least three of the crew.

Much was reported about how dangerous the hunt is; how the hunters face shifting ice, high winds, freezing temperatures and unpredictable seas. Most of the other 16 boats that had also set out turned back. The community was devastated.

Do you think they could live without it?

The Canadian government set a limit of 275,000 harp seals for the harvest, 5000 more than last year. Eight hundred were taken Friday, the first day of the hunt.

275,000 is a lot of seals!

According to an article from the Humane Society 98% of the kill are pups under three months of age. They can be shot, clubbed with a wooden club or a hakapik, a large ice pick like club. If they are to be shot it is often from moving boats and often the seals are merely wounded. These poor creatures are most likely left to suffer and eventually die because the processors deduct money for each bullet hole in the skin.

Is it an economic necessity for these 6000 fishermen to hunt the seals? The article says they make approximately 1/20th of their income from sealing and accounts for less than 1% of the province's economy.

Even though the seal population does not need to be reduced, the government subsidizes the hunt; the skins go to the fashion industry.

One more cultural difference I just don't understand. And this from our northern neighbors.  They look like us, they talk like us and in many respects they think like us. Except for this.
I couldn't do it.  It would be like clubbing Bacchus.  

1 comment:

Word Tosser said...

Every year this makes me sick to my stomach... and each year I hope that sanity will over rule the all powerful dollar... and it will stop.
I wouldn't like it any better, but if they were weaning out the old ones.. I could live with it.. not like it... but...

But the pups with their beautiful white coats...going so some person (as men are wearing fur too) so they can look beautiful themselves... so they think.. disgust me.