By our friend in India:

To the Honourable Prime Minister of Canada:

Subject:  The Massacre of Seals in Canada

Like many others around the globe, I have been truly horrified by the continuing massacre of seals and seal pups in Canada.  Do but consider just one image. This information was obtained from sealers under the Freedom of Information Act and has been duly documented by humane societies.  A pregnant female seal is ‘pelted’ live and conscious.  Her baby falls out.  Dead or alive, it is thrown away like so much garbage because ‘whitecoats’ have no commercial value.  If it is alive, it may crawl onto a pan of ice, trying to survive.  Meanwhile, its mother’s milk spills out, a waste of Nature’s nurture and bounty, like the tears of God’s angels of mercy. 

Motherhood means nothing.  A mother’s anguish counts for nought.  A baby’s life is ripped out of the womb.  The mother is skinned alive for the sake of her God-given pelt, which rightfully belongs on her.  If this were done to a living species walking upon two legs, it would not continue for long because of the hue and cry raised about it.  Because this torture and diabolical act of death is visited upon helpless, voiceless living creatures that are at our mercy, the brutal slaughter continues unopposed and unabated.

Sure, there is a great deal that is wrong with India.  But there are animal protection laws which, however often honoured in the breach, are still applicable.  Many people also believe in the doctrine of ‘Karma’ which says that we reap what we sow, often in unexpected ways.  Earthquakes and natural disasters may still follow in the wake of wanton cruelty visited upon florae and faunae, which are an integral part of the great interconnected web of Creation.  And in Ottawa, Senator MacHarb’s seal bill is taken off the agenda without debate?  Is this possible in one of the world’s foremost democracies and a developed country at that?

I am dismayed by the recent dismissal of a bill to end Canada‘s commercial harp seal hunt. Senator Mac Harb’s amendment to the Fisheries Act sought to ban seal slaughter in Canadian waters, with immunity for aboriginal peoples.

Senator Harb told the press that “in the face of disappearing markets for seal products and overwhelming international opposition
, it is time for Canada to recognise that we can’t resuscitate this dying industry.”   If the wanton, unethical, inhumane, primitive, barbarous, indefensible and evil torture and killing of thousands of innocent and helpless living creatures is not a legitimate topic of discussion in the parliament of a developed nation, then what is?  Are we humans only about dollars and cents?  Is not our blood as red as that of the seals we kill with unspeakable cruelty?  To rephrase a line spoken by Shylock, if the sealers should prick us with those cruel hooks, would we not also bleed?

I urge you to revive Senator Harb’s bill – and prove large enough to accept that most Americans, Europeans, and even Canadians oppose the world’s largest marine mammal massacre. Scarlet should not spill so grotesquely upon the pristine white stretches of ‘the true north strong and free’.  Allow the seals also to live strong and free, for it is their God-given birthright.  The lives of other species ought not to be reduced to a reckoning of dollars and cents, for this attitude is irreligious and blasphemous, besides partaking of the nature of evil.

The Harb Seal Bill coincides with a declining seal market. Belgium, the Netherlands,Slovenia,Croatia, the United States and Mexico already prohibit seal products. On March 2, 2009, IMCO (Internal Market and Consumer Protection) MEPs voted 25-7 to bar seal items from import/export through the European Union. By April 1 the full Parliament will vote on the EU’s pending trade ban on all non-aboriginal seal goods., 98% of whom range from 2 weeks to 3 months in age. The March 2009 hunt off Canada‘s east coast promises no change. Sealers ambush whelping grounds to gun down, bludgeon, kick, and thrash pups with hakapiks. The take in 2008 was over 217,000 seals, with 99.8% under 3 months old.

It’s hard to defend the annual clubbing or shooting of over a quarter million seals

Hunters commonly hook seals without verifying unconsciousness or death. Photos depict sealers dragging alert animals with boathooks. A team of impartial veterinarians once concluded 42% of examined seals had still been conscious when skinned.

You would surely agree with all right-thinking humanitarians around the globe that such cruelty is base and totally unworthy of Canadian traditions, ideals and best practices.

Ms Vasumathi Krishnasami.

Bangalore, Karnataka, India.


A song of a dying pregnant seal:

“Une chanson, c’est peu de chose,                          (A song, it’s nothing at all,

Mais quand ca se repose                                         but when it gently lands

au creux d’une oreille                                             in the recesses of an ear

ca reste la, allez donc savoir pourquoi.”                   it stays there, go figure why.)