One Voice activists and delegates diffused the images that were filmed by the IFAW in Canada. The public discovered these defenceless, pure white creatures playing happily in the snow or snuggled up against their mothers. They heard the sounds they make, a mixture of purring and chirruping. They saw their fragile beauty and innocence.
Then came the terrible realisation that humans are capable of killing and skinning alive hundreds of thousands of these baby seals. Capable of inflicting the worst atrocities on animals. For One Voice, this is a campaign to save lives and put an end to torture. It is also the screaming symbol of the mass destruction of animals. Even if it were justifiable it would be intolerable. Equally as scandalous is the hatred of which the baby seals are the target, wrongly accused of depleting fish stocks when in reality this is the result of fishing for human consumption and to feed the animals on our factory-farms.
What is one of the main uses of the dead seals?
To make aphrodisiacs from their penises. What a sad era, what a despicable society. We will leave the final word to the former Minister of Fisheries and Oceans of the Canadian province of Newfoundland:
"I'd like to see all six million seals or however many there are killed then sold, destroyed or burned. I couldn't care less what happens to them. The more of them they kill, the happier I am."
What you can do:
• Keep gathering signatures for our petition.
• The Canadian government will shortly decide whether or not to increase hunting quotas.
•Write a polite letter to the minister asking him to ban seal hunting:
Mr. Robert Thibault,
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans,
House of Commons,
ON K1A 0A6
Despite the rain, on October 24th some fifty people gathered in front of the Canadian Embassy in Paris led by One Voice and other animal rights groups, including Stéphane Lamart's. Without a word, symbolic of the silence that reigns on the Canadian ice-bank, demonstrators placed toy seals on a "bloodstained" white sheet.
Cabu told TV crews why he was opposed to the massacre of seals and the violence that is inflicted on them. He also drew a cartoon for One Voice, expressing his beliefs. We met with Canadian Embassy representatives who explained that seal-hunting was monitored by scientists and by vets (so is vivisection!) and that studies show the seals suffer less than animals in abattoirs.
Muriel Arnal replied that it was outrageous that the suffering of other animals should be used to justify the massacre of the seals. Cabu handed over the 19,493 signatures (gathered in less than two months, thanks to you), and Muriel gave a toy seal, asking that this wonderfully gentle animal become the symbol of a country that respects animal rights.
The demonstration was given a write-up in Charlie Hebdo (many thanks to Luce Lapin for supporting animal rights), and was mentioned on France Inter radio during an interview with Cabu, and on two French TV channels. Cable TV channel Paris Première will shortly be broadcasting a programme about Cabu that will refer to seal hunting.
The Embassy representatives appeared embarrassed by media coverage of the demonstration, and by this show of public concern. TF1 briefly mentioned the demonstration on its evening news, while France 2 showed footage from thirty years ago that was far less harrowing than the IFAW film.
We are on the right track and our continued efforts will bear fruit.
Further action will follow to save the seals. We will keep you informed.