On March 3rd, Senator Mac Harb introduced a historic bill to end the commercial seal hunt in Canada. For the first time, Canadians can support a legislative initiative in our own country that would save hundreds of thousands of defenseless seal pups each year from a horrible fate.
Sadly, no other Senator has yet stepped forward to support the bill, and many are organizing to work against it. We risk the "Harb Seal Bill" being lost if we don't act quickly.
As a Canadian, speaking up for the seals has never been more crucial. We are asking that you send a message to your Senators -- copying your Member of Parliament -- to urge them to support Bill S-229 (the "Harb Seal Bill") to end the seal slaughter. Then, let your friends and family know how they can help, too.
On our recent visit to see this year's baby harp seals, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of their icy nursery. The pups nursed from their protective mothers as the water lapped against the ice edge. To know that this peaceful scene will soon be turned into an open-air slaughterhouse is too much to bear, and many of us were in tears as we looked at the trusting babies, so oblivious now to their likely fate.
But there is hope on the horizon. With the European Union poised to ban its trade in seal products as early as next month, there may be little demand this year for seal fur. Canada's fishing industry is feeling the impacts of a US boycott of Canadian seafood, and may soon remove its powerful lobby on behalf of the sealing industry.
When I first started blogging about moving to Canada, the seal hunt was the only criticism of this country I felt comfortable expressing. You see how things have changed! But my feelings about this useless slaughter have not changed. It's a barbaric anachronism that serves no real purpose - certainly no purpose justifying the cruelty it inflicts.
I'm told the seal slaughter is a tradition. Well, slavery was a tradition, so was child labour, so was beating wives and children because they were the property of men. These "traditions" live on around the world, but modern society has come to see them for the evils that they are. Clubbing animals to death to make fur coats belongs on that list.
I'm also told that seal slaughter in Canada will never end. Never is a long time. The road to change is paved with nevers. Let's do what we can.