Tuesday, May 24, 2022 |
Share this story
• Blood on the ice
Blood on the ice
The harp seal, 30 years ago the symbol of man’s brutish assault on the environment and 20 years ago the symbol of an aroused environmental movement, is back in the news. The brutality is back.
The New York Times reports that off the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Quebec, the commercial hunting of harp seals has resumed with government-set quotas at 50-year highs.
More than 350,000 baby seals will be slaughtered this spring — clubbed on the head and often skinned on the spot, leaving long, bloody trails on the ice.
It was precisely this practice that led to the international outcry against seal hunting in the 1980s.
The single difference this time — the incredibly cute, round-eyed white babies are protected until they’re 12 days old and their fur starts to turn silver. At that point, they’re called “beaters.” And they are. Seal products are still banned in the United States and have a limited market in “old Europe,” the Times reports.
But in the nations of the former Soviet bloc, seal-fur hats and accessories are high style.
The Chinese market beckons. The Canadian fishing industry is happy — less competition for codfish, and the Canadian government says the population is thriving and the hunt is well-managed.
But environmental activists are again talking about boycotts. Just like the old days. If activists use the tools that worked so well in the past — gut-wrenching photographs and a global campaign — the baby seals will get the protection they deserve from the tyranny of fashion.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By participating in online discussions you
acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful
discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments
are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines,
send us an email.