5 Reasons Why I Support the Canadian Seal Hunt

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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.


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69 Comments

  • Your arguments are the very same ones used by the whaling industry during its downward decline, as the majority of developed nations and the people as a whole rejected the killing of whales and it became a shameful, dwindling industry just as it should. And sorry to inform you, but there is nothing traditional about setting a commercial kill quota for 400,000 seal pups and juveniles, while only being able to hope to fill it with the necessity of rifles, diesel powered water craft and snow mobiles. And, at this time, there is no real existence of a market for seal meat, but I do find it ironic that your sealing future is dependent on fabricating a market with the Chinese! of all nations!, One of main drivers of wildlife trafficking in animal parts and driver of poaching and all around wildlife suffering throughout the world. “traditionally” they had relied on non developed Countries for their despicable supply, but I guess with the help of some Canadans that could all change .
    I mean even Russia has banned killing seals for years. MAfter the Chinese maybe you could next try and sell your “traditional products” to the North Koreans, thats only a small step down the drain of decency from China, and in order to increase your “traditional” market you could convince them that it will increase their sexual potency, kinda like rhino horn and the numerous other so called “traditional” medicines., after all it might even work, and everyone knows thats what the world really needs is for the Chinese and other ignorant nations to increase their population. Heck with that said you could save on shipping just sell it to your ignorant selves!

    • Nick, your anger at Canada for looking to develop markets like China actually sounds like sour grapes. Lobbying by animal rights groups has closed what could be the two largest markets for seal products: the US and now the EU. Now you are angry that Canada has the audacity to develop other markets. It’s like you think the sealing industry should just surrender and die because it’s taken such a beating, but, surprise surprise, the sealing industry doesn’t accept those terms. You can expect to see the sealing industry continuing in perpetuity in its current downsized version, much as the whaling industry continues to exist. The big difference currently between the two is that the whaling industry receives very little attention these days because most Westerners appear to think it no longer exists. The sealing industry, in contrast, continues to be a favorite target of animal rights groups. Hopefully that will change soon, and they will just leave the sealers alone.

    • Activists often claim that there are no longer markets for seal products, but that clearly is not true: if there was no one in the US and EU who still wanted to buy seal products, there would have been no need for these countries to ban them.

  • These are not my people….I am indigenous…we are a loving spiritual people…these people do not speak for my people….sealing is a disgusting abomination that will be sent back to hell from where it came….

    Lection 14
    7. And, for thy living, behold the fields yielding their increase, and the fruit-bearing trees and the herbs; what needest thou more than these which honest work of thy hands will not give to thee? Woe to the strong who misuse their strength, Woe to the hunters for they shall be hunted.

    • Hi Manu, can we assume that you are Canadian Inuit? If so, are you saying that Canadian Inuit do not support sealing? That doesn’t sound right. Of course we should be careful about generalising, but on the whole Canadian Inuit seem to be the strongest supporters of all of sealing.

      Meanwhile … for the education of our readers, your Lection 14, 7 citation comes from The Gospel of the Holy Twelve. Wikipedia notes: “It seems that the Gospel of the Twelve is not recognized as authentic by any recognized bible scholar. E.g., Richard Alan Young, a Professor of New Testament Studies has … stated, “It appears that Ouseley created The Gospel of the Holy Twelve in support of animal welfare and vegetarianism”.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gospel_of_the_Holy_Twelve

  • Alexandra Isenberg, you are wrong. Sealing is an industry in decline. Exports of seal products dropped from $18 million (CAD) in 2006 to just $317,000 (CAD) in 2015. According to Fisheries and Oceans, there were 1,318 active sealers in 2014, with an average earning of $1523 CAD (before accounting for costs) from the seal hunt. And 92% of seal meat is wasted.
    Most of the baby seals are killed by being bludgeoned to death with clubs that have hooks on them, and yes some are killed by rifles. But seal fur, and fur from any animal isn’t necessary. Faux fur is just as good. With every fur product produced and bought, there’s a price that innocent animals who feel excruciating pain(those that are bludgeoned) have to pay.

    • While you were researching all these figures, did it not occur to you to look into fake fur? Because no one who cares about animals, especially ones that live in the sea, is going to promote fake fur. You do know what it is made out of, right? Petroleum. It is basically plastic, and every time it is washed or ends up a landfill, it leaves a trail of micro plastic particles which are now ALL OVER THE WORLD. But yeah, tell me again how fake fur is “just as good” as something that is natural, sustainable, and biodegradable.

