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April 13, 2011

Seal Slaughter Mars the Landscape of My Childhood

Humane Society International/Canada

  • No sanctuary on a patch of ice. Frank Loftus/The HSUS

by Rebecca Aldworth

The weather has cleared and the Protect Seals team is flying to the sealing grounds.

Early in the morning, with the sun reflecting on the mountaintops, it is hard to imagine a more beautiful place. This is where I grew up, and where I learned right from wrong, and to always stand up those who cannot defend themselves.

I remember how close to nature I felt here. The whales who would swim through the bay, the moose who would walk through our garden, the birds all around us—all teaching me in their own ways that I was just a small part of the tremendous landscape around me.

Give now to help stop the slaughter

I think of the children I used to play with, how they loved the animals, too. I remember my best friend and I at just five or six years of age deciding we were against the seal hunt, and telling local fishermen.

And I wonder what happened. How the children of my memory could have grown up to so easily sanction a slaughter of pups just a few weeks of age to produce something as pointless as fur coats. How instead of finding reasons to oppose something so brutal, they instead search for reasons to defend it.

Societal change can be slow, but change is coming here. And that is why our presence at the killing grounds is so important. For the images we film of the slaughter cannot be ignored. They show the world—even those want to support this killing in the name of tradition—exactly why Canada’s commercial seal hunt must be ended.

Miles ahead, we glimpse the sea ice on the horizon. And we try not to think about what we are about to see.

Let this be the last generation of sealing. Support our efforts to end the slaughter.

Rebecca Aldworth is executive director of Humane Society International/Canada (HSI Canada).

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