5 Reasons Why I Support the Canadian Seal Hunt

seal hunt 1Two years ago I went to NAFFEM, a large fur trade show in Montreal. I was invited as a blogger, to check out the beautiful pieces and choose some of my favourite items for sale at the show. I am a huge supporter of the Canadian fur industry (read about my reasons here) but I’ve been less vocal about the seal hunt, primarily because I didn’t have enough information to make an informed opinion about it. Well, now I do, and I would like to share it with you because I think it is important.

1. Seals are a sustainable resource and are in abundance. We live in a world where resources have become an issue, and many of us are choosing to consume products that come from renewable resources. Seal is a great example of this – there are tons of them in Canada and they are not at all at threat of becoming endangered.

Speaking of sustainability, seals are part of the reason why fish stocks are very low (although overfishing is also a big issue) and the seal hunt not only provides jobs and resources for the hunters, but also allows the fish populations to regenerate (a bit.) All major conservation groups will agree that a responsible use of resources (like hunting seals for food and clothing) is a good thing, and is often the central principle of modern conservation.

seal hunt 22. Seals are local. The green topic is a big one right now, and part of the green movement focuses on buying local.

Canada has a lot of great resources, but when it comes to fashion, few are 100% Canadian. Nearly all of our fashion products are in some way sourced from overseas (whether it be raw materials or construction) but seal skin and wild fur are 100% free range, local products.

3. The seal hunt supports Canadian communities. There are two major seal hunts in Canada, one in the Arctic sea (seals hunted by Inuit people) and one on the East Coast (a commercial seal hunt.) Both provide jobs and resources for those people. The meat is eaten, the fat is used for a variety of products, and the skin is sold so that these people can support themselves.

Food, as you may know, is extremely expensive in the Arctic, and there are limited jobs in that area, or in the Maritimes. The seal hunt is a very important Canadian industry for the people who depend on it.

seal hunt 34. The seal hunt is not inhumane. The animal rights activists will have you believe that the seal hunt is inhumane, but this is not the case.

First of all, most seals are killed with rifles (not clubbed to death.)

Secondly, there have been numerous studies done on the seal hunt, and biologists and veterinarians have all agreed that the seal hunt is no less humane than any other hunt.

SEE ALSO: EU SEALING POLICY IS HYPOCRITICAL, UNDEMOCRATIC

5. The media paints an unfair picture. My question, after having learnt all the above, was why does the seal hunt have such a bad reputation? There are two answers to this.

First of all, seals are cute, and people are more likely to be protective of cute animals. If we were all truly concerned about cruelty and sustainability, why aren’t we doing more to save fish? Many species of fish are far more at risk than seals, yet their not-so-cute appearance doesn’t exactly inspire people to seal hunt 4campaign for them. (Notice how we care more that our tuna is “dolphin safe” but not so much if that particular tuna is endangered.)

Secondly, the seal hunt is much more visible than other hunts, and the access to it allows for more imagery. The seal hunt happens in certain places at very specific times, and so it is very easy for activists to turn up and take photos of blood on the ice. Those same activists aren’t invited into abattoirs, and therefore we don’t have the same images in our head of cows or sheep. The fact that seals are cute, and that we have access to photos of them being killed, means the seal hunt has been very unfairly portrayed by the media and activist groups.

Many of us are so far removed from nature, farming, and hunting, and it is so easy to forget that our food comes from the land. While I will admit I don’t like seeing photos of any dead animals, I do appreciate the process and am under no illusions about the realities of eating meat and wearing animal products.

For those of us who do choose to consume animals, the best we can do is consume sustainable resources that are treated humanely – and the seal hunt is just that.

46 Comments

  • Hi, I don’t mean to be disrespectful but this is very wrong on so many levels. Have you ever stopped to consider the animal’s feelings in this? How they are just like us, we both have hearts, and families, and feelings, and that they should be considered in all of this. How would you feel if your child was beaten with a shovel, skinned, and worn on someones back or as a purse? I personally wouldn’t feel horrible that my child was taken away for clothes just because they are local or that they are abundant. It’s wrong. Animals have just as much of a right to live as we do, and killing them would be as wrong as killing your neighbor.