    • Alyssa, I think you are a bit misinformed about the realities of seal hunting. The majority of seal hunters are Inuit. Inuit that live in the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Alaska and Russia. Inuit that are also a vast majority of the commercial seal hunters, because we sell the skins and we are a part of the commercial seal skin market. Animal rights groups will tell you that Inuit hunters aren’t commercial hunters, that we are subsistence hunters and we are, but we are also a huge part of the commercial aspect of sealing. One of the main reasons that the sealing market is on the decline is because in 2010, the EU enforced a ban on all seal products which crashed the market for southern sealers AND Inuit seal hunters. There is a clause in the EU ban for Inuit hunters, but as was shown by the 1980s ban by the EU on seal skin which had a clause for Inuit as well, that still doesn’t protect Inuit sales of seal products, the ENTIRE market crashes, not just the southern sealing. Life for Canadian Inuit is very difficult, the climate is harsh, the cost of living in those regions is one of the highest in North America, we have the highest rates of poverty and unemployment in all developed countries and suicide rates are incredibly high. It costs, on average, nearly 20 000$ CAD to feed a family in Nunavut for a year, most families make under 20 000$ CAD in that area. Inuit already don’t make enough money to feed themselves and we still have to pay rent, pay our taxes, buy clothing, gas and pay our bills. Nearly a third of children living in those areas go hungry everyday. Imagine having to pay 28$ for lettuce, 73$ for a pound of factory-raised meat, 82$ for 12 cans of ginger ale or 17$ for a bag of grapes. With 50$ an Inuk hunter could choose to buy a tiny amount of grocery store food (mostly junk food, since that is what is cheapest) or could choose to buy gas and go hunting, getting enough seal meat to feed 20 people. Hunting is still the best way for Inuit to survive and selling the skins of seals is how we can afford to go hunting and feed our families. Inuit also use the entirety of the seal, we eat all of it, use the oil to light fires/candles and use the skins to keep us warm in often time -30 °C, -47° C with wind chill, the excess skins sold go towards keeping that cycle alive. For Inuit, fur is extremely necessary for survival, it keeps us warm and even can keep hunters afloat when they fall through the ice, which happens more and more because of global warming, something faux fur is hugely contributing to. Furthermore, it has been illegal in Canada to hunt seal pups, whitecoats (baby seals that are still used as the main imagery in anti-sealing campaigns to this day), since 1987. No one acting rightfully under Canadian law hunts seal pups, which are the majority of sealers today. Veterinarians have also spoken about how the hakapik (the club) is not any more cruel than what is done to factory-raised animals. Seals killed using a hakapik are rendered brain dead in the first go and don’t feel pain afterwards when they are swiftly killed. Seals have a swimming reflex, they are dead, but their body will continue to swim after death for a little while, similar to how a headless chicken will continue to run around. A headless chicken is definitely dead, but its body still moves after death, seals do exactly that but with swimming. I would even argue that factory-raise animals have it much worse than the seals, they live every single day of their life in captivity for the sole purpose of later being killed and consumed. Seals on the other hand live free and are killed swiftly and humanely and rarely do they see it coming, so they also aren’t stressed when they are killed. Seals also aren’t endangered in any way, there is actually an overpopulation of seals which can cause ripple effects on all marine life. Inuit have always been conscious of animals and we care about their welfare, but we also need to live. Seals are a renewable resource in the Arctic, something that is very rare. There are minerals, gas and oil and other many NON-renewable resources in the Arctic, but Inuit have been against the mining and destruction of the earth, so not many of them want to exploit those resources to live. No one wants to live in poverty, but many Inuit are still resisting the Canadian government on those matters because we care about the environment. There was also talks in 2015 about doing seismic testing in the water off the coast of Baffin Island. Seismic testing involves very loud underwater explosions that have been proven to affect the hearing of ALL marine animals in the Arctic. Inuit said no to this because we want to protect the animals from it, even if that would have helped out Inuit livelihood.
      You should watch Angry Inuk, it is a documentary by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril on commercial seal hunting and anti-sealing campaigns affect Inuit more than the southern sealers.

