Talk Back: Save Our Seals

By on April 21, 2008 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

Readers have responded full force to Canada’s slaughter of baby seals and to Rebecca Aldworth’s dispatches from the ice with calls for the killing to come to an end. Since the hunt began, messages of outrage, sympathy, encouragement and despair have poured in. Among those we received:

I found myself following the seal hunt with more attention than usual this year. Thanks in no small part to Rebecca’s undying loyalty to this cause, her passion and her articulate, yet insightful journals. The photos by Nigel Barker are stunning—literally taking my breath away whether the subject was a peaceful pup or one being slaughtered. Let’s hope the EU ban on Canadian seal products actually becomes a reality. Let’s get the fishermen back in their boats and away from the pup nurseries. —Lisa J.

I’ve been following your work on Canada’s seal hunt. Your work is so necessary and extremely commendable. It must be challenging to remain focused and retain the stamina needed to keep up with the intense nature of this work. We’re all behind you in spirit! Your commitment, determination, and cause must triumph if we are to set foot into a better future. Keep up the remarkable work! —Debby

I am so ashamed of the country of my birth. How can I be proud of a country with no integrity or no compassion, to allow the slaughter of these beautiful, HELPLESS baby creatures? Shame on Canada… I am ashamed to be Canadian! —Daniel Land

Every year I just pray for this slaughter to end. To call it a hunt is a joke. These small seals have no chance to survive against these brutal human killers. At times I am embarrassed to be a Canadian. I don’t understand how the government allows this to go on. Sustenance hunting by Inuit is one thing but this commercial hunt for vanity fur is a disgrace. I pray that the EU will ban seal products and put an end to it once and for all. —Adione

Thank god that The HSUS got involved in this campaign many years ago. I do truly believe much of what has been achieved on this campaign is the direct result of your pressure. We thank you here in Ireland. —John Carmody

I am repulsed. Saddened. After viewing the footage of the seal hunters screaming, ‘Get him!’, chasing down a fat, stationary baby seal, my life has forever changed. I’ve donated money today. I’ve gotten my company to match my donation. I’ve emailed the campaign to my friends and emailed the groceries and restaurants in my area that ban Canadian seafood, congratulating them on their show of compassion and that I would support them as long as they supported the humane treatment of animals. But none of this is satisfying. All that I do can’t take away the image of a hook coming down on a little fat body staring up at the gleam of the metal and at the violence that stands over them. Animals are not ours for food, entertainment, research or clothing. The men who kill the seals lack a sense of compassion, a proper sense of right and wrong. All living things deserve to live and breathe, just as they are, without being chased, hooked, skinned, clubbed, mutilated, killed. —Michelle McAlister

Dear Rebecca, to you and to everyone who is out there dedicating your time and your spirits, and bearing the grief that goes along with witnessing and chronicling this hunt, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I was reminded again of how much I want to go and see the baby seals when all this is over, to celebrate that day when Canada does the right thing at last. I know I will be crying too. —Lorraine

Thank you so much for all you have done. I, too, dread each spring because I know it will come to a brutal end for these seals. It breaks my heart knowing that they deserve so much better—that they deserve the life that they were meant to live. All animals do. Thank you for observing their murders (let’s call it what it is) year after year—even though I can’t imagine how you get through it—and I will continue to support you and be with you in spirit every step of the way. I dream of someday vacationing in Canada with a trip to the harp seal nursery. Heck, I’ll bring everyone I can find to celebrate the end of this nonsense when it happens! Until then, I will continue to boycott Canada and continue to let them know why I am doing so. —CM

I commend Rebecca, Nigel, and every HSUS member for giving of their time, and visual and emotional pain to this matter. Many of us won’t even click on the videos for what we are afraid to see. Trust me, the Humane Society will never show you the unsee-able that they have endured. Their bravery and tolerance gives the seals a chance, perhaps not until next year. But honestly, they could not do it without our support—our money, and our letters to the Canadian government is imperative to stopping this. We, as readers here, have to do our part. I donated $100 this year, and physically wrote (not emailed), a few letters to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and International Trade telling their government that not only will I boycott their seafood, but I will boycott Canada , and everything Canadian. I also wrote to my local grocers, including the HSUS clip-out asking them to not purchase Canadian seafood. This is a minor, yet necessary step in this fight. Won’t you all please join me, and generously give to this cause—and write some letters? It feels better than feeling bad about something we don’t think we can stop. We can, with small efforts in large numbers. —Dennell D’Ambrosio