    • That’s not disrespectful at all, Morgan. Your view is just one extreme in a whole spectrum. You are aware, of course, that 99% of society believe it’s acceptable to kill animals for certain purposes, so you have your work cut out for you persuading them all to your point of view. You’ll find it particularly hard getting them to agree that killing a human child is the same as killing an animal. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • Consider the feelings of animals, or anyone else? Are you kidding? These people LIKE clubbing baby animals to death! There are a lot of food and clothing options that don’t involve animals at all. Factory farming, seal clubbing, shark hunting, etc.are all atrocities performed because of human greed and human cruelty. Basically, most of us are worthless to the rest of the ecology. And no, 99% of society does NOT agree that killing animals is okay. Go to India sometime. In Europe, 10% of the population does not consume meat. In the United States, a low estimate is that 2% of the population is vegan. So websites like this exist for one reason…money, and making you feel okay about spending it on animal cruelty.

      • Care to share any of your sources?

        “In Europe, 10% of the population does not consume meat.” WRONG. Not even close. The UK might be close to that but the average across Europe is not even near that figure. And one third of British vegetarians eat meat when they are drunk. So I’d hardly call them vegetarians.

        Moving on… baby seals aren’t and haven’t been hunted since the 80s. The majority of seals that are hunted today are killed using rifles, not clubs. The US has a vegan population of approx 0.5%, not even close to your 2%.

        If you manage to put together a cohesive argument based on facts and statistics that haven’t been made up, then I would be happy to debate with you. But for now, you are nothing more than an illogical, emotion-driven animal rights activist who can’t even put together a well-founded argument.

  • Hi Alexandra, I just wanted to way in with some facts any reasonable person of logic could understand on their own, but since you probably aren’t one, I’ll speak them out so you get to hear them despite that.
    Humans lives are only more valuable to us humans. Ask the earth, nature, a meteorite or a higher evolved alien species about the value of our lives. To a seal, it’s own life is the one most important, so your statement that human life is more important hold no weight since it’s subjective. Of course it is… to us. But morally speaking, no.
    Secondly, you made a very few good points, about cute animals being in favor of saving and similiar, however your whole opinion falls apart from the start cause you refer to seals as resources. Now, one could argue that they are, but then again, the much more valuable human lives are just resources too. Be it for waging war, supporting the economy or making money for someone else. That view, even if correct, is morally wrong. Neither seals or people should be viewed as resources. Oh and before you ask, I wear coats that aren’t made of living things like a normal person would, not a villain from a kid’s Disney movie and I’m not vegan or vegetarian. Another good point you made was the dwingling supply of the “fish resource”, however rather than dealing with the cause of the problem (over-hunting done by humans and overpopulation), we’re solving it by causing another problem: messing up another species.

    The problem with your view, with our view is: we don’t have right on our side. Personally I don’t expect we’ll ever meet aliens and don’t really care if they exist. But if they do and we do meet them, the one big problem is that the meeting can go two ways: They are inferior to us, which makes them (as seals) less valuable than us and we will enslave them like we did every other species on our planet or help ourselves to their resources. Second way is that they are superior to us, in which case, they will do it to us. Now you could say: only cause they’re superior doesn’t mean they’ll wipe us out of existence, but thats where the possibilities branch again. Two ways: they are either better “people” (morally speaking) than us, in which case they will be disgusted by our treatment of our planet, other species and each other and they will do something about it, or… they are as savage or even worse than we are – in which case, we get slaughtered again.

