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The seal hunt is not just despicably cruel. It's also immoral.

April 01, 2005 | Seals

Animal welfare advocates have, for several years now, reported that seal hunters do not comply with Canadian regulations for what they call humane slaughter.

Advocates have videotaped hundreds of instances in which hunters failed to apply the now-mandated eye blinking test that, veterinarians say, prove the animal is dead.

Even if such measures could be enforced, should they be? The seal hunt is not just despicably cruel. It's also immoral.

The point of abolishing the hunt is animated by the idea that human beings ought to be able to respect the interest of seals to freely experience their lives.

The boycott on Canadian seafood attests to the failure of trying only to reduce the suffering. Instead of respecting any animals, it uses the profit of one animal commodity against another. This is destined for a cyclical pattern: Once the hunt stops, the boycott stops; people then return to depleting Canadian waters and killing other animals, presumably the less cute.

The time has come to support residents of a depressed economy in ways that acknowledge the importance of the biocommunity as an interconnected whole, and the inherent worth of other feeling beings.

Comments

I wonder why? why must people hunt animals ... please!!! just try to heal this world!

The seal hunt is very inhumane and disgusting. There is no need for it to go on. The letter I received from the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans said the reason that the seal hunt goes on is to give the fishermen employment. I understand that to a point. I really believe that there are many other ways to make a living then going out and clubbing baby seals. 42% of them were skinned alive in this last hunt. They are slaughtered for their pelts. The Canadian Government also gives the people help. Maybe these people need to get creative and look into building a factory and produce faux fur. The more people that protest the closer it brings this slaughter to a permanent end. People need to be educated. Get them into some of the websites and take a look at video's of the seal hunt. It makes a big difference.

Why would any one do this. I think killing something very nice and stuff is so dumb! We need to boycott on all Canada's goods toys,food,etc.I think Canada needs help and to read the BIBLE.Hello this makes me mad. We should BOYCOTT lets make it a big boycott. Are you with me?

I am not sure how anyone could find this hunt Humane or beneficial?It is deemed okay or necessary for these hunters to make a buck! That is crazy. It is said to be okay because of the over-population of seals. What do you think the seals are thinking when everywhere they look there is a humane with a club in his hand? I'm thinking the thought of over-population must come into their minds. We were put on this earth as care takers of the Earth and the animals. Boy are we failing miserably!!!!!It is a shame the things people will do for money. Since when do we get to say what lives and what dies and for that matter how many should be killed.I dont think God approves cosidering he created the seals as well as humans. People atleast in most countries are free to have as many children as they would like and when they cant afford them they get money from the state. There are people out there that have way too many kids but you dont seals seals knocking on there door with a club in their hand. I will not have anything even remotely associated with Canada. What a disgusting and shameful thing to be associated with.

The way i see it, activists have been doing pretty much the same thing for years...and little has changed. We know most people, Canadian and not, oppose the slaughter. Probably tens to hundreds of thousands of letters have been written to the gov't. Boycotts have come and gone (i believe the US still bans Canadian seal products.) Yet, year after year, it continues. I am doubtful that anything is going to change this year as well. David Anderson seemed like the most likely Minister to initiate change, and he's no longer the Fisheries Minister. It seems the tactics that have been used are failing miserably...any ideas on what else could be done? Something needs to change..

Dave, thanks for posting. Regarding what else can be done, it seems we need to think in terms of valuing the marine environment and respecting all of the animals who call it home. I'd imagine it starts with asking what we are eating --do we continue disrupting marine life through our diet, for example? We need to transcend arguments of "overfishing" (which to date, many activists have yet to do). We need to ask ourselves whether we're still competing with seals over other marine animals if it's possible for us to commit to a vegetarian diet. We need to discuss these matters with people in our local communities. Yes, this takes a great deal of time and effort, but we must start somewhere. Surely the best way to begin does involve challenging people to think beyond the terms of the "seafood" industry. This boycott might have been hurriedly planned in order to attract quick media attention. In the long run, that's a disservice to seals and to the other ocean dwellers. For a more detailed statement, please see [Refocus Seal Intervention Where It Belongs: Government Subsidies](http://www.friendsofanimals.org/programs/wildlife/seals.html "Refocus Seal Intervention Where It Belongs: Government Subsidies") Lee Hall,
Friends of Animals.

