Fate Sealed?? Fate Sealed?? The opinions expressed in this show, are not mine. Do not email me with comments or remarks. Thank You!
Fair Poster Child Harp seal pups like this one have been adopted by activists as poster children against Canada's annual seal hunt. Canada says that strategy is misleading since hunting furry pups has been banned since 1987. Activists counter that the pups are killed soon after they shed their fur. Nearly all are shot or clubbed, and then skinned for their pelts and blubber. Both sides also argue over whether some pups are still alive when skinned. Twitching can occur after death, experts note. Activists say their video footage shows pups actually crying out.
Birthing Grounds Harp seals bask on an ice floe in Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence. Female seals birth on ice floes just a few days or weeks before the annual seal hunt begins.
On The Hunt Led by a Canadian government icebreaker, a convoy of seal hunters makes its way through a narrow channel in the frozen Gulf of St. Lawrence on April 1, 2005.
The Hunt Begins Seal hunters typically either club or shoot the seal pups. This 2001 hunt photo shows men skinning the pups for pelts and blubber that can net a hunter around $70 per seal.
A Pay Check Seal hunters liken their profession to fishing, and say they and their families rely on their take to survive. About 325,000 pups were killed during the hunt last year, bringing locals $14.5 million in supplemental income.
The Leftovers After being skinned for their pelt and fur, harp seal carcasses are usually left on the ice floes. Harp seals have been hunted commercially in the region since the early 1700s. They were first harvested for their oil but now are culled mostly for their pelts, sold mostly for the fashion industry in Norway, China and Russia
Bare Protest Activists with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals make a statement last Jan. 12 in downtown Montreal, baring most of their clothes to protest the seal hunt. The sign reads: We'd rather go naked than wear fur.
Cause Celebrity The 2006 hunt saw a new level of attention: Paul and Heather McCartney visited an ice floe on the Gulf of Saint Lawrence on March 2 to protest the hunt .Plenty of things have been going on for a long time, like slavery, the former Beatle said of arguments that the hunt is a cultural tradition. Just because its been going on for a long time doesn't make it right.
End Product The International Fund for Animal Welfare uses photos like this one to show what becomes of seal skins. Most pelts are processed in Norway and made into clothing and fashion accessories sold across Europe, China and Russia, IFAW notes