    Now the real problem with that theoretical meeting is: if we are harvested as resources, the worst thing about what we would regard as a tragedy and injustice is: we won’t have ANY right to complain whatsoever. Sure, our lives are “more valuable” than that of a seal, but try making that point to something who’s life is “even more valuable” than ours. Would you agree that their life is more valuable than ours only cause they’re superior to us, or would you argue against it, that “all life is valuable”, if so, why aren’t you doing that now ?
    I really want that right. The right to say it’s wrong what they could do to us, that it isn’t right to wipe out another species or use them as resources and treat them “inhumanly”. Don’t you want that right, don’t you feel like that’s true ? Well, you wont have that right and it wont be true, cause we’re in their position now and we’re doing the same thing we’d hope they do to us: treat as less valuable and as resources.

    I highly doubt you ever got to see or read this comment, but in case you did, I am impressed (I’m not cause I don’t know if you have, but i would be if I did know), however, I have to remark, we’re both omnivores, we both try to think for ourselves, but one big difference between us, well, between you and people in general is, that you just aren’t a good person. I am sorry. Nobody would want to hear that, but opinions aside, you for a fact can’t be one with your mindset. If you are bothered by hearing that, you can either convince yourself that it isn’t true, despite all logic, or… try and be better.

    • You are just too lost in your own little world thinking that humans are the best of all species and that we can viciously kill animals in any way for a coat. A ugly coat too.
      There is no need to kill animals for fashion. There are animal free coats EVERYWHERE. I mean, they are available in the cheapest store!
      We are not hungry cold people stuck on ice, it does not make since why we need to use animals for fur. I understand if you live in a place with no stores or restraunt and rely on other animals.
      Before making excuses on why you support these ugly actions(which most people have already stopped) realize that we are already in 2017. Even countries started declining this.

      ( sorry for my English )

      • Let’s be quite clear about this: Arguments in favor of Canada’s seal hunt are not “excuses”. There are sound ecological and humanitarian reasons for supporting the sealing industry, and that includes buying the products of sealing, including clothing.

        You astutely observe that we are in the year 2017, but what does this mean? Society’s attitudes to animals and understanding of conservation are certainly changing, but it’s not a one-way street. While some people condemn our use of animals and condone a hands-off approach to nature (aka preservationism), others believe it is our responsibility to manage nature, including through consumptive use, to ensure its future health. In this context, the sealing industry is right on the front line in shaping public opinion, and that’s why the fur trade and all major conservation organisations give it their support. Hopefully, in the years to come, those countries which currently ban seal products will realise the folly of their ways.

        • Nope. There are none. Genital mutilation is also a cultural tradition. Do you support that? There is something fundamentally wrong with someone who doesn’t think a native people can also evolve.

    • You are talking about fictional meetings with aliens in a comment attempting to oppose the seal hunt, and you expect me to take you seriously?

    • I like you. It’s rare to see someone thinking for her or himself. But our numbers are growing. We are waking up to the fact that we are NOT here to be made comfortable through the suffering of others. Keep up the good work.

  • Pardon my english but I am just baffled at your barbaric way of thinking. How can you determine humans being more valuable than animals? Bees and ants are far more valuable to the earth than humans who actually would do a great favor to the planet if they went extinct. Now, do animals not feel pain? Do they not feel as much pain as a human would and is that not enough for us to look into more humane ways of living? Especially having such ”superior” minds to make conscious choices. Animals are not resources, they are not for us to exploitate but to coexist.

    • I’m baffled that you are asking us to explain why I think humans are more valuable than animals? I will always support the use of animals for valuable medical testing, I’d kill a snake/bug/dog or any other creature if they were about to kill a child, and I wouldn’t think twice about crushing a mosquito. I see a reoccurring theme with animal rights activists, and that is that they seem to put animals before the poor, sick, or vulnerable human beings. I will never do that.

    • I am glad you mentioned bees and ants. Have you asked them how they feel when a hungry bear gorges on them. Since you are a proponent of a Plant Based Diet, ants are destroying my cherry and plum fruit. Am I too Live Trap and Relocate the ants? What options would you suggest that I use on the predators destroying the fruit on my trees?

  • Hi! I see your point. But PETA has just posted videos of seals being clubbed to death, and that the global warming already causes their population decrease. I do not suggest that you stop this, though that would be great. I suggest that the activity is to be thought out more and be less humane and take less lives.

