“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
5 years ago

The seal hunt is barbaric and nothing, NOTHING can justify this slaughter! Some of these blogs ask "why not protest human slaughter" like in Darfur, sure do that, but the subject for this blog is about the barbaric and inhumane slaughter of these completely innocent creatures that are 100% at the mercy of greedy,vain and selfish human beings.
And...because these harp seal are not an endangered spieces does not justify this slaughter. Anybody who can club these precious animals to death is very disturbed and mentally very very scary.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

Well I am sending my comments from Switzerland. Have been protesting against this atrocity since years!Cannot believe that despite facts and videos proves they are still lying by saying that this mass murdering of innocent seal pups..is humane!!!...they go on and on with those sadistic killers on the ice?! PLEASE STOP THIS FOR GOOD! The whole world of animal lovers have enough to be taken as fools...

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

You have no clue to how important the seal hunt is do you ya want to stop the hunt well just as well stop all killing in the world stop killing chickens pigs cows all animals seals are part of the food chain whats the big deal seals are shot not clubbed for one.seals that are dead act like fish they are part fish and nerves make them twitch long after they are dead.stopping the seal hunt is crazy did you see the damage they are doing to the ocean there is hundreds of millions of seals they are destroying salmon cod and what ever fish they come in contact with seals will kill a 30 pound salmon only to eat the liver.so what use is there for them they are a threat to the fishery every where and I think seals should of been all killed off years ago fish is a large food source for people all around the world so why you want to take that away from people.why don't ya go after mc donalds look at all the cows killed so they can sell hamburgers .listen I see all you protesters have no clue to how important the seal hunt is so get the facts straight before ya shoot ya mouth about things you no nothing about.red blood is easy to see on white ice wow so what go look in a slaugther house and see the mess there wow get over it! seals are cute when pups but so are chicks when they hatch .when newfoundlanders hunt seals the whole seal is used not just their furs or just their livers its all used for many things mostly food so whats wrong with that ya cant judge people now for things people done to seals hundreds of years ago.the seals are destroying nf fishery by storm seals are multiplying way to fast they eat and kill 10 time or should say 50 times the amount of fish like cod,salmon etc that newfoundland fisherman harvests each year.they depleted cod and salmon and are moving on to trout herring, capelin etc which are food fish for salmon cod and even whales.so do you now understand how important the seal hunt is ,seals do one thing kill and they give no benefit other than food source for people so if ya realized how much they destroy you would think differently.oh ya don't kill seals they so cute now thats bullshit .lets kill them and feed the hungry thats a better idea .seals are a infection in the ocean or like a parasite that got to be stopped or even slowed down.so please forward this to ya supporters if you are a person with any brains and please stop the hate crap and stop busting Newfoundlanders balls ok thanks!
Everyone is able to have an opinion about the killing of seals but you and the protesters are forcing their's on other people thats not right !

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

Honestly, IFAW is one of the better animal rights organizations (for example, it's not on activistcash.com), and they aren't wishing for the deaths of human beings like I'm sure Captain Watson of the Pirate Society is.
However, the people on this blog crying out for the murders of humans to protect seals is pretty insane. Good to know those people will never be in a position to change the hunt in any shape or form, nor hopefully be in any positions of power.
Foolish "boycotts" of Canadian purchases and trips that probably wouldn't have happened anyway have no impact. Canada's economy isn't driven by tourism, it's driven by raw materials like oil and minerals (confirmed by a quick google!). Your need to drive your car will outweigh your thirst for human blood (in all but those complete diehard animal fanatics like in South Park), so go ahead and refuse to take that trip you never planned.
One thing that everybody should follow is to carefully read information on both sides of ANY issue. This includes the seal hunt. Sadly, advertising and propaganda has influenced human decisionmaking since long before this became newsworthy. People see cuteness, and think "MUST GIVE MONEY TO HSUS AND PETA AND COMPANY!"... The same people of course who will follow the pack for the rest of their life.
Oh and Carla, either you are an easily manipulated sadist with the mind of a child, or you should be declared legally insane. Either way, you should be out of society,
matthew4@gmail.com

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

There is no starvation in Canada. As a diplomat´s daughter I lived in Canada for 5 years and did not see anyone starving in the streets. What a ridiculous commment! Hunger in Canada?? The fishermen are hungry? What a bunch of bull. Just so you know after Canada my father was sent to Bangladesh. People in Bangladesh starve to death. They die right in front of you. People in India starve to death, people in Brazil starve to death. Did you know that Canada is part of the G8? The 8 RICHEST countries in the world?

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

Well Rick if you wish to help the children in Darfur , you free to do so. So one here is going to stop you. But if you were advocating for pedofiles, we would certainly be against you. Get it? These sealers are cruel murderers, that is all they are.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

All I can say is that that 3 killed is not enough. Just 3??? My friend and I have been praying to Saint Francis that ALL THE SEALERS DROWN during this massacre. Drowning is actually an easy death for them, compared to what they do those babies.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

Ricks not a biologist,if he was he wouldn't be saying that he is probably a sealers telling more lies to cover up the cruelity of the hunt , It's amazing what these people say and do . I am sure they no this hunt is comming to an end

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

Rick - you've got to be kidding me, you just presented the worlds thinnest argument and possibly the most misguided post to date. Re: skinning of live seals, firstly as a biologist you may be familar with the nature of seals, we're not talking about trying to skin a live Lion here, secondly in these instances the animal has been wounded first so can't exactly fight off whats happening to it but all the same can feel it.
Go away read your text books and come back with a post that actually makes some sense or else go find another website to spout your uneducated rubbish if this one offends you so much.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

Sorry, the veterinarian report is here:
http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw/dfiles/file_95.pdf

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