As a Canadian, I can tell you that my fellow countrymen pride themselves greatly on living in a humane and compassionate society — a society that many of them believe is vastly morally superior to the United States. While there is absolutely no substance whatsoever to legitimize such a view, it is clear why many Canadians need to believe it: Canada’s very identity is rooted in anti-Americanism. When Canadians feel patriotic, they usually express this sentiment by saying something critical about Americans, rather than articulating something intrinsically definitive about Canada. And that’s understandable: aside from the various boastful (and embarrassing) references to the Canadian health care system, which has sadly come to define Canadian identity, it is almost impossible for Canadians to be certain about who they are — except that they aren’t  Americans. A strong argument could actually be made that without anti-Americanism, Canada would simply cease to exist.

With all of the smug self-congratulation shamelessly exhibited recently by Canadian personalities and television announcers during the Vancouver Olympics (for which Canadians would scoffingly ridicule Americans if they had engaged in even a fraction of such self-patting on the back), I couldn’t help but wonder: in terms of a certain grotesque and inhumane policy currently supported by the Canadian government, how can any citizen in the land of the Maple Leaf see himself as living in an enlightened and  compassionate society?

Visualize this, if you would, for a moment:

A man with a spiked club approaches a defenseless seal pup and begins to beat it mercilessly until the pup is bloodied, pulverized and semi-conscious. The attacker then drives a hook into the seal pup’s eye or nose and drags it across the ice. Then he skins the pup while it is still alive. The mother of the pup watches from a close distance, squealing in agony — after it helplessly tried to get in between her baby and the clubber to protect her offspring. The convulsing carcass is left on the ice for its mother to sniff and grieve over.

This is the real-life and monstrous reality of Canada’s commercial seal hunt. If you want to witness the barbarity with your own eyes, watch this video.

The savagery of the Canadian seal massacre is completely unacceptable for any society that considers itself humane. Ninety five percent of the seals are babies less than four weeks old; they are still suckling their mom’s milk and have not eaten their first solid meal or taken their first swim. They are helpless on the ice. The sealers shoot these baby seals or use hakapiks, long, sharply hooked metal clubs, to bludgeon them, leaving them to suffer on the ice in pools of blood for extended periods of time. The baby seals are left terrified and crying from the torture, until the sealers return to bludgeon them once again  and then skin them alive without even checking if they are dead. Oftentimes the baby seals are cut open with box cutters while they are still alive — inches away from each other and in full sight of their weeping on-looking mothers. Some seals slide under the ice and drown; others escape after they are shot or stabbed — only to die a slow and painful death.