  • What if somebody “humanely” clubbed you over the head to then use your skin? There is no humane way to kill something that doesn’t want to die. I liken it to this– if you were asleep and I crept into your room and shot you in the head– YES this would be humane– but would it be right? Surely not– you didn’t want to die. Waterproof materials? There are other materials that are waterproof that are not skin. It saddens me that humans think we are the only lives in this world that matter. Every life matters. In the eyes of god we are worth no more than any other soul.

    • The ironic thing is that you are pretending that human life has the same value as an animal’s life (it doesn’t) but then the very act of protesting the seal hunt is destroying the livelihood of the people in the North who depend on it.

      Are you able to understand that basic concept? And if you care about the rest of the earth’s inhabitants, you would WANT people to be wearing sustainable clothing and living off the land. Instead you are promoting synthetics (“other materials that are waterproof”) that are made from petroleum by products and that pollute our waters and never biodegrade.

      • When you say seals are consuming most of “our” fish, and they mass produce.. look at humans. We are the biggest consumers, we mass produce (I mean we have so many kids), we are the ones responsible for global warming, animals/species gone extinct, we use up all the natural resources. Look at forest that once existed are now gone. We destroy other animals habitats/homes. So in reality it’s us consuming their food. Humans don’t need meat to survive we have options. Animals don’t! Just like fur it’s an option not a necessity. That’s why the world is the way it is because of people like you who think they are superior to others. But once they see the negative outcomes this all brings to our Mother Earth they’ll be crying. Just think we all share one planet there is only one planet where humans can live. If we destroy it we “all” go down.

        • “Just think we all share one planet there is only one planet where humans can live. If we destroy it we “all” go down.”

          Don’t you see the hypocrisy in this statement? If we cared about the planet, we would use natural, renewable resources sparingly. That means buying one fur coat every 15 years instead of wearing plastic crap in the winter. What do you wear when it gets cold??

  • People who think the way you do towards murder make me feel physically sick. No human should make money from another creatures death, what right do they have to not use their brain at the expense of another beings life? Yes, in the past, humans have survived by taking the life of another creature and using its body to protect and grow our own, but those days CAN be behind us, if we choose it. No longer do we NEED their furs or their meat for our own survival. What’s more, these are wild animals who live life each day doing what they can to survive, how dare you think it’s alright for someone to walk up and shoot it, a completely unfair fight, just so your son can have a FUGLY pair of gloves. You should take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and really think about the reasons you’ve suggested and think about how you’d feel if the situation was more personal… say I killed your family – Humans are sustainable, I could do it when I’m close by anyway, I could find a good price for their skIn and spend that money locally and it’s alright because I’ll shoot them and back it quick. Sounds awful doesn’t it? You just think about that.

    • Anyone who thinks killing an animal is comparable to killing a human is insane. But I think we already deducted that by the tone of the rest of your comment.

      • She’s not insane. Do animals not feel? Do animals not want to have a family and thrive? In the eyes of god we are all god’s children. Do you think God is looking down smiling at this action? I’d argue not likely. WWJD.

        • Are you serious right now? “In the eyes of god we are all god’s children.” I’m sorry, but these animals, along with humankind, have spawned from generations of evolution from single cells to animals.

          Let me put this in a way that you’ll understand (I am in support of ending this cruelty against animals): We developed on this earth, as did seals. We are both living, being souls. We both have a right to exist, emotions, a heart. Therefore, it is unfair to assume that we are in control of the Earth just due to our presence on it. The Earth would still thrive if humans had never evolved from primates.

          I just find your view, bringing religion into this, interesting as the seal slaughter is mainly in support of Indigenous tribes and First Nations peoples, both people who follow their ancient beliefs and a ‘religion’ in a sense. Just a thought since the viewpoints seem to contradict.

      • Who are you to decide someone is insane because they value animals’ lives as much as they do human lives? You have no authority to do so. Many, many people believe humans are just another animal with no special rights to life over other animals. Your saying they do doesn’t make it so.

