Animal Activists Should Not Be the Only Ones Appalled by the Annual Canadian Seal Slaughter

Animal Activist or not, we should all be appalled at what happens in Canada each March. The world’s largest slaughter of marine mammals begins as seal-hunting season opens. Hundreds of thousands of seals, some only infants, will be violently bludgeoned to death. In addition to supplying the fur trade, ostensibly, hunting seals protects the supply of seafood in Canadian waters and assures there will be enough fish left for humans to eat. The irony of killing certain animals so we can eat other animals is not lost on vegans, conservationists, animal activists, and others who have compassion for animals.

Unfortunately, the Canadian government endorses this brutal slaughter in which baby seals, only days old, are clubbed to death in front of their mothers. Actually, they are fortunate if they are clubbed to death. Often they are still living when their skins are ripped from their bodies, only to be tossed aside fully conscious and struggling for life. This recalls scenes of slaughterhouse footage secretly filmed by animal activists in which inattentive, hurried workers begin slicing and dicing frightened farm animals who are still alive.

This is one of the primary observations of the large-scale commercial abuse of animals. When animal activists look at the way humans treat our fellow earthlings, in every industry, across the board, we see that it’s apathetic and cavalier. Collectively, there is indifference to the suffering of animals.

Currently there are campaigns underway to voice opposition to the slaughter of seals. While Canada prepares to host the 2010 Winter Olympics, animal lovers and animal activists are contacting the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee to express outrage. Just as China endured scrutiny for its human rights record, perhaps Canada’s national shame will receive similar attention. As the games draw closer, a boycott of Canadian tourism may be called for to avoid feeding the Canadian economy and the Canadian government’s tax coffers.

Also, because of the close ties between commercial fishing and seal hunting, there is an ongoing boycott of Canadian seafood in the U.S., which consumes almost three-quarters of Canadian seafood exports. Several restaurant chains who continue to serve Canadian seafood are also targeted. Economic boycotts have been successful in the past, consider similar campaigns for dolphin-safe tuna, and it is hoped that economic pressure and world outrage placed upon the Canadian fish industry will bring similar change to the treatment of the seal population.

Change sometimes comes in small steps and is often initiated through increased communication and the transfer of ideas. Many people are still unaware that this inhumane practice still continues today as more than 19,000 seal pups were killed during the first 3 days of this year’s slaughter. As such, the more attention animal activists and others bring to this annual event the greater chance there is to positively shift the consciousness of those who participate in this bloody practice. The Canadian seal hunt is the largest slaughter of marine mammals in the world and as we continue to evolve as a species it is time for us to change our archaic way of manipulating the environment in which we depend upon so deeply.

EARTHLINGS is a feature length documentary about humanity’s absolute dependence on animals (for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research) but also illustrates our complete disrespect for these so-called “non-human providers.” The film is narrated by two time Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator and Walk the Line) and features music by the critically acclaimed platinum artist Moby . Visit: for more information and to view a 7 minute clip of the film.

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