by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes, Film/TV
Tags: .

karenmokThe Hong Kong fur industry has gone after popular singer-actress Karen Mok and her plans to visit Canada Friday to shoot a mini-documentary on the annual seal hunt. The Asian star, who has appeared in the movies Shaolin Soccer and Around the World in 80 Days, is making the trip on behalf of the Hong Kong Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and the Humane Society International (HSI). From the article,

“Timothy Everest, spokesman of the Hong Kong Fur Federation, said he did not know any manufacturer in Hong Kong that used seal in its collections. “She is lovely lady and she could be doing an awful lot for charities for deprived or handicapped children, rather than being manipulated by the animal rights people.” He said the cull was carried under the control of the Canadian government to manage the population of seals which stood at a healthy 6.5 to 7 million but would exhaust the supply of the world’s fish if left to multiply.”

Anyone else laughing out loud? To think that seals would ravage the world’s fish supply if humans didn’t bash them over the heads every year is just hilarious. Methinks it may have something more to do with our own unsustainable overfishing than seals. BUT WAIT! Here’s another great quote:

“The fur trade is a legitimate trade and first and foremost our concern is animal welfare.”

Are you kidding me? Do fur companies really believe this? All this time, I thought money was their first concern…

Needless to say, Karen Mok is headed to Canada and we look forward to seeing her mini-documentary. To learn more about the Canadian Seal Hunt, jump here.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Erin Raw foods retreat

    That is as stupid as saying we better kill all the lions tigers and bears out there because otherwise they might eat us.

    Lions tigers and bears oh no!


  • sheryl, washington dc

    Yes, that’s the same argument as we have to eat all the cows/pigs/chickens because they’d eat us if they had the chance.

    I hope she makes a big splash in China and Hong Kong with her anti-seal hunt documentary.

  • steph

    Here we go…


    good for her, hope she makes an impact!

  • Dan

    Wow what’s the carbon footprint for flying her around the world to publicize the phoniest cause around?

  • L

    @steph – ditto.

    Since when does one have to only care about one type of charity in preference for another? Often those who try to use such ill-conceived guilt tactics are those whom are doing even less for either charities. They seem to only act this way either to save their own asses, or to calm the guilt that already exists within them. It’s actually quite a pathetic attempt at either.

  • steph

    Um….I’m sure the seal hunt isn’t phony….

    But I actually do agree with the fact that flying her out there is not super green thing to do XD

  • Whoever…

    The thing is that with the over population argument (among others), these people convince most of the population they’re right!!!

    And they make ‘us’ look like emotional radical crazy animal lovers!!! (as you can see on the thread about vintage fur)

    I’m so sick and tired of this!

    Nature is perfect – it balances itself without the ‘help’ of humans! In fact, humans are the only disruptive variable in nature. Before humans became a real ‘plague’ on this planet the problem of one species threatening another didn’t exist. And if it began happening, nature managed to solve the situation. It’s simple – if a population of predators increases too much, it will eat too many preys; consequently these will not reproduce as much as usual and so during the next year predators won’t have enough food; therefore their number will decrease… The following reproductive cycle for the preys will be better and their number will recover…
    This is simple biology and ecology!

    The biggest problem is that this is becoming some kind of ‘war’ – environmentalists and defenders of animal rights against the rest of the people!
    We accuse them of being blind to the truth and insensitive regarding animals!
    They accuse us of being emotional and radical and that we don’t present rational arguments!
    This is what I feel in my daily life! I guess many of you experience the same…
    I mean, take a look at the thread I mentioned above! It’s a perfect example of what happens everyday.

    And they’re ‘wining’ because we actually help them a lot – “But I actually do agree with the fact that flying her out there is not super green thing to do XD” – I mean, we point fingers at everyone who is not ‘perfect’! If we agree with their arguments then the ‘war’ is lost and the protection of the environment and animal rights will soon lose their meaning…!

    Economy, power and the arguments of the ‘superiority’ of humans and that all resources are ours to use, will always prevail!!!

    It deeply saddens me :(

  • Doug

    You guys ! – you are so ready to ridicule things that don’t fit into your ideologies or neat views of things. If you are laughing out loud at all this Michael, then you have got things seriously wrong somewhere in your mind.

    These are serious issues, your comments seem to be made without any deep thought as to what people are actually saying!

    Do the sums guys! Despite a cull every year, the seal population has doubled in the last five years. 7 million seals! A seal needs to eat about 7% of its body weight a day to thrive. For the Newfoundland and Labrador seal pack ALONE therefore, that is 4.5 tons of fish per year. I don’t have the current figures, but in 1993 the ENTIRE human race the world over ate 72 million tons of fish . Even with the seal cull, the Harp seals run the same danger of all species (ourselves included) of population crash from depleting food supply, with all the incumbent starvation disease and suffering that is involved.

