Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Killing Baby Seals

A chain-mail, now nearly two years old, came from a friend, which showed pathetic pictures of baby seals being killed in Norway in the name of sports. I googled for it and found many links, the following being the top. What follows in the blog is the letter I wrote to my group of friends. I have edited it somewhat after that.,6903,1318571,00.html

(Everybody here! Please don't take my comments personally!)

Whenever blood oozes for anything non-essential (like sports, or
culinary taste), there will be cry for help. And then there will be
economic and ecological arguments posed. Sometimes, even religious arguments are posed! And then, our silly conscience
will be appeased. Such is our sense of ethics, which can't speak for itself. On the one hand, it gets outraged and emotional when faced with naked pictures of attrocities. On the other, it gets weak, when faced with temptations. And to hide its weakness, it takes shelter of anything and everything -- economics, ecology, biology and even religion ('HE has said that it's OK to eat flesh.').

For once, think of it. Seals aren't an endangered
species. And why the Norwegian government has permitted this seems to make some economic sense too. Couldn't those gory images have been picked up from the
hundreds of slaughter-houses in every city? Don't those goats, those
chickens, being massacred regularly, similarly cry out for help within a
few kilometres of us everyday, in thousands?

Do we listen? Oh yes! We do!
What do we do about that? Of course! We eat them!
But we dare not act! After all who will change the eating habits?

Why do we care for seals in the arctic thousands of miles away?!

Related blog:
Satyam's Poem


hbsblogs said...


Compassion isn't an inborn human trait. It is a sign of evolution. And compassion in vaccum (pity) is far different than that which modulates your own habits. Thanks for the good topic your post highlights.

Anonymous said...

i think there is a point to kill for population control but there is also the fact that due to cruel heartless people like to kill just to kill.. those people should be put in that same situation and be the hunted and see how that " thrill" feels. before you know it there will be sealing in special programs to help save them from being gone forever. this is a very sad thing to think about.

to kill for food and use every little bit of that animal is one thing to make it a sport is the glimps into a very heartless and hard world to come .. i can only hope that i am not alive when this time comes.

Anonymous said...

well what you said makes sense, but I'd just like to say that I am myself against animal cruelty (im not in PETA or anything).
I think that it wouldn't be a bad idea to send pictures of slaughterhouses so everyone knows what they are eating.
But, with that said, are the seals actually being killed for a purpose?
When cows, chickens, etc., are killed, it is for a purpose (food).
Even hunters normally kill for food. But baby seals are only being killed for "sport". not for food.
now THAT is morally wrong.

Anonymous said...

to kill an animal for a purpose such as using its skin for ur survival and using all of it such as the meat to eat is in my opinion not evil or good at all. It is survival
but to kill an animal for entertainment or for no reason is a crime morally

Anonymous said...

like the first comment said
killing a seal for fun is pretty much against humanity
because i mean i know "they were gonna die anyways"
maybe they were gonna reproduce
or idk
just i hate the fact that its for fun.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm sorry if I offend you of anything but I have to disagree. We slaughter goats and chickens to eat. To survive. Because its necessary. But slaughtering seals is UNnecessary. We don't eat these seals now do we? I personally think its inhumane. After all god has created for us, we kill his creations for a SPORT. I think its revolting. Sorry if I seem too straight forward. I don't mean to offend in any way

Sujit Kumar Chakrabarti said...

Dear Anonymous,

It's been an agelong debate as to whether eating animals is really necessary for our survival. I'm afraid of getting into that debate once again. I know many non-vegetarians who are very good people. But when I say that I personally think non-vegetarianism bad, it's first taken personally then follows the logic if at all.

Eating animals is not necessary for our survival in many many cases. If it had been there wouldn't have been so many vegetarians thriving and doing quite well in terms of health. I know of the arguments that there are certain varieties of important proteins available only in animal products and not anywhere else. If this argument comes from very parsimonious non-vegetarians who demonstrably eat non-vegetarian food for that reason only, it can be accepted. From others, this argument sounds like hypocrisy. The line of difference between being a non-vegetarian and being a seal killer can't be drawn at necessity and non-necessity of the two acts. Rather, it's on the directness and indirectness of the killing. A person who is not directly killing an animal, but is eating an already killed one can't be likened with a predator. A scavenger - may be! :)

Anonymous said...