The Only People Making Money Off the Seal Hunt Are Anti-Sealing Campaigners

Audla, Terry

Publisher:  Huffington Post
Date Written:  28/04/2014
Year Published:  2014  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20497

Audla presents the perspective of Inuit communities who depend on the seal hunt.



Living off the land and sea, as Inuit need to do, gives us a distinct connection and perspective to our world unlike any other population. We know exactly where our food comes from -- mostly free-roaming, nutrient-dense animals. The land quite literally keeps us alive because it feeds and clothes us and often also pays our (rising) bills. It is deplorable and illogical when people, whose collective lifestyle is much less sustainable and much more comfortable than our own, cast ill-informed judgement on what we do and how we do it.

How can those who come from a world where veal and leather are disconnected from the baby cow or the slaughterhouse that they come from be so put-off by the sustainable and respectful activities of our small population struggling to survive in the world's harshest environment?

There is no science behind this cruel and opportunistic campaign to end the legitimate livelihood of sealing. Seals are plentiful, organic, free-range, and live a natural life up to the day they are harvested. The same cannot be said for industrialized agriculture.

Marine scientists tell us that the seal population is not in danger -- not by a long shot. The Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species rates seals as among species of the least concern in the world. Veterinary scientists' studies say that approved sealing techniques are as humane or more than any other method of killing an animal in a traditional slaughterhouse.

Using a tenuous and far-reaching moral argument and nothing more, the only people who are making a lucrative killing off of the seal hunt are anti-sealing campaigners whose annual revenues go into the millions. A sealer can only dream of such an income.

This may seem like a cynical opinion of people proposing to give a voice to the voiceless, but they have proven to be the greatest of tricksters -- exploiting a cause for money while silencing and starving an already marginalized population. In a world where a picture is worth 1000 words and exposure to 140 characters can count as "being informed," the dramatic images of a bloody hunt can evoke emotional responses, mostly from people living in places where "living off the land" is a foreign concept and seal meat (because the hunt is for meat and skin!) is a delicacy beyond the imaginations of their palates. Without proper context or information, they are encouraged to donate $10, $25, $35 or more to "stop the slaughter" and "save the baby seals".

I understand that PETA brings in about $30 million annually, the Humane Society of the U.S. collects more than $100 million and their executives make six-figure salaries. They and other groups like the International Fund for Animal Welfare are clamouring for this easy target. Who could blame them? After all, it is good money in a competitive charitable market.

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