I have been following this issue and commenting on it for about three years now. And every year I get sick to my stomach knowing that this government refuses to do anything different! They never want to budge on this issue by reviewing other options; I find it disgusting and selfish of them to not have any regard for these creatures. There most certainly are other means of income for these sealers and no one can tell me or (I’m sure) anybody else differently. Year after year the Canadian government hides behind the same lame BS. Shame on Canada and the government for copping out! This hunt is barbaric and needs to be put to a stop! Change the process to something like a tour of the ice floes; the sealers can help in this process, jobs can be created to accommodate them. I pray one day soon, in my lifetime, that this hunt stops once and for all… —Michele Yackanicz

This makes me sick. Every day of the seal hunt I will make it my job to inform those around me and to pray to God for mercy on these beautiful animals. —Brenda

The horrors we have all seen, be it the slaughter of baby seals in Canada, brutal skinning alive of raccoon dogs in China or the horrors of puppy mills in the U.S. must not and should not leave our minds till the barbaric atrocities end. We must be vigilant, we must be unwavering, we must be victorious or there will be no hope for mankind. The nasty things I have seen invade my sleep nightly but I would gladly forgo peaceful sleep for the rest of my life if it helps end the abuse, the murder of the animals. —Jonathan Gilbert

I will continue to boycott all Canadian products (food, beer, liquor, etc.) at my bar/restaurant until the seal slaughter is permanently over. I have posted signs in my bar about why we don’t carry Canadian products and have opened many eyes to the fact that this inhumane practice still exists. I hope it soon comes to an end. —Pat Brett, owner Doobies Bar, Philadelphia, Pa.

I have contacted every major city tourism office within Canada and told them that I refuse to visit any part of Canada till this barbaric hunt is banned for good. I also refuse to eat at restaurants that serve Canadian seafood. Keep up the great work HSUS! —Anna

Send this blog to everyone in your address book and request they do the same. Every time I do this I get at least one response from someone who was unaware of the seal killings. Each time we add one more person to assist in writing letters, boycotting Canadian seafood, and educating another human we move forward in ending this vicious attack. —Lori Bettencourt

My deepest thanks goes out to Rebecca Aldworth and her team. My heart cries out in pain each and every day knowing this is going on. When I heard my phone ding from the opening text reminder tears streamed down my face as I felt physically sick knowing what was going on. I applaud her and her team for going out there and showing the world how wicked man can be. My daughter and all of her friends proudly wear their fashion statement "Save the Seals" shirts to school each day and proudly scream out to all on MySpace TO STOP THE SEAL HUNT!!! They all have the links on their pages for all youth to see how horrible it is… so from Sacto, Calif. we heart you for stopping this hunt once and for all!!! —Kelly

This is horrible. To hunt for food is one thing but to hunt for profit is another. Fake fur is just as pretty and a lot cheaper than the real deal, so why? What’s the sense in it? THIS MUST STOP. —Austin

The killing of these seals is absolutely disgusting and tears my wife and I apart every year when it hits the news headlines in the UK. How any person even for money can kill these beautiful defenseless creatures with spikes and guns, I will never understand. Please keep up the amazing work you’re doing, it does seem to be working. —Alan & Almudena

I cannot begin to express how thankful I am to The HSUS and everyone else in their efforts in documenting the seal hunt. I could only imagine how emotionally and physically exhausting it must be. I could cry everyday just knowing how these poor animals are suffering. But thanks to all of you I feel secure in knowing that one day this tragedy will come to an end. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. —Peggy Matrician

Every time I read this it brings tears to my eyes. I just pray that this day will be the last of this slaughter but then reality hits me! This has been going on for years and it might continue for many more. I have to applaud and thank every single person that is trying to put a stop to this horrific ordeal. Don’t give up! You have many people that support what you are doing and one day it will pay off. —Gracie Nava

I honestly do not know how dedicated conservationists, such as Rebecca and Nigel, can stand to watch a slaughter of barbaric proportions. Thank you, decent, kind, good soldiers, for sharing the awful nature of this nightmare with the rest of us, sitting so cozily before our big screen TVs and fireplaces. Each season of this ghastly hunt, I write the requisite letters of protest to Canadian authorities. Each year, I receive nonsense back. What will it take for caring souls to break the back of this dread industry? —Mark Reed

My heart breaks every time I watch one of the videos of the horrific Canadian seal hunt. It’s hard to believe we’re in the 21st century! How awful it must be for you at HSUS to view this massacre firsthand. Thank you for your courage. —Patty

Companion Animals, Humane Society International

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