I wonder how much people would be up in arms over the hunt if the seals were not so cute… or if there was not so much blood spilt on that pretty white ice.
The truth is that there is a lot of miss-information about the hunt.
Most Canadians can recall pictures of whitecoated seal pups being clubbed. The images were so inflammatory that Canada banned all hunting of whitecoats in 1987. You’d never know that from some of the anti-sealing groups that still prominently display pictures of whitecoats on their websites and in fundraising materials. One site even features a downloadable video of people hugging whitecoats. But the reality is that whitecoats can’t be hunted anymore.
Hmmm… they really are not as cute as the animal welfare people make them out to be.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare says seals are routinely clubbed or shot and left to suffer on the ice until they’re clubbed later. The IFAW also charges that seals are often “skinned before being rendered fully unconscious” and said its observers found that few sealers check for a blinking reflex to confirm brain death before skinning begins. Similar “skinning alive” accusations have also been made by other groups, with many citing studies claiming that up to 45 per cent of seals are “skinned alive.”
A 2002 report in the Canadian Veterinary Journal found that “the large majority of seals taken during this hunt … are killed in an acceptably humane manner.” This study found that 98 per cent of hunted seals it examined had been killed properly. The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) cites this study among others as proof that the hunt opponents are wrong in their accusations of widespread cruelty.
Hmmm… maybe the hunt is not as cruel as some people describe it. These are tricks to make your emotions get the better of you. Whether you believe in the seal hunt or not, how cute the animals are should not be a factor.
Where is the outrage for the millions of fish that suffocate on the decks of fishing vessels? or what about the slaughter of cows? or pigs? or lamb? or the countless other un-cute animals slaughtered each day?
What are the ethics of only protecting the cute animals?
What is important is the sustainability of the seal hunt, and the effects it has on the ecosystem. Lets limit the debate to those issues; lets make good informed decisions on this issue based on the best unbiased data, without bringing emotional baggage to the table.
For the record I have never worn seal fur… but it probably is very warm.