posted on Jun, 23 2009 @ 06:44 PM
Considering this is a country where it is still not only legal to harvest (meaning "club) baby seals for their fur, but an acceptable career option,
this doesn't surprise me.
However, for the fact that it is a "Coming of Age" Ritual puts it into a different perspective.
Is it any more unethical for the Danes than say Santarians or Voudons who use animal sacrifice for their rituals? Animal Sacrifice used to be part of
all the large mainstream religions too.
Even though this is a ritualized Social practice, and not an actual Religious practice, doesn't negate that in some cultures this is part of their
heritage and a noble deed in their culture's eyes.
And at a point in time, during the history of Denmark, I could see how this would be a useful "Coming of Age" ritual when a young man would show his
worth as a whaler by making his first kill. In the U.S. we have similar practices with a young man's first deer kill.
The EU has no more right telling the Danes that they can't do this than they do dictating what religions its members should accept.
However, that isn't to say that this "Coming of Age" practice isn't outdated and now delves deep into the realm of being unethical because of the
size of Denmark's population. It would be different if it were a community with a small handful of young men performing this ceremony, compared to
larger ones with hundreds or thousands performing this ceremony.
Ultimately, the best way to change Denmark's annual practice would be through purely Social change. As one young man after another in Denmark
denounces the "Coming of Age" rite as barbaric and refuses to participate, it will eventually be replaced by another "Coming of Age" rite that is
less barbaric to the Danes. However, that is something that can't be forced on them, but one they must come to on their own.
(Of course, if this mammal becomes an endangered species, especially because of this practice, then it does become an issue that the EU and the rest
of the world would have every right interfering in.)
However, thank you for posting this. I never knew that this went on. It is indeed shocking and quite sad.