We flew into the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence today, where just days from now, the commercial seal hunt will begin. We found a few pans of ice, and for the first time in the past week, I was able to walk on solid sea ice.
I made my way across the floe, my gaze falling on the blue and purple hues of the ice. Looking out over the ice landscape, I felt as if I had come home.
There is no place on earth like this - the peace and the quiet and the innocence of the pups surround you entirely. A handful of baby seals were there, basking in the sun. We managed to get close to one who was just three weeks of age. His sweet face looked up at me from across the ice, and all at once, the tragedy of this impending hunt struck me full-force.
In just a few days, the boats will come, and the pristine ice will be transformed into an open air slaughterhouse. 270,000 will be brutally clubbed and shot to death to make fashion accessories. My new friend will be searched out and slaughtered, his carcass tossed carelessly into the sea.
As we flew away from the ice, I wondered why it is that the sealers don't see what I do: a wildlife spectacle so beautiful it takes your breath away. As long as I live, I will never understand how anyone can come here and destroy something like this. As we flew back to land, we were all silent - knowing that when we return, this place of beauty and peace may no longer exist.