The Seals and Sealing Network recommends the following reading material for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of our relationship with
wildlife, particularly in the High North, and the threat posed to us all by forces that fundamentally oppose the comsumptive use of animals.
Waiting for the Macaws is a haunting and beautifully written account of the age in which we live. A dark and gathering sameness is upon
the earth, and while ecologists are calling this epoch the Sixth Great Extinction, the world isn't losing just the ecological legacy of
animal and plant species. We are also losing the vast human legacy of languages, ways of living, ways of seeing, and ways of knowing.
Journeying around the world and drawing upon zoology, biology, ecology, anthropology, and mythology, Terry Glavin argues that all extinctions are related and that the language of environmentalism is inadequate to describe this great unravelling.
But Glavin discovers that there is hope, finding it in the most unlikely places: a macaw roost in Costa Rica, a small village in Ireland, a community of Norse whalers on the Lofoten Islands in the North Atlantic, the vault beneath the Royal Botanical Garden at Kew, and the throne room of the Angh of Longwa in the Patkai Range of the eastern Himalayas. In the history of extinctions, Glavin finds a hidden story, a long human struggle to conserve the living things of the world.
Based on sound and extensive research, Seal Wars is an in-depth look at the operations and fund-raising tactics of anti-sealing animal rights groups. The book focuses on the Canadian Seal Wars of the 80's and covers a broad spectrum of topics from the hunt itself to government seal management to media control. Henke does a masterful job of portraying how deep a weave the sealing issue actually is and how the groups involved in fighting the hunt have honed the art of media and public manipulation. She finishes by taking the reader through a close look at each of the main groups involved in fighting the Canadina seal hunt leaving the reader to make up thier own mind as to how valid of invlid the fight actually was and still is.
The concept of animal-rights has captured the public imagination with the passion of a moral crusade. Campaigns to save whales and “baby”
seals effectively brought wildlife issues to public awareness. Yet playing to the media and increased militancy may have distorted the
movement’s original conservation and ecology goals.
Is the violence of recent Animal Liberation Front attacks an “aberration”, or does it reveal a fatal flaw in their philosophy?
Animal-rights advocated argue that man has no right to kill any animal, even for food or medical research. They oppose hunting and trapping, zoos and circuses. Is this a cure for our ecological ills, or the latest symptom of the disease? What is irrefutable “logical” to the animal-rights philosophers is just another form of European cultural imperialism for th Inuit.
Ironically, the elimination of hunting and trapping cultures may actually speed industrial “development” and exploitation of non-renewable resources - with disastrous consequences for wildlife and the environment.
“Animal rights is nothing else than a betrayal of the ecology movement,” says the author of this provocative and often disturbing study.
Some thirty years ago, in the 1970’s, an entirely new phenomenon, combining the fervor of 1960’s social activism with the intolerance of
religious fanaticism, appeared on the socio-political landscape. This new social force became known as the animal rights/environmental
movement. Although its extreme views are hidden behind a façade that is claimed to be conservation, this movement and the concept have little in common.
The divergence between animal rights ideologists and true conservationists is both great and irreconcilable. Conservators insist that the sustainable use of the earth’s resources as shelter, clothing, and food may be equated with the conservation of those resources for present and future generations. In contrast, the animal rights/environmental movement sees humanity as nature’s enemy.
Environmentalists’ sophisticated campaigns against corporations, fisheries, the pet industry, medical research, aquaculture, timber, ranching, farming, mean processors, restaurants, furriers, even communities and nations who live with and depend upon wild resources, are now devastating. Jobs are lost. Communities are crippled. Industries are pushed to bankruptcy. Especially dangerous is the misinformation about animal and environmental issues spread throughout the public. This is where trust comes in, because too many members of the public emphatically trust these organizations.
This book takes a very broad-brush approach to explaining the state of conservation and what today passes for environmentalism. The problems discussed are not all blamed on governments along (although some are identified and chastised for their lack of probity). Also implicated are the various urban-based special interest groups who claim to “know what’s best” for rural peoples worldwide who depend upon wildlife, and who are prepared to trash these peoples lives in the process of promoting various ill-advised species’ protection schemes.
Which is more important, an endangered species or an endangered culture? In a world of diminishing resources, must one be sacrificed for the preservation of the other? Native Greenlander Finn Lynge makes an impassioned plea for consideration of indigenous Arctic cultures. With a perspective rarely considered in the mass media or power centers, he argues that the so-called animal rights movement has put whales and seals above humans. Lynge reveals the Euro-American and urban biases in animal protectionism and presents an alternative scenario, stressing mutual understanding and respect for cultural differences.
Each year, for generations, poor, ill-clad Newfoundland fishermen sailed out to hunt seals in the hope of a few pennies in wages from the
prosperous merchants of St. John's. The year 1914 witnessed the worst in the long line of tragedies that were part of their harsh way of life.
For two long, freezing days and nights a party of seal hunters - 132 men - were left stranded on an icefield floating in the North Atlantic in winter. They were thinly dressed, with almost no food, and with no hope of shelter on the ice against the snow or the constant, bitter winds. To survive they had to keep moving, always moving. Those who lay down to rest died.
Heroes emerged - one man froze his lips badly, biting off the icicles that were blinding his comrades. Other men froze in their tracks, or went mad with pain and walked off the edge of the icefield. All the while, ships steamed about nearby, unnoticing. And by the time help arrived, two thirds of the men were dead.
This is an incredible story of bungling and greed, of suffering and heroism. The disaster is carefully traced, step by step. With the aid of compelling, contemporary photographs the book paints an unforgettable portrait of the bloody trade of seal hunting among the icefields when ships - and men - were expendable.