The real reason why people hate the Canadian seal hunt and why cats get no love...
Being a Canadian, I'm accustomed to reading and seeing various protests against the Canadian Seal Fur trade every year. This year is no exception, throughout the blogosphere, print media and tv, images and video are shown of Canadian hunters thumping baby seals on the head and then proceeding to remove the pelt off of the animal.
Do I agree with the killing baby seals? Absolutely not. I think it's a barbaric senseless act and I can truly say it's the one thing about Canada that I'm not proud to be part of. Having said that, the seal hunt in Canada is closely regulated, from the time of year, to the numbers of seals, to the methods of execution and fur removal. All aspects of the hunt have laws and most hunters follow them.
Every year PETA and HSUB get up in arms about the Canadian seal hunt and manage to get millions in dollars in donations from a captive marked fueled by news reports and videos of baby seals being slain.
But there are some countries out there (Russia, Norway and Greenland) where the rules and regulations are not followed as closely. Why aren’t there protests about the conditions surrounding those seal hunts? You can’t protest the Canadian seal hunt where it’s relatively humane and not see a difference between Canada and those countries where in some cases, the seal is still alive when the fur is being torn off of his body.
My theory about the Canadian Seal Hunt is fairly simple. People protest it and hate it largely because baby seals are so cute. People don't like to see cute animals die even if it’s a humane death. Which brings me to my point. I think people, in general don’t find cats cute.
I make this assessment based upon the fact that every day cats are tortured and killed for their fur too but in large, most people don't know about the Cat Hunt. And they don’t seem to care that every year, more cats are hunted for their fur than seals.
Currently there are over two million dogs and cats each year that are killed mainly in countries like China, the Philippines, Thailand and Switzerland. The Canadian Seal Hunt has a season and then its over. But cats are hunted all year round and in most cases the deaths are not humane, by any definition. And the torturing and suffering of the cat before the fur is ripped from its body is mind bobbling.
I truly believe if seals looked like cats, fewer people would care. How do I know this? With the exception of a couple of limited protests by the PETA people, Cat Hunt crimes go mostly unnoticed.
Part of the problem is throughout history; cats have been hunted for their fur. It was documented in 1127, AD in the Westminster Church Council records that nuns were permitted to wear cat fur because it was so common. The saying, “there are many ways to skin a cat” originated in the Middle Ages and is still used today.
Here are some other interesting facts that you may or may not know about the cat fur trade:
- Cat fur is virtually indistinguishable from other furs once its cut and died. This probably explains why many retailers in the United States, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and Spain routinely sell toys, gloves and jackets that are made from cat fur but call it something else.
- Many countries (including the United States) do not require a label explaining the type of fur used if the item retails for less than $150. Products that sell for less than this set amount are a prime target for cat fur.
- Unlike the Canadian seal fur trade, the cat fur trade is not regulated at all. If the cats are killed before skinning, they are killed inhumanely by electrocution (electrodes in the mouth and anus), gassing, lethal injection and simple neck breaking. But most cats are skinned alive.
- In China, there are no laws governing cruelty to cats. It's perfectly legal to remove cats from the street and take them to mass slaughter houses where they are hung and skinned alive, then thrown onto a pile of skinless live cats. If they don’t die by the time the skinning is over, they are incinerated alive, or butchered for their meat.
- Beijing has over a 100 restaurants that specialize in serving cat meat. Many of the cats used in meals are formerly owned cats (over 150 family cats go missing every month in Beijing) or feral cats. The Chinese government has intentions of hiding this from Western media during the Olympics by having these restaurants remove the cat meat dishes from their menus.
- It's not uncommon for people to lose their domestic cats in Switzerland, as it's completely legal to shoot a cat as long as it's 200 yards from its home even if it belongs to your neighbor. Even residents of neighboring France complain about the fact that many of their cats go missing due to legal Swiss cat hunting.
- Cat fur is exported to the United States from countries like Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Would all of this happen if cats were as cute as seals? I don’t think so. So while it's a shame that over 300 000 baby seals will be brutally murdered, let's not forget about the over one million cats that will die a horrible death this year.
Again, I don’t agree with the seal hunt, but the reality is that there is a market for fur. Until that market disappears, the Canadian Seal hunt and the Underground Cat Hunt will go on. This is the reality that you, me, and all the protestors out there can't change.
If you want to come down on someone, come down on the people wearing the fur. The European Fur Trade, the ones fueling the Seal Hunt and the Cat Hunt as well as the hunting of other animals including, fox, dogs, snakes, and the list goes on.
Cats feel pain the same way you and I do. And personally, I think cats are pretty cute too.
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