The seal hunt in the Gulf of St. Lawrence began this morning. Anti-seal hunt protests are again gathering steam. Animal rights groups claim the seal hunt is cruel, difficult to monitor, ravages the seal population and doesn’t provide a lot of money for sealers.

Sealers and the Canadian government defend the hunt as sustainable, humane and well-managed and say its provides supplemental income for isolated fishing communities that have been hurt by the decline in cod stocks.

To make the seal hunt more humane the sealers will now be required to sever the arteries under each flipper, thereby ensuring the animals are dead before being skinned.

For the moment at least the Canadian government will not allow observers on the ice floes to avoid a media circus.

A couple of questions.

Why is there so much upset about the seal hunt and so little about what goes on in slaughter houses?

Even if the seal hunt were banned wouldn’t the herd have to be culled on a regular basis?

Do you support the Canadian seal hunt?

Or would you  be in favour of banning it?

Should animal rights zealots be allowed to observe the hunt?



  1. 1
    SUZANNE Says:

    I’m very ambivalent about it. I have very, very mixed feelings. I don’t think a ban is a good idea, given that it puts food on the table, and animals don’t have rights. On the other hand, I don’t like slaughtering animals for fashion- on the other hand, I saw a report the other day on a school in a native community that teaches how to make seal-skin fashions. The coats were really nice. This is the kind of thing that can help them out of their poverty, and I’m really for that. I might like to wear something like that, but I don’t know– buying a coat made of dead animals for fashion.

    So it’s not something I’m really comfortable speaking out on, one way or the other. I guess if I had to take a political stance, I’d say that it was economically necessary. I don’t believe in animal rights. I believe that killing animals is unpleasant but sometimes necessary. Just not something I want to necessarily encourage. I’d rather people find some other way to earn their living, but the seals are convenient.

  2. 2


    I generally agree that animals do not have rights in the sense that humans do.. However, that does not mean that pain can be gratuitously inflicted on animals because such activity dehumanizes the person doing it.

  3. 3
    SUZANNE Says:

    I agree with the notion that gratuitous violence dehumanizes us. Watching a seal get slaughtered is horrific. But when I think of the poverty that can be endured by people, I feel there could be some justification. As I said, it’s a tough call for me.

  4. 4
    Chimera Says:

    Save the Seals! Club a Politician!

  5. 5
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    The seal hunt has gone on for centuries, even before the so called discovery of America. The big fuss started around the end of the 60’s beginning of the 70’s. It was fanned by the French actress (beautiful body, by the way…then) Brigitte Bardot. It so happens that, as she hunted the hunters, she was also promoting a new invention: artificial fur. And she was a shareholder in the manufactuting concern that produced it. Could there have been a conflict of interest or just plain disloyal competition?
    The teary eyed « blanchon » did the rest for naive souls. The ensuing partial ban on skins and reductions in quotas brought a seal population explosion. Over fishing of cod by humans and seals brought a severe depletion of cod stocks and misery to several lower St-Lawrence and Newfoundland communities.
    Nowadays a real effort is being made to « humanize » the hunt. But bleeding hearts are still around and collecting big bucks to wipe their tears.

  6. 6
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    By the way the faux-fur company’s name was Sirbain and they are still in business.

  7. 7
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Neil writes: « Why is there so much upset about the seal hunt and so little about what goes on in slaughter houses? »

    That pretty much sums it up for me.

    Meat, skin, and fur from the seal hunt, I would imagine, represents less than 1/100th of 1% of all the meat, skin, and fur harvested from cattle in Canada’s slaughterhouses. Of course, cattle aren’t as CUTE as baby seals and hense the disproportionate attention paid to the latter.

  8. 8
    Oscar Says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I have met a couple of these animal lovers while I was in university and let me just say that these people are not all there. They would rather save animals then starving people in Africa or Asia. They tend to put animal rights above human rights and given a choice would rather keep company with animals. As with most fanatics, their views and perceptions of reality are skewed and sometimes they are dangerous. I got into a heated discussion with one and he threatened my life. Wow, an animal lover willing to kill. Last time I checked, a human being was also an animal. Thanks for reading.

  9. 9


    Nice to hear from you again. Neil

  10. 10
    Cornelius T. Zen Says:

    Good day, all! I often wonder how nature maintained its balance before Man, with his larger brain and even larger appetite, came along.
    Re: slaughterhouses. What next, Neil, filet-au-seal @ Mcdonalds? I’m sure that, if the media covered the practices at slaughterhouses with the same lenses that cover the seal hunt, we would hear the outcry you’re looking for.
    Re: culling the herd. Um, Nature does that very well. It’s called: Eat all the fish today, make loads of seal babies, starve tomorrow, have loads of seals die off, the cod comes back…oh, wait, must not forget those pesky Norwegian trawler factories that hoover up all the cod and, oops, none left for Newfies or seals, dang.
    Simple solution, really. Club and skin the media. Too many of them anyway. Cull that herd, bye, nobody’ll miss ’em. CTZen

  11. 11
    Oscar Says:

    Hi Neil,
    I haven’t been posting but I have been reading. Keep up the good work and the intelligent subject matters. Thank you.

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