    No two ways about it, we are in competition for our fish supply. And before the veggies say well don’t eat meat then. We are also in competition with animals for our crops supply. Every acre of sterile, life bereft monoculture land was once an acre of thriving animal life existing in a balanced eco system, until we came along and nicked it from them, and sent them all to their deaths.

    Erin Your comment is meaningless. We are not in competition with Lions Tigers and Bears for our food sources, and anyway seals don’t eat us!! NO ONE is even remotely suggesting killing ALL the seals, so why do you compare it with killing ALL the Lions Bears and Tigers?

    And this comment about charities? Some charities are more worthy than others. I personally believe a charity or campaign based on distortion of facts, mis-truths, and a complete lack of understanding of issues on the ground, is less worthy than one trying to help handicapped or abused human children.

    Perhaps, when she’s up there. Miss Mok will change her allegiances and start helping the indigenous Inuit who are now suffering due to our crass interference in their lives due to our urban ignorance. No chance, – she’s swallowed the rhetoric hook line and sinker. Another cheap star trying to bolster her career and appear “good” in the eyes of her adoring fans!

  • Doug

    Hi Whoever, you’re back again

    You are so right, it is all deeply saddening. Everybody fights everybody else, saying I am right, you are wrong.

    It will never change I guess, all we can do is believe what we believe, let other people believe what they believe, and just get on with our own lives without interfering in other people’s lives. But that’s the crux, the biological imperative I guess is for every species to look after its own species first. In the case of the seals, what we do does have profound effects on the people of Northern Canada. What has that got to do with a girl from Hong Kong, whose life under normal circumstances (until she interferes) would never even be touched by the people she is indirectly harming.

    She might save a few seals, but it wont make a scrap of difference to the seal population as a whole, it does play a major part however in destroying a culture that has absolutely nothing to do with her, or people sitting in plush apartments in LA.

    As you say, Nature will prevail in the long run anyway, so it really doesn’t matter what we do or do not do. I think an environmentalist would say that Nature is not perfect however, It’s strength lies in it’s degree of imperfection. There is no permanent balance point, but everything swings wildly either side of the balance point . At the moment the human species is swining way out, but that’s nothing new, it’s happened before, and will happen again.

    I believe Lovelock is right, by the end of this century there will only be a billion or so of Homo sapiens on the planet. It will happen anyway, so instead of fighting about this and that, we should all just get on and live our lives out whatever our end After all that is what every other animal on this planet does

    Whoever – Nothing’s changed.! You say “Before humans became a real ‘plague’ on this planet the problem of one species threatening another didn’t exist. And if it began happening, nature managed to solve the situation.”. Not quite true, It’s always existed, and will continue to do so. And Nature has always and will continue to sort it out. What do you think global warming is? Nothing but Nature’s response to OUR actions.

    Global warming doesn’t harm the planet, it harms us. There’s nothing we can do about it now, and neither should we. The bomb has gone off, it will happen. What is more we should LET it happen instead of trying to firefight every problem that arises. We have to trust that Nature knows best. It is it’s imperfection that will be our saviour, not our perfectionism in trying to keep conditions right for our existence.

    No need to be fed up and upset by it all, it’s all just a game that we play out for a brief 80 odd years before the inevitable conclusion.(and actually, the game is quite fun if we let it be so)

    But there again who am I to say. You could be right, I could be right, we both could be wrong, but in the end it doesn’t matter, as we are ALL of us right………(and wrong) :-)

  • Whoever…

    “You guys ! – you are so ready to ridicule things that don’t fit into your ideologies or neat views of things”

    You are so wrapped up in your ‘rational’ arguments that you end up contradicting yourself… as I predicted!
    You eventually do the same you accuse ‘us’ of doing – you say we are emotional and that our arguments aren’t valid (I could counter-argue everything you mentioned and say your arguments are wrong but I’m not going to waste my time any more – you see things from one point of view, I see otherwise!); you say you are the one who is right and that we are wrong (one example of this – “Erin Your comment is meaningless” -, to you maybe!); and I could go on…

    Bottom line, we are different and we look at things differently.

    My conscious is clear – I do my best to reduce my ‘footprint’ on this planet (I reduce, reuse, recycle), I’m a vegetarian, I don’t hurt animals nor people and I’m a peaceful person… I sleep very well at night! Therefore I have nothing to apologize for. I don’t regret anything about my behaviour. However, I am always receptive to ways to improve myself!!

    One more thing… forget ‘logical’ reasoning for a moment – what do you feel? (remember what feelings are?)
    When you watch seals being clubbed to death (that’s how they are killed as you well know it), or animals being skinned alive (it’s not only in china that this happens, and most of the fur comes from over there), WHAT DO YOU FEEL?

