The Death of Seal Hunters

Thirty years ago. I graduated and traveled to Lanyu.

I am very excited to be able to take a small plane out of Taiwan and fly over the vast misty waves to an isolated island with completely different views.

Even more exciting was seeing the natives of Lanyu, wearing thongs and pushing two pointed boats, lighting torches at sea at night to attract flying fish.

In the dark night, the light of the sea torches flickered, the wind blew and the waves came. It was really beautiful to stand by the sea.

The most unforgettable thing is that a girl in my class accepted a girl from Lanyu as her foster sister.

Although she had only known her for a few days, the little girl said tenderly to her sister, ” Go back and put on more clothes. You will catch cold when the west wind blows.”

I will never forget her innocent face and what she said:

” Sister, do you know? We Lanyu people are so poor and short – lived, the Japanese isolated us before, deliberately not to educate us, take us as the window of primitive human beings, we are still so backward … ”

More than 20 years ago. To a city in southern Taiwan.

After a road, there was a well in the middle of the road.

” This is an ancient well, a protected cultural relic.” A local friend said to me, ” But for so many years, it is really inconvenient and dangerous to be here. Several people have been riding motorcycles at night because they hit this well and died.”

More than ten years ago.

To a small town in northern Taiwan.

There is a famous temple in the town, and the incense is flourishing.

Next to the temple is an old street. Walking in it is like entering history.

” Beautiful!” I said, ” How well protected.”
” But do you know? Because it is a historic site, the government stipulates that it should be protected and not rebuilt. ” The local people smiled at me, ” As a result, the house is getting older and older, cloudy and wet, and many people living in it have rheumatism and asthma. I am especially afraid of the day when the earthquake will come and the 100 – year – old house will collapse, and we will all have to die in it. ”
The year before last, I saw an article ” Death of Seal Hunter” in Reader’s Digest.
There lived a hunter in a small Canadian Arctic village.
The male owner Pitetu makes a living by hunting ringed seals, which can fetch 11 US dollars per seal.

But in the fall of 1975, people all over the world saw a thrilling news film on TV. It was taken by Greenpeace with the press corps, and the Eskimos captured the cruel scenes of hunting seals.

News media hyped it up and movie stars and politicians from Europe and America joined in the protection. Robert Hunt, president of Green Action, warned: ” If hunting is not banned, Greenland seals will become extinct within five years.”

The so-called ” mind bomb” broke out and in 1983 the European Parliament finally announced, under the pressure of public opinion, a ban on the sale of baby seal skins in Europe.

Without selling baby seal skins, the entire seal fur market collapsed.

No one buys fur seals anymore, and seal hunters are regarded as executioners, although –

” We are not worried about the extinction of Greenland seals,” said the president of the Canadian Wildlife Fund. The humanitarian agencies entrusted with the investigation also found that the method of hunting seals was not inhuman.

Hunters in Canada’s Arctic Circle have lost their livelihoods and 152 people committed suicide in 11 years.

Pettitte left home one day and waved goodbye to his wife. This was the first time he had said such goodbye since his marriage.

Pettitte didn’t come back, he died in a piece of broken ice.

Not long ago, I watched a special report on TV.

In the streets of Bangladesh, ragged people and ragged children face the camera with big helpless eyes on their thin faces.

The narrator said that the United Nations organization for the protection of children accused Bangladeshi enterprises of employing young child laborers and hurting children.

So the children were dismissed.

They live on the streets and some even become prostitutes.

The United Nations Children’s Welfare Organization had to turn back and make concessions and compensation measures.

Talking with entomologist Chen weishou.

” Do you know? How much foreign exchange did Taiwan earn from butterflies? ” Mr. Chen said, ” We can catch 50 to 60 million in yellow butterfly valley alone in a year.”

” Isn’t this against ecological conservation?” I said.

” Wrong!” He smiled, ” Later, when the economy was depressed, butterfly exports declined. Butterflies in the Yellow Butterfly Cui Valley were caught less, but the number of butterflies decreased. Because within ten days, there will be 20 million butterflies, no one caught, the number is too large, ate up all the tree buds, then, starved to death … ”

Guan sunzhi, a student of grandstand research institute, wrote the article ” contradiction between man and nature”.

In the early spring of the Yunnan – Guizhou Plateau, farmers began to sow seeds, but only after the seeds were well sown could they be eaten by black-necked cranes flying from the Qinghai – Tibet Plateau.

Black – necked cranes are conservation animals. The government stipulates that anyone who kills one will be imprisoned for seven years.

Farmers can only use various methods to drive away. Just, just drive out a batch, another batch.

What is frightening is that in the banquet given by the conservationists, dishes after dishes were served. Guan Sun knew and calculated that there were 18 dishes, most of which were Yunnan specialties and even pangolins …

When a ferocious beast with only a few animals left in the world swoops down on people, if you have a gun in your hand, will you kill the beast or let it bite the dead?

” There are billions of people in the world. What is a dead person?” Do you think so?

Or will you shoot wild animals without thinking?

This world is not exclusive to human beings. We should respect everyone in the global village.

However, when we made high-profile speeches, when we stood at the door of the department store holding up the sign, shouting no killing animals and hunting fur, did we bring winter clothes to the hunters in poor mountain villages?

When we protect a well and plead for the historic site, did we think about the way to remove the ancient well and change the road, or did we let it hurt our compatriots there?

When we shouted that the world’s species were decreasing at an unprecedented rate, did we think that the pollution we caused was the greatest evil?

When we sang about protecting the rainforest, did we make good use of every piece of paper to leave an extra tree in the world?

We can dress up as benevolent people, wear bow ties and hold champagne to attend fund-raising parties to protect historic sites and wildlife.

Seeing the delicacies of mountains and seas coming up one by one, one cannot hear the moans of the seashore on the top of the mountain.

As a senior member of the American Museum of Natural History and the World Wildlife Conservation Association, I often wonder if I trampled on innocent grass when rescuing a small flower. I also often wonder if people in the civilized world have done many hypocritical things.