Sunday, March 21, 2010

And About Those Baby Seals...

Since my last post, I've spent a sleepless night worrying that anyone who happens to read my blog about polar bears will come to the conclusion that I support the seal hunt.

I don't. I don't I don't. The seal hunt is something far beyond what a human being with a soul would do to a defenceless animal. Unfortunately, up until now I have been burying my head in the sand about the seal hunt because it is too upsetting. I have been leaving the room when there was a television story, glancing away from pictures, and trying generally to avoid thinking about it.

But I crossed a line somewhere in my psyche with my polar bear blog and here I am, finally giving my opinion on sealing.

I was pleased to learn that even PETA, (the international paint and pie throwing group), is not against the Inuit people hunting seal for the traditional reasons. Having spent 12 years in the north I know that food is shockingly expensive and artificial fur will not protect you at 40 or 50 degrees below zero. Seal meat and seal fur are a necessity of life for many Inuit. Inuit use all parts of the animal, not much is wasted, whereas the sealers take only the fur of young seals in the most cruel manner possible.

Sealing started in 1720 or thereabouts. It is not a traditional hunt done by indigenous people in a humane, spiritual manner. It is a merciless slaughter done on an icy abattoir.

So who buys seal pelts? The largest market by far is Norway. The most important seal pelt processing plant in Newfoundland, Carino, (according to the most recent info I could find), is actually owned by a Norwegian company. But don't think they need the pelts, because although Norway is a northern country, it has a fairly temperate climate due to the warm Gulf Stream. Finland and Germany are the second and third largest markets but there are many other countries who import thousands of pelts each year.

PETA and likeminded groups need to go after these markets with a renewed vengeance. If there was no money in sealing the industry would die. Our politicians need to wok to find alternate employment for the workers.

The seal hunt must stop.

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