As you read this, the annual Canadian seal hunt is on. Nearly 300,000 baby seals, many as young as a few days old, are being brutally shot and clubbed to death. All for fur.

As you read this, wolves in Alaska and soon possibly Idaho, Wyoming and Yellowstone, are being hunted by aerial gunners, chased to exhaustion, then shot, often left to die slowly. Simply because we perceive them as a threat to us.

As you read this, there is an effort to gain permission to kill sea lions, to protect salmon populations that we, ourselves, have diminished.

We have rationalized these practices as necessary to protect "our" livelihoods and interests. I do not believe they are necessary. I do believe it is necessary that we begin to use our abilities to create positive alternatives.

We certainly can no longer justify killing defenseless animals that are just following their survival instincts. They do not have options. We do.

Until we take our place as caretakers of the planet and guardians of all its diverse and wonderful life forms, we don't stand a chance of finding the compassion and creativity to end violence and pain among ourselves.

I urge you to speak for those with no voice and no choice.

Boycott Canadian seafood. Already nearly 300,000 individuals, grocery stores, restaurant, and seafood distributors have joined the boycott. Contact your lawmakers, ask them to vote to protect all wildlife.

Awareness and action are the keys to changing these barbaric practices, and to awakening a new perspective.

Rita Smith

Hammond

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