    Would you be willing to trade places with those animals? NO? Why not? If you wouldn’t like to be in their shoes, why do you keep saying it’s okay for us to do that to them? The thing is that we can live very well without doing this and as you said it yourself (curiously agreeing with me) Nature balances itself – therefore let’s just leave the seals alone and let nature run its course!

    Is it so wrong to want people to live in harmony with each other, their fellow creatures and with Nature? Is it!? :(

    Oh, and BTW I believe in reincarnation (I have my logical reasons…) and therefore if I have to come back to this planet in my next life (*knock on wood* – I hope not!) I would like it to be a better place than it is right now!

    Okay, this is enough…

    Please Doug (and this goes for everyone who thinks like him), don’t ‘engage’ in arguing with me again because there’s no point in doing so – it’s just a waste of energy on both parties… I won’t change my mind and yours is evidently closed to different ideas (and innovative) from yours.

    Have a nice life…

    Thank you and blessed be!


  • Misty Snatchwrath

    Seals certainly aren’t responsible for the devastation that has been wrought in our oceans. Any thinking person can realize that. This guy’s a jackass.

  • Deena

    I too am tired of the people vs animal charity argument.
    This woman is doing a wonderful thing. All the naysayers need to be bludgeoned in the head and have their skins sold.
    This is an archaic, disgusting practice.

  • oneandonlyhypnos

    @Doug: The idea that seals have to be culled for the prevention of the depletion of the fish stocks is a dangerous one. Here is the proof:

    In 2001 they wanted to do the same thing in scotland. Here is the article to prove it:

    According to the fishing industry, there were too many seals. And of course a cull would be nice for the fur industry, now wouldn’t it?

    Although no cull, fishermen shot around 5000 seals every year legally. And a couple of years later…

    The number of seals is declining at an alarming rate… And a couple of years ago they wanted to butcher them all like they do in canada. So those statistics are something to be taken with a grain of salt.

  • Doug

    Misty – “Any thinking person can realize that. This guy’s a jackass.” – I assume you are referring to me with the above quote. This is precisely what I mean about so many of you guys with your point of view.!! So eager to see what you want to see, ignore what is there, and abuse those with an alternative view to your own.

    I never said that seals were responsible for the devastation of the oceans, nothing even remotely near it. That is just a dumb comment. Yet you put words in my mouth that I did not say and then criticise (and be abusive) about me. THAT’S why I can’t take you seriously.

    Oceandon. We are talking here about the Newfoundland and Labrador Harp Seal population. Not the Common seal and Grey seal populations of Scotland.

    You can’t just make a blanket statement that “the number of seals is declining at an alarming rate” !! It depends on the species, the geographical location, the local population. Common seals on the West coast of Scotland arent decling at the same rate as those on the East coast for example)

    The Harp seal population is huge, and growing, it is in NO danger of dying out at present even with a minimal 300,000 cull. I never said that they were being culled to save the fish population. (again, putting words into my mouth that you would have liked me to say).

    The Scottish Seal population situation is complex, and the jury is still out, with a lot of research and monitoring still being done. The shooting of seals by fisherman, may play its part in the decline of the Common seal, but there are also indications of competition from a growing population of Grey seals. viral distemper, reduction in their diet of sand eels (note NOT related to pelagic fish), and there are other factors as well, such as why is the puffin population declining as well? Is there a common cause?

    Like I is complex, and NONE of it has anything to do with the Canadian harp seal population, and DEFINATELY nothing to do with the fur, meat and oil trade. That is just pure mis-direction.

    Whoever – you are another example – you believe what you want to believe and everyone else is wrong, you give no facts or figures to support your views. Instead you just abuse, and criticise those that oppose you and run away. You say I contradict myself, please tell me where.

    Unlike you with your dogmatic views, I have drawn my conclusions from the research and facts that I have weighed up. They are not cast in stone. I have looked at all the arguments on the animal rights and animal welfare sites, as I have also on all the fur trade sites, plus many many more items of relevent information. I believe on balance most of the animal rights stuff is emotional rhetoric, and doesn’t stand up against the facts BUT (and here I differ from you)I am quite happy to change my conclusions if presented with other evidence. But you guys just don’t give evidence. You just say “I am right, You are wrong” It is no good just saying killing is cruel. That is your view, and I respect that, but it is not FACT. When you look around in Nature, killing is a part of life.

    Would some inteligent person PLEASE just give me a balanced non-emotional view. Don’t just direct me to animal rights websites. I need unbiased views.

    To get back to the point. I believe this girl is entirely wrong to do what she is doing. She’s wasting precious resources, and creating misdirection on a situation that has nothing to do with her, and yet affects many people’s lives, (Dont forget we are people, not seals), and she KNOWS it will enhance her career.

    It is so easy to sit in our comfortable sanitised cities, divorced from Nature, and pretend we are not animal on this planet. We are!! Denial of this plays a big part in creating the mess we have got ourselves into today.

