1000 Flowers for the Planet - #386 Save the Harp Seals
This is a very complicated issue that takes place in Canada off the Atlantic coastline, during spring when the harp seals give birth to beautiful baby seals with gorgeous white fur. Highly prized, these furs are desirable to some humans to wear as fur coats. Consequently, baby seals between the age of 3 weeks and 3 months are hunted and killed. They are bludgeoned to death in front of their mothers, by hunters often uninterested in a humane despatch, and if the mothers try to intervene they too are bludgeoned in the face. The hunters bludgeon the baby seals to prevent damage to the pelt, and in some instances it doesn’t matter if the poor creature is skinned while still alive. Some hunters shoot the seals, aiming for the head, of course. Most of the hunters are of European background, so this cannot be claimed as a solely Inuit activity. It’s certainly an obscene one.
Why do we need to kill baby harp seals? For the fur – but we can use other things to keep us warm. For the oil – there are probably alternatives that are more sustainable. For the meat. This is where it gets complicated. A simple view is that the fishermen over-fished the cod along the Atlantic coastline and the industry collapsed, leaving thousands of people out of work, so they turned to killing harp seals for their income. The complications of this are way too involved to go into in two paragraphs. Please read more about this issue at www.harpseals.org and educate yourself before making up your own mind about it. Then, if you agree that the harp seals need to be saved, do something about it. There has to be a better way.