  • What a piece of work you are. Your just as bad as all the sealers who choose to make a living from the slaughter and suffering they inflict. I don’t know where you get your information from. For example sealers only shoot seals and don’t club them. There would not even be a seal hunt in Canada if my government would rightfully have a nationwide vote on the subsidizing they do for it to continue. And while they are at it have a vote on what our people feels about the thousands of horses we slaughter every year for America since they banned it. Also I am curious if you have watched the 2005 documentary called Earthlings or the 2016 documentary called Huntwatch ? Next to animal testing, trophy hunting, whaling, horse and seal slaughter, fur farming is probably the most repulsive things the human race allows to happen. There is no reason anyone needs to wear fur. Our time is running out on this planet and its because we cannot and will not show love and compassion for all life. We can’t even wrap our heads around the fact that we are a primate and our closest relatives and brothers are all the great apes. Sure we are #1 on the food chain but we are an animal. Better yet we are a plague that the only cure for is our inevitable extinction. The sooner the primate known as homo sapiens are gone from this earth the better off this earth will be.

    • You need to develop a more positive, and realistic, outlook on life. Homo sapiens have been using animals as part of our survival strategy since we arrived on this planet. So, about 2 million years. There is no reason to think “our time is running out” because we lack compassion for animals. What is important for the future health of our planet is an awareness among homo sapiens that natural resources, including animals, must be used sustainably. Please take heart, because we are now more aware of this than at any time in our history.

      • You can’t compare today with years ago lol totally different. back then it was a necessity. Now… it’s not. Humans don’t need meat to survive there’s so many other options instead of meat. And wearing fur is not a necessity. Read your history!!

        • On reading our history we find that our failure to use natural resources sustainably in the past had little to do with “need”. For example, trappers didn’t over-harvest sea otters in the 19th century because they were hungry or cold. Time and again, history shows us how unregulated capitalism – the pursuit of profit – resulted in unsustainable use. This was the “tragedy of the commons”. Since North America continues today to follow the capitalist model, comparing our performance today with how we did historically is very relevant, in our opinion.

          As for not needing meat to survive, even today vegetarians and vegans make up a tiny percentage of the population, so how we acquire our animal protein continues to be an extremely important subject.

    • The Seal industry offers an employment opportunity to many people. Sealers do use club like tools but this is only to insure that the seal is truly dead. My question it do you pay this much attention to how your chicken or beef is served to you? For some reason the media has implanted the image of a cave man hammering a doe eyed white coat seal into the minds of others. This is incorrect though, because it’s illegal to kill any newborn harp seals in Canada.

  • oh, your the kind of person that likes humans then animals that CAME BEFORE YOU AND NOW HUMANS ARE STUPIDLY INVADING THE EARTH AND ANIMALS WANT TO BE FREE LIKE US

    • I am sorry, normally I would respond to comments but I can’t understand what you are trying to say. Could you try applying some grammar and punctuation to your comments?

      • I Understood it perfectly. Your response however it’s simply dumb. Lol Something an elementary student would say. Maybe, you should go back to school and learn more about the environment, history and learn more about compassion.

    • They are not clubbed. Every fisherman I know who partakes in the hunt uses a rifle. It’s no different than shooting a moose, dear, elk, etc.

      • Even so, killing all animals for no good reason is bad. You should try watching a video of what happens to these animals when they get clubbed, or shot.

        • Betty, sealskin is naturally very waterproof, a pair of boots with rubber soles can last many winters, if not a decade. Meanwhile vegan approved footwear is incompatible in harsh winter climates and has very limited service life. In real time here it is now minus 16* C as I type. Plastic boots would crack with the flexing at that temperature.

          Any Vegan Approved Cruelty Free Product should be examined with a thought pattern of Critical Thinking to see if it passes the Smell Test. Where and how are the Feedstock’s procured for this alleged kinder product?