    • I think people are a bit misinformed about the realities of seal hunting. The majority of seal hunters are Inuit. Inuit that live in the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Alaska and Russia. Inuit that are also a vast majority of the commercial seal hunters, because we sell the skins and we are a part of the commercial seal skin market. Animal rights groups will tell you that Inuit hunters aren’t commercial hunters, that we are subsistence hunters and we are, but we are also a huge part of the commercial aspect of sealing. One of the main reasons that the sealing market is on the decline is because in 2010, the EU enforced a ban on all seal products which crashed the market for southern sealers AND Inuit seal hunters. There is a clause in the EU ban for Inuit hunters, but as was shown by the 1980s ban by the EU on seal skin which had a clause for Inuit as well, that still doesn’t protect Inuit sales of seal products, the ENTIRE market crashes, not just the southern sealing. Life for Canadian Inuit is very difficult, the climate is harsh, the cost of living in those regions is one of the highest in North America, we have the highest rates of poverty and unemployment in all developed countries and suicide rates are incredibly high. It costs, on average, nearly 20 000$ CAD to feed a family in Nunavut for a year, most families make under 20 000$ CAD in that area. Inuit already don’t make enough money to feed themselves and we still have to pay rent, pay our taxes, buy clothing, gas and pay our bills. Nearly a third of children living in those areas go hungry everyday. Imagine having to pay 28$ for lettuce, 73$ for a pound of factory-raised meat, 82$ for 12 cans of ginger ale or 17$ for a bag of grapes. With 50$ an Inuk hunter could choose to buy a tiny amount of grocery store food (mostly junk food, since that is what is cheapest) or could choose to buy gas and go hunting, getting enough seal meat to feed 20 people. Hunting is still the best way for Inuit to survive and selling the skins of seals is how we can afford to go hunting and feed our families. Inuit also use the entirety of the seal, we eat all of it, use the oil to light fires/candles and use the skins to keep us warm in often time -30 °C, -47° C with wind chill, the excess skins sold go towards keeping that cycle alive. For Inuit, fur is extremely necessary for survival, it keeps us warm and even can keep hunters afloat when they fall through the ice, which happens more and more because of global warming, something faux fur is hugely contributing to. Furthermore, it has been illegal in Canada to hunt seal pups, whitecoats (baby seals that are still used as the main imagery in anti-sealing campaigns to this day), since 1987. No one acting rightfully under Canadian law hunts seal pups, which are the majority of sealers today. Veterinarians have also spoken about how the hakapik (the club) is not any more cruel than what is done to factory-raised animals. Seals killed using a hakapik are rendered brain dead in the first go and don’t feel pain afterwards when they are swiftly killed. Seals have a swimming reflex, they are dead, but their body will continue to swim after death for a little while, similar to how a headless chicken will continue to run around. A headless chicken is definitely dead, but its body still moves after death, seals do exactly that but with swimming. I would even argue that factory-raise animals have it much worse than the seals, they live every single day of their life in captivity for the sole purpose of later being killed and consumed. Seals on the other hand live free and are killed swiftly and humanely and rarely do they see it coming, so they also aren’t stressed when they are killed. Seals also aren’t endangered in any way, there is actually an overpopulation of seals which can cause ripple effects on all marine life. Inuit have always been conscious of animals and we care about their welfare, but we also need to live. Seals are a renewable resource in the Arctic, something that is very rare. There are minerals, gas and oil and other many NON-renewable resources in the Arctic, but Inuit have been against the mining and destruction of the earth, so not many of them want to exploit those resources to live. No one wants to live in poverty, but many Inuit are still resisting the Canadian government on those matters because we care about the environment. There was also talks in 2015 about doing seismic testing in the water off the coast of Baffin Island. Seismic testing involves very loud underwater explosions that have been proven to affect the hearing of ALL marine animals in the Arctic. Inuit said no to this because we want to protect the animals from it, even if that would have helped out Inuit livelihood.
      You should watch Angry Inuk, it is a documentary by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril on commercial seal hunting and anti-sealing campaigns affect Inuit more than the southern sealers.

  • With the melting ice caps seal pup mortality is higher then ever. You then thinks it is humane to pound in the head of a living creature, and for what? In this day and age there are many, many alternatives to killing animals to stay warm. It is one thing for the native population to hunt and feed their families, it is quite another thing to “dress up” for the fashion of it. Where is the market for these furs? I am guessing it isn’t in Canada! Oh wait, I forgot, we do sell little seal fur key chains in tourist shops in the middle of our national parks! Yes, we wouldn’t want that market to crumble. How ridiculous!!!

    Give your head a shake!!

    • There are some differences of perception here. (1) We are not aware of any data suggesting seal pup mortality is “higher than ever”. Can you provide a source? Our understanding is that harp seal populations are continuing to grow, with or without global warming. (2) Sealskin is not really used to “dress up” for fashion. You’ll have noticed that it doesn’t feature on the catwalks of major fashion shows in New York, Paris, London and Milan. Its popularity is far more for functionality than fashion, which is why sealskin garments are mostly to be found in Canada and Nordic countries where the climate demands special protection. If you object to fur as being unnecessary, check out what the ladies of Florida are wearing. We doubt you’ll find a single piece of sealskin.

    • We’re happy you found us, Ginny. Animal rights groups have been grabbing far too many headlines in recent years, and it’s important to dispel the myths and lies they spread about real fur.

