by Michael Parrish DuDell
Categories: Animals
Tags: .
Photo: studionb.com

Get out your party decorations and streamers…we’re saving some seals!

Today is International Day of Action for Seals — a holiday that encourages individuals to take a stand against the brutal Canadian Seal Hunt. This tragic event is the largest commercial hunt of marine mammals on the planet and barbarously takes the lives of hundreds of thousands of baby seals each year.

In 2009, I had the opportunity to help celebrated photographer and America’s Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker promote his documentary, A Sealed Fate. In this thoughtful and inspiring film, Barker uncovers the truth behind this reckless hunt and the threat it not only poses to Canadian seal pups, but also to the sustainability of the environment.

Please join me and the millions of others around the world who are helping protect these precious animals by taking 5 minutes to check out the HSUS’s information page on the hunt and learn how you can take action.

Whether you consider yourself an animal advocate or not, I’m confident we all agree that no creature deserves to be subjected to this sort of prodigious cruelty. Happy International Day of Action for Seals!

  • richard fisher

    this is not a conservation issue. the culling of seals is not a danger to their population… it’s ludicrous to suggest otherwise. this is not an environmental issue… it’s a moral one.

    the image of the bludgeoned seal is no longer the norm… they are killed by bullet. and baby seals are not killed… because of course… they fetch more in future years. this practice is no more barbaric than the slaughter of chicken, cows, or pigs… the only difference is that blood shows up much more clearly on snow than on concrete. the sealers aren’t barbarians… or subhuman… this hunt historically meant food on the table… and now represents fully 1/3rd of these fishers annual income. and as long as the abattoir is the standard for acceptable… this is hunt is not necessarily cruel.

    the issue for anyone who opposes the seal hunt shouldn’t be based on the myths that are propagated for profit… not the specific way that these animals are being killed… but in the fact that they are being killed at all… and the only people that i feel have the right to voice this viewpoint are strict vegans… if you are a strict vegan and oppose the seal hunt for the simple reason that animals are being killed… i have nothing but respect for your point of view… if however you abhor the seal hunt and eat chicken… i would ask why you care about seals… when the food that you eat is treated far worse than a seal.

    • Natasha

      Did you read the HSUS article? They have a lot of facts there and you can find more online by doing a simple google search. The hunt is inhumane. Factory farm and slaughterhouse conditions are a totally separate discussion and you are introducing a totally separate debate/issue thereby trying to divert attention from the issue at hand (the seal hunt). Your argument that only vegans have a right to indict the seal hunt is a bit of an ad hominem argument. One need not be vegan to recognize the inhumane treatment of animals. Again, as for slaughterhouses and factory farms, that is in no way related to this issue – it is a separate (though IMO equally inhumane) issue. The inhumanity of the seal hunt is quite well documented by many different sources (animal welfare groups, veterinarians, journalists, etc). Due to the inhumanity of the hunt, the EU has banned the importation of Canadian seal products. The hakapik is still used and is not illegal. Additionally, while most seal hunters do employ firearms, they lose money for every bullet hole found in the pelt of the seal, therefore most will shoot only once, rarely killing. Reports of seals being skinned alive are not uncommon.

      As for sealers being barbarian or subhuman, neither the Ecorazzi article nor the HSUS article said any such thing that I recall. Again, you are making an attempt to divert attention from the true issue by presenting a straw man argument.

      Finally, though your argument that only vegans have a right to recognize the inhumanity of the hunt and to protest it is an ad hominem argument, I will rise to the bait and say this. I am vegan. I have not been vegan for long (about 6 months of strict veganism – vegetarian for the last 15 months). I found the seal hunt to be the epitome of animal cruelty long before making the switch to a plant based diet. Everyone has a right to protest cruelty to animals no matter what was on their dinner plate.

      • richard fisher

        i never said the seal hunt was humane. i said that with slaughterhouses as the “acceptable” base… then it is no more inhumane than the life cycle of a factory farmed chicken or cow. and i dont think thats a straw man argument.

        all three are meat products… and none are treated fairly. i’d be curious to actually hear how they are unrelated.

        and with regards to non vegans… i feel that only a hypocrite could make an argument for animal suffering with seals… when the suffering lasts for months in factory farming. i personally believe that it’s hypocritical to advocate for one species while subjugating another. i dont state that as a fact but as a matter of MY personal belief.

        and with regards to barbarism… i never implied that ecorazzi used either term… but the terms have been used by commenters on this topic on this site. look back to the Parliament serves seal story comments.

  • Dgrede

    richard:I hate when people try to compare issues, the way factory animals are treated it is one of the most inhumane animals practices in the world and animal groups and some of us are working hard to end it. But that does not mean we can ignore what happens in Canada every year! The seal slaughter it so bad in so many ways: first the main reason for killing the seal is their skin, so right there that is wrong, second, food? Is not like the native people are eating them for survival. And to hit a baby seal in the head until is dead is barbaric, and there are been reports were it shows that some seal are actually still alive while they are being skinned on the ice. Plus is better if one person cares about some animals then not caring about them at all. So some people might protest about seals being clubbed but still eat meat well at least they are helping some how! Not everybody has to share our views. And by the way I don’t eat animals!! so i guess according to you I have the right to be angry about this issue!!!

    • richard fisher

      if you’re fighting to stop factory farming… then great… i think you are entitled to fight the seal hunt. i never thought of that segment of people in my previous blurb… there’s absolutely nothing hypocritical about uniformity of values.

      you’re also right that the first, and most financially lucrative reason for killing is fur. absolutely correct. cows are killed for leather… no ??? your next point about meat… i live in newfoundland… that meat is eaten… i have friends and neighbors that eat it… i personally dont have a taste for it. while it is not integral to survival… it’s also not discarded. so seals are not being killed like this just for their fur.

      as for the baby slaughter thing… it may have been the case at one point in history… but is so far removed from the present day reality… that i find it crazy it’s still a talking point. and despite the fact that it is no longer a practice… im going to refer to veal. those cows are literally tortured. how can the average person accept that as normal… while screaming about baby seals ???

      i guess my issue with this whole issue… is that sealing is a relatively small problem to my mind… when compared to something i see as equally barbaric… factory farming.

      i know im not the arbiter of good taste… i dont get to dictate who gets to be incensed about what… but i see a certain hypocrisy in protesting for the cute animals… while endorsing cruelty, through economic support, to the less cute ones. is that crazy of me ???