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June 3, 2011

Children's Ministry Takes on Project to Save Seals

Third-graders at a Mass. Unitarian Universalist Church enlist congregation to support seals

  • The HSUS presents First Parish children's ministry with t-shirts and plush seals. The HSUS

  • A seal pup on the ice floes in Canada. The HSUS

  • A young boy with First Parish children's ministry clutches a plush seal. The HSUS

Canadian seals have some special young friends in Needham, Mass. Through a children's ministry curriculum called "Moral Tales" at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, the third-grade class took on a very serious project: to protect Canada's baby seals from slaughter.

"Every day our children go forth into a complex world where they may be faced with difficult decisions and situations," writes Irene Praeger, director of religious education for First Parish.

"Moral Tales provides children with spiritual and ethical tools to make choices and take actions that reflect their Unitarian Universalist beliefs and values," she says.

Canada's annual commercial seal hunt is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on the planet. The Canadian government and fishing industry is facing harsh criticism the world over because of the hunt's cruelty and lack of sustainability.

Harp seals are the primary target of the commercial seal hunt, and to a much smaller extent, grey and hooded seals are also killed. Fully 97 percent of the harp seals killed are pups under just three months of age.

The Protect Seals Pledge asks individuals to pledge not to buy seafood products produced in Canada—such as snow crabs, cod, scallops, and shrimp—until Canada ends its commercial seal hunt for good.

The children at First Parish asked their congregation to sign the Protect Seals Pledge and collected $81 to help the seals.

Victoria Strang, HSUS Faith Outreach coordinator, visited the class and presented the children with t-shirts, plush seals and a certificate of appreciation for their dedication to caring for God's creatures.

Find out more about the seal hunt and what you can do to help seals.

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