  • herwin

    “I never said that seals were responsible for the devastation of the oceans, nothing even remotely near it.”

    yes you did, here, eat your own words:

    “Even with the seal cull, the Harp seals run the same danger of all species (ourselves included) of population crash from depleting food supply”

    in other words, the harp seals eat so much that their food suply (=the fish in the ocean) will vanish.

    your a dumb arrogant ass dancing around your own words and when people react to your comments all you do is say that everybody misunderstands you, etc.
    besides, your facts stinks like rotten fish.
    the diet of seals actually keeps the fish population very healthy since the seals eat a combination of predatory fish and mostly juvenile fish.
    even history tells you you are wrong. the first europeans coming to these waters write in their logbooks that these seas are full with both seals and fish.
    its completely oposite what you think. the less seals means a smaller fish population. The more seals, the more healthy the fish populations (plural, because there are many fish populations all carefully in balance with eachother, predatory fishes, herbivore fishes, etc).
    proven by facts, and historical observation.

    “Unlike you with your dogmatic views,”
    yeah yeah, you are the one with the facts and the clear mind, right ? and we are the ones that try to fit anything into our ideology, regardles of facts, and with dogmatic views, right ?
    can i guess ? your sixteen , dont have a girlfriend and are highly frustrated .

  • herwin

    anyway Karen Mok ROCKS !! and she is on our side, ehehe. :-P

  • Jesse

    Herwin, wow, Reading Comprehension 101:

    The seals’ food supply “depleting” does consider human impact on the food supply. That’s NOT the same as saying seals CAUSE the devastation of the oceans. But there’s not enough fish for both humans and seals, given the human population and the seal population. One must be reduced.

    But seriously, you’re basing your argument on the observations of the European settlers?! You mean the ones who committed genocide against the native inhabitants, and extirpated the wolf, the walrus and the white bear? Of course the seal population is markedly high!

    Now, before you jump all over me with your cuss words I’ll add the following: I don’t agree with the seal-hunt as is, I’d be a much bigger fan of re-introduction. Go Atlantic Walrus! Additionally, IF need-be, there could be an income-based permitting system for a small-scale seal hunt… Commercializing anything in nature is bad news, if only because we usually screw it up.

    But an even better argument for reducing or getting rid of the seal hunt in these areas is as follows:

    Headline: Polar Bears Thriving Off Newfoundland

  • Doug

    Herwin for Christ’s sake – What’s the matter with you? Read what’s there. Not what you want it to mean!!! Seal population crash from depleting food supply in no way can be translated as “the harp seals eat so much that their food supply (=the fish in the ocean) will vanish”. Those are your words not mine, just stay cool and READ.

    Food supply may deplete for any number of reasons Human and Seal over fishing is definitely a possibility (both to feed large populations), but other factors are competition from other animals (besides man), disease, chemical pollution, changes in sea temperature, depletion of fish food source. And so on. If you want to translate that as the Seals eating all the fish, you can do so , but it is not what I said.

    I also don’t remember discussing the variety of seal diet. And the fish population around Newfoundland /Labrador is definitely not healthy.

    See what I mean – you just resort to insult and abuse. I don’t particularly mind. If that’s what you feel you have to do to state your views, then carry on, but as I said before but it’s not particularly helpful to you, me or anybody. Oh! and for the record. Approaching retirement age, happily married, grown up family, totally content, Zoologist, special interest in Freshwater and Marine Biology. Have lived intimately with the natural world in many parts of the planet on many occasions throughout my life.

    You should be careful about making judgements about something you know nothing about. It tends to make me wonder just how good your judgement is on other things.

    Jesse – a touch of sanity and wisdom at last! – Thanks. Some good points there

  • oneandonlyhypnos


    I linked to the situation of the seals in scotland, to show you how dangerous such statements are in general. A couple of years ago politicians and fishermen claimed there were too many, and now everything is collapsing. Yes the reasons for this are complex, but that does not mean that shooting them had no effect off course. Let alone if there really had been a cull, as some had wanted. It was not even an attempt at misdirection. It’s was meant to illustrate how quickly an irresponsible decision could have been made…because there were ‘enough’. So lets ‘harvest’ them.

    It was meant to illustrate how dangerous these number games are…it’s the same kind of number games that Canada uses.

  • herwin

    dough, you still dont get.
    you say things like that we and the seals are in competition for food suply (fish) which is actually not true. while we humans deplete the fish populations (o my, i hope you can agree with that…), seals actually improve fish populations and keep them healthy.
    “I personally believe a charity or campaign based on distortion of facts, mis-truths, and a complete lack of understanding of issues on the ground”
    thats a very bold and rather insulting thing to say, wouldnt you agree ? well, as you say, it is your “personal believe”.