Sunday, March 26, 2006

Canada begins annual slaughter of baby seals

Warning: This post may ruing your lunch. Plunge has complained (rightfully so) about Japan's whaling industry. But the hunting down and killing of whales is not the only destruction of marine mammals that has people around the world in an outrage. In Canada, the annual hunt of baby harp seals is getting underway.

The government of Canada, which insists the "cull" is necessary to control seal numbers, is allowing for up to 325,000 seals to be killed, 5000 more than last year.

The seal population is now almost six million, nearly triple the level of the 1970s. But critics say the numbers have little to do with it. It's the millions of dollars that will be made from the seal pelts that drives this activity.

Local fisherman also say the hunt gives much-needed seasonal work to communities hit hard by dwindling fish stocks in the Atlantic.

This is an interesting argument if you think about it: we've misused one "natural resource" to the point that it has impacted jobs, so let's move on to destroying another.

Paul McCartney and his wife Heather, who visited Canada earlier this month to protest against the cull, made a last-minute video appeal, urging Canada to consider a "win-win" plan that would end the hunt while compensating fishermen for lost revenue.

Campaigners have called on US restaurant chains to boycott Canadian seafood until the hunt stops, and they plan demonstrations around the world.


  1. Would anybody care if they were not cute?

    But really, the method in which they are killed needs to be looked at (vying for understatement of the year).

  2. Would anybody care if they were not cute?

    Whales aren't all that cute. Yet people seriously go to bat for the whales. Most fur-bearing animals aren't all that cute, and look at all the anti-fur sentiment.

    No, I don't think that the cuteness of the baby harp seals is what's at work here. I think it is the sheer magnitude and cruelty that offends people so much about this.

  3. I wrote "but really" to negate the first comment.

    the manner in which it is done is sickening. No arguments here.

  4. Mosiacs,
    Can you let me know your email address?


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