  • http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/seal-phoque/humane-sans-cruaute-eng.htm That is a link to the Canadian government website which includes a section on the tools they use to kill the animals. When read you can clearly see clubs and hakapiks are included on this list, and also statistics on how often the tools are used. Therefore there is a large possibility that the animal that your sons mittens were extracted from, was impaled with a pick or had its skull beaten by a club. Also there are not “tons” of seals in Canada, like any animal population today their populations are either in trouble now or will be in the future because of climate change and decay of the world oceans. Fish stocks are not low because of seals who have been hunting them before humans did, but because of over fishing by humans. To blame seals which need the fish to survive is ignorant, blame humans who live in a modern world not dependent on the fish. The only humans suffering from less fish are the Inuit and aboriginals, and that could be resolved by other groups of people stealing less of the population for themselves in the masses.

    • You need to do a little more studying on fish populations, especially cod in the NW Atlantic. This stock is not important to the Inuit, but to the descendants of European settlers who now live there. The cod fishery has been greatly reduced for many years now, in the hope that it would recover following overfishing by foreign fishing vessels. It was hoped that the cod stock would bounce back quickly, but it hasn’t, and one of the reasons has been the growth of the harp seal population. Given that more people do now live in the region than did a couple of hundred years ago, a balance needs to be struck between human fish consumption and consumption by seals. It may surprise you to know that farming of livestock and vegetables in places like Newfoundland is extremely difficult, so to accuse Newfoundlanders of “stealing” fish is unfair and unrealistic.

  • 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.

      • The heat is real in this comment chat. We need Negan from the walking dead to head to Canada, also for all the complainers you can say all you want but it’s not going to stop

    • 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.

        • “ well founded argument” that’s ridiculous! There shouldn’t even be an argument! Anyone one in their right mind should understand that killing any animal is wrong point blank period!!! I can’t believe you are looking at how “ put together it is” instead of the overall meaning!!

  • 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?

      • …no words. The “someone” who made the reference to this supposed “fictional meeting with aliens” was trying to prove their point with an extended metaphor, one you clearly did not get and tried to be condescending to. We (as humans) are the aliens, the ones who deemed themselves superior to the race (the seals). They were trying to help you understand that even though they (the aliens) call themselves superior, that doesn’t make them so because us (the seals) want to live in coexistence. You say that you would squash a bug or kill a dog if it meant stopping the killing of a human child. Except…one thing. The bug or dog most likely isn’t trying to hurt a child for the sake of greed or cruelty. The entire thing about hunting animals is that in this day and age, it can be completely unnecessary. I’m not saying stop all of it, but for the sake of pleasure? It’s morally wrong. Placing the value of human life above any other life is just morally wrong. The fact that you think humans have the “right” to hurt other creatures (we are animals as well) means you’re in the wrong. Also, just because a species isn’t endangered doesn’t mean it’s okay to hunt them. You don’t go on a killing spree just because it’s overpopulated or even well-populated.

    • 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??

      • You do understand that we are animals right? Oh nevermind you don’t cause you’re are stuck in your own head!! Plus the human race is over populated!!!

  • 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.

      • You are so cruel and soulless. I’m feeling realy sad about you and the people who have the same opinion with you. And the most important i’m really angry that you have a son and you probably pass him your thoughts

  • 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.

        • Hello, I am Canadian. vegan and do not support the seal trade. Although, I do not agree with the way in which Nicole is speaking. We are living in a world that has evolved, and we no longer have to kill and harm animals for our survival. The seal hunt along the Newfoundland/Labrador border is not required. In fact, what is more harmful is the fishing industry, we are destroying our oceans, and if we don’t start making changes, our oceans will be fishless. If we end the seal hunt, the Inuit population will need some help in learning alternate ways of supporting themselves, this is where the government would need to take action. We do not need to wear fur, and we can survive without eating animals products. I hope we are living in a more compassionate world where animals don’t have to suffer. The article stated that seals are killed humanely, but they are not. Many who have witnessed the seal hunt, state that they are often still alive after being hit in the head, and their eyes pop out. How many times have we been told factory farming is humane, and then we see video after video of workers kicking, punching and animals still alive after their throats are slit. Don’t be naïve, it is cruel. We have to do a better job of protecting our planet, everything we are doing including the seal hunt is destroying eco-systems. If we don’t do something soon, its not going to matter because the human species will be dead!!!

          • People like you disgust me. How dare you suggest that the Inuit abandon their traditions and their livelihood because a little white city girl doesn’t think they need fur.

            Here is a 2 minute CBC video documenting just how much those communic
            ties need the seal hunt: https://www.facebook.com/cbc/videos/10156050791586950/

            No one is forcing you to eat seal or to buy seal skin clothing. So if you don’t agree with it, don’t buy it. But don’t you dare come here and write comments filled with animal rights activist lies about the industry, and suggest that cultures that are thousands of years old change because you are uncomfortable with them living off the land.

      • 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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