This post doesn’t have anything to do with beauty, but it is a subject that I feel passionate about so I’m going to rant for a bit.
The Canadian seal hunt has been a source of shame for me as a Canadian citizen for as long as I can remember. Fishermen travel to areas that seals are giving birth and smash the baby seals in the head with a hakapik. A hakapik is a wooden club with a hammer head and sharp hook at the end. The hammer head is used to smash their skulls and the hook is used to drag their bodies with. They use this tool in order to not damage the pelt, also known as the baby seal’s skin, which they take at the same time by skinning the seal. According to a study in 2002, 40% of baby seals are skinned alive in this process. The rest of their bodies are left to rot on the ice.
The purpose of this hunt is to serve the high end fashion industry and provide approximately $3000 to each seal hunter – not enough to support anyone for very long. The industry is worth a mere $7 million. That’s a pittance when you compare it to the estimated $850 million lost due to Canadian seafood boycotts. There is also a common myth that seals eat our fish and dwindle our cod stocks. The opposite is actually true as seals eat the predators of cod, namely skate and squid. This hunt is cruel, frivolous, and wasteful.
The European Union has just voted to end the importation of seal products. The U.S. senate followed closely behind on May 7 by voting for a resolution to end the Canadian seal hunt. What does our government do? The House of Commons voted unanimously to add seal skin to the upcoming Olympic uniforms in protest of the EU bans. So not only does Canada garner the reputation of being callus and cruel, now we look like complete jackasses. The federal government clearly has no interest in what Canadians think about the hunt as 70% of us are against it. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to be sending my MP an email about this gong show.