  • Nicole: “Babies”are generally understood to be very young animals that are completely dependent on their mothers for survival. Since 1987, harp seals cannot be hunted until they have moulted their first (“whitecoat”) fur, at which point they are fully weaned, and independent. Their mothers have left them by this time, to breed again. But I don’t blame you for being confused, because leading activist groups continue to cynically use photos of “whitecoat” pups and refer constantly to “baby” seals. They also rarely mention that the harp seal population numbered about 2-3 million when Brigitte Bardot and Greenpeace began protesting the hunt; the Government of Canada biologists are now estimate that there are close to 10 million harp seals — eating more fish than the entire Canadian fishing fleet harvests from three oceans!

    • Umm…I’m not confused. There is simple NO reason to butcher an innocent being. Bottom line. So when a human baby is weened off their mother, you know since our population is growing by the minute…should someone just kill us? For our money, our houses, our…everything? I mean really? Leave the animals alone.

      • Exactly. That seal has the right to grow up and go to school. To find a Job and and wife. To have kids. To contribute to society. Maybe that seal could have been a Doctor. The possibilities are endless.

      • Nicole, watch this video and please respond to us if you face the same monetary challenges at your local grocer. These people survived in the planets harshest climate. They were forced to relocate into the housing you will see as late as 1959. They heated their igloo’s with whale oil and cooked with it also. Their bedding was animal fur. Do you even understand what an Igloo is constructed of?

        Nunavut Grocery Prices = Insane!!!! – YouTube
        Video for youtube video grocery prices in nunavut▶ 2:42
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz0YYkvG_Lg
        Jan 1, 2010 – Uploaded by PickAPiperBrad
        A humourous look at the exorbitant prices people pay for groceries in Canada’s high arctic.

        These Arctic peoples were Subsistence Hunters of the highest order. The Anti Fur Regime started in Europe was Genocidal to their way of life. All I can say, is shame to Greenpeace and other ignorant activists. These peoples physiology is maladapted to Colonists food. They suffer much from Diabetic complications. And please don’t come back with some misguided PCRM propaganda that eating meat onsets diabetes.

  • Thank you. The animal rights companies have been unjustly exploiting sealers for over four decades. It is good to know that there are people in Canada who see through their offensive, bigoted lies.

    • Exploiting sealers???? You are exploiting innocent beings for profit!!!! How bout you go back to school and get a real job?? What kind of shameless freaks hurts and kills babies? And then thinks it’s okay? How bout you start hunting humans, (oh wait you can’t, because it’s considered murder because we have voices to say so.) Weak cowards like you hunt and murder to those without voices. (Oh and to the author of this ridiculous article) if you haven’t noticed, humans are overpopulated as well.) Please let us know when you’ll start clubbing our newborns. Morons, please disappear from this Earth, fast.

      • A real job? What do you do? Sit in front of a computer? Buy your food from a grocery store? A you a vegan or just a hypocrite? And if you are a vegan, what do you were in the winter? Petrochemical coats? How dare you tell someone who lives off the land to “get a real job.” You have no idea. Tell us about how you are saving the planet, Nicole.

        • Alexandra, You, young lady give me hope for the younger generation. It is also inspiring when I go to the local Farmer’s Market and see all the young people making a good living from growing healthy vegetables, greens and selling grass fed, free range meats, eggs and dairy.

      • Nicole, You are quite the Right Fighter, please let me know which Right to Choose Blogs you attack individuals on?

        I am a purist, i desire to have a Kayak framed from whale bones and covered in waterproof seal skins. How many hypocritical AR’st own polyethylene kayaks. Maybe the Inuit want to allow Arctic Oil Exploration so they can participate in the New World Economy.

        There are an estimated 57,000 whales in the Churchill Manitoba Estuaries. I motion that the Inuit startup a Heritage School teaching how real kayaks are made. Imagine they engineered this fabulous watercraft without a University Degree. Oil Well, Pipeline, Petro-Chemical Refinery and Nuclear Plant for electrical power.

        Bubble, bubble…

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