I just spent a perfectly spectacular spring Saturday inside the Hilton Hotel in New York City at the GoGreen Expo. Not surprisingly, the turnout was low. Most rational green folks were probably out enjoying nature and soaking in the abundant solar energy, or at the very least, planting trees or picking up litter in honor of Earth Day. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the worthwhile events at the Expo today.
Fashion photographer Nigel Barker showed his new documentary film “A Sealed Fate?” which is about the the annual massacre of baby seals in Canada. When it comes to baby seals, there is something that inspires sadistic humor in all but tried and true humanitarians. Upon entering the lecture hall, I remembered more jokes about clubbing baby seals than actual facts about the issue. It was an informative film that managed to convey the gravity of the atrocities without exposing viewers to anything terribly gruesome. The coverage of the actual seal hunt was shot from helicopters at a distance.
All in all, Nigel made a compelling argument for boycotting Canadian seafood in order to pressure the Canadian government to stop licensing these hunts. It seems there is reason to believe the Canadian government may be swayed to ban this barbarism someday soon.
The problem with the hunt is the inhumane tactics, not the overall reduction in the seal population. There are about 5 million of these seals so they are not an endangered species. During the first 12 days of their lives, baby seals are unable to swim and simply hang out on the ice nursing. Sadly, 200,000 baby seals drowned this spring due the earlier thawing of the ice sheets, likely caused by global warming.
Nigel was unsure which channels would be airing the documentary due to the expected reluctance of viewers to watch such material. I did wonder why people would be OK seeing people getting shot on TV, but couldn’t watch seals being clubbed? I had to work hard to restrain myself from suggesting that he ask the Military Channel to air the show, if not Discovery. There I go again!
When I got home from the expo this evening, my 11 year old son was thrilled to receive an adorable white baby seal stuffed animal. When I asked him what he planned to name it – he responded “clubber”. I’m afraid that name is going to stick because he saw me crack a smile before I was able to summon the thoughtful response and decry his choice. All joking aside, if you’d like to support this worthy cause, visit protectseals.org.
I didn’t have the opportunity to hear Mariel Hemingway‘s inspiring talk, but she signed a copy of her new book for us – Healthy Living from the Inside Out. At first glance, it looks like a great book, full of practical suggestions for slowing down and enriching your life through diet, exercise and relaxation.”
One more day at the Expo. I’m praying for rain!