Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Missing ice is killing seal pups -- Cancel Canada's seal slaughter.

Dear andy,

Tell Prime Minister Harper: Save the survivors!This is unbelievable.

The HSI ProtectSeals team is watching a disaster unfold off Canada's east coast. Every year, our team documents the largest massacre of marine mammals in history, as commercial fisherman slaughter baby harp seals for their fur. We do so to bring attention to this cruelty. But this year, we've had to watch a different but no less painful sight: there is virtually no ice, and many of the baby seals will die before the sealers arrive.

Harp seals need sea ice to give birth to and nurse their pups. But for the first year on record, virtually no sea ice has formed in key birthing areas such as the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Without it, mother seals won't have a place to give birth to their pups, and many pups may perish as a consequence of this environmental disaster.

What's worse: The Canadian government may allow sealers to slaughter what few surviving pups they can find.

We must act quickly.

Please implore Prime Minister Stephen Harper to cancel this year's commercial seal hunt.

Unless Prime Minister Harper steps in, those pups who survive the loss of ice will die at the hands of humans. Sealers will club and shoot the pups as they cling to tiny pans of ice -- it will be a slaughter of the survivors.

In the short term, we can't save these pups from this environmental catastrophe. But it's our urgent responsibility -- and that of the Canadian government -- to protect the helpless survivors from slaughter at the hands of sealers.

Canada's seal pups are facing impossible odds. They need you on their side more than ever.

Tell Canada to call off the commercial seal hunt and spare the seal survivors.

We'll do everything we can to get Prime Minister Stephen Harper to have mercy on these pups.

Thank you so much for joining our call to save lives.


Rebecca Aldworth
Executive Director
Humane Society International/Canada

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Andy the Daft Hermit lives 45 minutes outside Inverness with his wife Mel in an old bus parked in a layby. This current home of theirs is the longest they have ever stayed in one spot. “I’ve been travelling now 25 years,” said Andy Lowe. “Mel’s been travelling 15. One of the reasons we’ve come and stayed up here is because of Mel’s health. I wanted to bring her to the mountains for fresh air and clean water and just a slower pace of life.” Mel has had breast cancer twice, skin cancer once, and for three years believed she had bone cancer after being wrongly diagnosed. Andy’s belief in the restorative powers of the north made them pack up ‘The Black Bus’ that they live in and cross the border into Scotland. New Highland home for hermit couple Andy and Mel “I think we both believe in trying to get to a more simple way of life,” said Andy, “but it’s strange for us because we are sort of hermits, or we like to live separate, but it’s not being anti-social… it’s just the way we are that allows us to be creative.” Andy first began travelling when he left the army. Fed up with bureaucracy he packed a rucksack and left for France and has been travelling ever since. By investing any money the couple have earned into solar panels and wind generators they now live a self-sustaining existence, without electric bills, and collect rain water “straight from Heaven”. “It’s not easy,” said Mel. “There might be time when there might not be enough facilities around, but you always find a way, you know?” Rather than rejecting technology, Andy blogs about his travels online and collaborates with artists from around the world via his ‘Scratchy Heid Film Studio’, which he runs from a static trailer next to the couple’s bus. He explained his philosophy: “My belief is that if you can go through life and you drop dead and you’ve got a balance there that slightly outweighs the good than the bad, you’ve done alright. “Yesterday, with what Mel’s been through with the cancer and all that, I had a woman on one of my sites there that thanked me for the writing, for the positive things, and to me that’s worth everything. You can keep your millions, we’re not interested. That is what we do.” To check out Andy’s artwork and video projects check out his website. MORE FROM THE NORTH

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