“You Europeans should mind your own business”

I came across this statement recently as I was trawling through the fiery debates on the Sky News discussion board. After a little more browsing, I saw that this is a sentiment shared by many Canadians. After all, goes the argument, Europeans cull lots of animals including deer, bears, and foxes. They should deal with their own problems first and let poor, rural Canadians continue to eke out a meagre income by killing seals.

Well, as a Canadian who lives in Europe, I find this proposition a bit mystifying.

After all, don’t Europeans, Canadians and Americans all share a common cultural heritage that says that causing injury to another creature in such a way that is cruel is morally objectionable? In fact, I think you’d be hard-pressed, whether in Europe or North America, to find anybody who could watch a three-month-old infant seal shot or clubbed and left to slowly die in a pool of its own blood and not be sickened. It’s no surprise, then, that more than seven out of ten people in Europe and also in Canada are opposed to the hunt. In fact, I know many Newfoundlanders who loudly protest the hunt.

The differences between the Canadian seal hunt, a commercial hunt motivated purely by profit and the largest slaughter of marine mammals in the world, and other types of culls are obvious. The Canadian hunt takes place over a huge area, in a harsh and unstable environment, and over a short period of time. Sealers have two choices: to stay ship-bound and try to shoot the tiny seals from moving vessels while the seals bob in the ocean on ice floes, or else to slip and slide their way across the ever-shifting ice to club the seals to death. Both of these options mean that the likelihood that the seals are actually dead before they are skinned is extremely small.

I agree that fishermen in Newfoundland face an unhappy situation. Over decades, they’ve seen their cod stocks decline to almost zero. Of course, most people agree that this is almost certainly because year on year, they and other fishermen ignored warnings from the scientific community and over-fished their stocks. Now, they increasingly turn to killing seals to supplement their incomes.

Follow this trajectory into the future and what do we see? Species after species killed to extinction in order to satisfy the short-term economic needs of fishermen. What’s next after the seals? Polar bears?

It’s time for the Canadian Government to stop it’s short-sighted policy of “buying off” the provinces with subsidies that support unsustainable industries and take a meaningful, rational approach to investment that will benefit the environment and Canada’s rural communities for decades to come.

-A Canadian in Europe

Comments: 34

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

Posted by: Jen | March 29, 2008 at 12:17 AM
"I hope the sealer boats sink, that someone puts a big hole in the bottom of them and these sealers have to start swimming for their OWN lives."
I'd like to see you and tim say this to the faces of the wives and children of the three dead and one missing fishermen. You stated in your other post that, "killing innocent seals for nothing is SICK", well I say that you and tim are the SICK ones for wishing harm on your fellow human beings. Actually, I don't believe that you and tim are human at all.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

Posted by: Jen | March 29, 2008 at 12:19 AM
"i think the people who are carrying out this cruel act that they call a sport need to define sport. Football is sport, cricket is sport, rugby is sport, killing innocent seals for nothing is SICK and also a CRIME, wat fun is it? twisted minds i hate, seal killers i HATE YOU. look into getting a shrink"
You need the shrink if you think that the fishermen who go to the seal hunt do it for sport. They do it to earn a living for their family's. It's easy to judge them when you have no idea of what it takes to live in a different place than they.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

Posted by: tim | March 28, 2008 at 08:01 PM
"I hope the sealer boats sink, that someone puts a big hole in the bottom of them and these sealers have to start swimming for their OWN lives."
Well congratulations tim, it looks like you got your wish..... Three dead, one missing after seal hunting vessel capsizes in E Canada.... This is why the animal rights groups will never speak for the majority of the people, they put the lives of animals above that of people.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

"I agree that fishermen in Newfoundland face an unhappy situation. Over decades, they’ve seen their cod stocks decline to almost zero. Of course, most people agree that this is almost certainly because year on year, they and other fishermen ignored warnings from the scientific community and over-fished their stocks."
Just to clear up a error in the above statement, the fishermen of Newfoundland and Labrador were telling the Government and scientists for years before the cod moratorium that the cod stocks were in danger. The main reason for the depletion of the cod stocks is foreign overfishing and the increasing use of these factory freezer trawlers.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

I am a deep animal lover and i had no idea that hunting of animals especially animals of this kind went on,i can't even explain the heart wrenching disgust i felt when i watched the video and to think that people like this still exsist makes me wonder if they would apall themselves being hunted like this by someone.. An animal is no less a species then a human or anything else and should not have to live like this. They are a part of nature and that should be the only thing that has acsess to them unless any person is helping them for rehabilitative means or for a better cause.. The politcs that are involved in this sickens me and to think they have nothing better to do with there time and have other issues they could stop promoting it like a product to buy an BAN IT FOR GOOD! We have other resources to use we do not need to take it out on defenseless animals to cater to some rich person or people to fill there greedy pockets.... thanks

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

The Canadian Government claims that the seal hunt is humane, how can that be when they club and shoot the seals to deal and most of the time as this other person stated are alive when they are skinned and then left to die a painful death in the ocean. How in the hell is that humane I ask you? I don't get it how this Government keeps on defending practices which they know for sure are inhumane but to help their own pockets by whatever taxes they can get from the hunt. People need to wake up now that this government does not care of these seals only for themselves which to me is sickening.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

what the hell do the seal killers think they are doing? if i could get my hands on them and do to them, the unthinkable im sure i woud be behind bars. Everything and everyone has the right to live and the seals hurt no one only swim, so to all you SICK BASTARDS LEAVE OUR SEALS TO LIVE.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

i think the people who are carrying out this cruel act that they call a sport need to define sport. Football is sport, cricket is sport, rugby is sport, killing innocent seals for nothing is SICK and also a CRIME, wat fun is it? twisted minds i hate, seal killers i HATE YOU. look into getting a shrink

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

This seal hunt is UNACCEPTABLE. Please show your support whoever and wherever you are from. It is senseless killing and it is DISGUSTING that in this day and age this is still happening. Loyola Yearn has something to LEARN, being cruel isn't COOL! Loyola, loyal Loyola Hearn, the Minister of the Dept. of Oceans and Fisheries. What a joke, let's get this job cut and stop the Canadian tax dollars from supporting such cruelty. I hope the sealer boats sink, that someone puts a big hole in the bottom of them and these sealers have to start swimming for their OWN lives.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

hey Mal , there are other groups out there that do protest the wars ,feel free to join one and let us to do our job stopping this cruel act on helpless animals .Why is it there are always people (if I can call them that ) who are always trying to stop us from protecting the enviroment and the creatures that live in it

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