Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!
single

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR Newsletter

Thousands of Seal Pelts Wasted So Why Are we Still Hunting Seals?

According to a new report by ICI Radio Canada, seal hunters on Canada’s Magdalen Islands have thrown away an estimated 6,000 seal pelts in recent years.

Until 2007, the seal-skin processing company Tamasu ran a well-established business on the island, removing fat from the pelts and sending them to off-shore tanneries. However, Longuépée says, “After a fire, the downturn in the market, and the European Union’s embargo, the company decided to close its doors and was no longer a buyer for the Magdalen Islands’ product.”

The European Union’s ban on seal products, which was brought into effect in 2009, has undoubtedly had a effect on the seal hunters’ trade, and a legal challenge to the ban was rejected earlier this year.

In spite of this, the Seal Hunters’ Association has stated that they are determined to “get this industry back on its feet in the Islands.”

Gil Thériault, director of the association, points to a recent revitalization project undertaken by the group, saying, “We removed the fat from the pelts by hand, stabilized them in brine and sent some of them to Winnipeg and Montreal. We conducted some tests with tanners to find out how much it would cost to send them.”

However, this begs the question: If the seal hunters knew of the EU’s embargo, and were aware of the declining demand for pelts, why did they feel the need to continue killing seals in the same numbers as before? ICI Radio reports that they killed 6,000 seals in 2010 alone. A major proportion of these pelts went unused – meaning that the seals were effectively killed for no reason.

Some argue that Canadian seal hunts are necessary in order to curb seal populations, lest they should become uncontrollable. The hunts have evenbeen defended by public figures such as the chef Anthony Bourdain.

However, the largest consumers of fish stocks are humans, and it is human mismanagement of the Earth’s resources that has led us to the brink of environmental disaster, not uncontrollable seal populations.

The Australian writer Connor FitzGerald suggests that the desire to control animal populations using artificial means arose from “our psychological struggle with the human condition.” Referencing the Australian biologist Jeremy Griffith, he says, “It was the struggle between our newly arrived conscious-self over an already long-established instinctive-self that was the origin of our anger, egocentricity and alienation that characterises modern society. … ‘Hunting was men’s earliest ego outlet’ (Griffith, 1988).”

In other words, we feel the need to wield artificial control over animal populations because we do not trust nature to manage its own ecosystems. Such a worldview presupposes that non-human animals exist only to be exploited and used as we see fit.

Can the Seal Hunters’ Association really revive an industry that has been steadily losing momentum? It remains to be seen.

In the meantime, check out harpseals.org, seashepherd.org, and the HSUS-led boycott of Canadian seafood to find out how you can help.

Image Source: Northwest Power/Flickr

Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

James Cameron and the Director of ‘The Cove’ Team Up for a New Documentary on Eating Vegan

shutterstock_109341059

These Awesome Hawaiian Islands Just Banned Styrofoam Containers to Protect the Oceans!

shutterstock_632812865

Act Now to Stop Harmful, Unregulated Backyard Slaughter Operations

IMG_3715

This Guy Got Professional Photos With His Cat … and They Look More Like Engagement Pictures

Unknown

Urgent Action Needed for Dogs Being Fed Pesticides in Labs!

IMG_3714

These Vegan Salted Caramel and Double Chocolate Ice Cream Bars Are What Dreams Are Made of

so delicious

Scientists Think New Microbes Could Be Feasting on Our Plastic Trash – But We’re Not Off the Hook…

shutterstock_461419933

Dog Who Was Found Buried Alive Gets a Taste of Kindness in His Final Hours

Unknown-2

Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

5 comments on “Thousands of Seal Pelts Wasted, So Why Are We Still Hunting Seals?”

Click to add comment
Melissa Duarte
3 Years Ago

Humans have too much .... and it's never enough!! Stop the slaughter and Greed :'(


Reply
Eileen Young
3 Years Ago

Because the Government is CRUEL and stupid!


Reply
Sunny Collins
3 Years Ago

~This is terrible AND I am always shocked when people make bonfires of elephant tusks, are people totally crazy ? ~


Reply
Debbie Anderson
3 Years Ago

Let them hunt each other.


Reply
AC Glover
3 Years Ago

Sooo sad


Reply


Subscribe to our Newsletter




Follow us on


Do Not Show This Again

×

Submit to OneGreenPlanet


Terms & Conditions ×