Hey Lee - it's been a while! =) Of course, veganism would solve the problem, but unfortunately it's not gonna happen for a while... I've been following the seal hunt for many years, and it's a known guaranteed $$ loss for the Can. Gov't from any angle... Why do they keep it going?? And what could be done to affect or influence the sealers themselves..? Are there any 'reformed' sealers? People who could go and talk to others in the sealing community? What would it take for someone who's already willing to do this to stop..??? I wonder if IFAW, Greenpeace, et al, dumped the money they spend on this campaign into paying off the sealers, if that'd do it..heh..

I'm boycotting Canadian products that I can buy in the store and since I buy on ebay I won't be bidding on any item from a seller that lives there. It seems to me the only way to stop this slaughter is to hurt the country and it's people financially. The seafood idea only affects those who make fishing a way of life-the ordinary person who isn't involved in this isn't going to be affected and those are the ones we need to reach. Most don't even know it's still going on from what I've heard from a few. We need to make these "uninformed" people wake up and smell the roses. If your government is going to continue the senseless slaughter of innocent seals then we are not going to do business with it's people since the people are the ones that have the power to stop it by telling their government they want it to end. During the Vietnam War massive demonstrations were held that helped to end it. If we saw these types of demonstrations in Canada by the people maybe their government will realize they can't continue to condone it. Don't just sit at your computer signing online petitions and then go around bragging about how you've done your part to end the slaughter. Visit the various anti sealing sites to see what you can do and who to write to. I plan on writing to sponsers of the bill to condemn Canada and saying that it is not enough. If they can put sanctions against countries that abuse human rights why can't they do the same for those that abuse animal rights. I will also say that they should ban the importation of all goods made by designers who use fur in their clothing and not just items that have it. If we hit them in the pocketbook too they might be less willing to want to use it. I also plan on writing to the Creative Coalition to urge them to boycott Canada until the hunt stops(alot of films are being made there). Same goes for the SAG and any other entertainment sites I can find. I am also going to urge them to tell their members to boycott designers who use seal fur(any fur) Talk is cheap-it's time for people to put their money where their mouth is.

I was thinking about that as well - I mean, the industry made $16.5 million last year - and there were 15,000 sealing permits issued! If I could pay a sealer a mere $1,100 to stay off the ice, I'd do it in a heartbeat. And, in fact, they probably made even less than that, once you deduct the costs for each cursed vessel. But it was pointed out to me that they would probably happily take my money, and hunt anyway.... These people actually think that they will bring back the cod by killing the seals; they think they are doing the right thing to bring their industry back... I am getting frustrated too - I've been writing letters, emails, essays, commentaries - and emailing them to hundreds of news outlets, websites, and government officials - and I feel like we're getting nowhere. So little media coverage, it's heartbreaking. I find myself watching the [hunt] footage over and over, crying and apologizing to those poor creatures; apologizing for the horrors being inflicted upon them by mankind, and apologizing for being unable to help them... What else can we do?

Here is a question. Where does one draw the line between acceptable slaughter and non acceptable slaughter? The general feeling on this board is that the seal hunt is mass murder, right? Here are some interesting numbers, Number of seals killed in the 2005 Canada seal hunt. 350000 Number of innocent civilian lives lost in Iraq. 16,214 to 18,491 What is this world coming to when we are starting to place a higher value on the life of a seal herd that is in no danger at all of becoming endangered or killed off. A herd that I might add, that has no local predators and has a population that is out of control. Rather than boycott Canada over a very heavily managed and sustainable hunt, why don't we start a boycott against the united states for your Illegal, Immoral, Cruel, and un-justified invasion of a sovereign country and the wholesale slaughter of it's innocent civilians. I challenge you to leave this comment on here as a proof that you are not as closed minded as you appear to be, and are willing to accept an actual discussion on issues rather than preach them. Blog editor's note: Anthony, thank you for posting. The number of people killed in Iraq may have significantly surpassed 100,000 according to a report in the medical publication The Lancet. ("One of the first attempts to independently estimate the loss of civilian life from the Iraqi war has concluded that at least 100,000 Iraqi civilians may have died because of the U.S. invasion." Washington Post, October 29, 2004; Page A16.) Anthony, a broad reading of animal rights encompasses human rights as well. We believe that activists in the United States should take a stand against this government's violent incursions in Iraq. Although we live here and cannot boycott going home after a day's work, we do speak out against killing of all animals, including Homo sapiens, and we reject the means-justify-the-end thinking that excuses slaughter. As for your thoughts on the seals in Canadian waters, you might want to review our position statement on that. Please visit: [Refocus Seal Intervention Where It Belongs: Government Subsidies](http://www.friendsofanimals.org/programs/wildlife/seals.html "Refocus Seal Intervention Where It Belongs: Government Subsidies")

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