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The selfie heard round the world: Ellen DeGeneres's star-studded selfie at the Academy Awards netted a $1.5 million donation for the Humane Society of the United States, which opposes the seal hunt. Inuit have struck back with a Twitter storm of "sealfies" showing members of the indigenous group sporting sealskin duds.

Inuit Flood Twitter With 'Sealfies' After Ellen DeGeneres Selfie Funds Hunt Haters

David P. Ball
3/31/14

A month after Ellen DeGeneres tweeted her record-breaking celebrity-laden selfie during the Oscars on March 2—now surpassing 3.4 million retweets—Samsung's $1.5-million donation to an anti-seal hunting organization has sparked a new viral meme.

What started with a teenager’s video explaining Inuit lifeways to the star has morphed into a twitter hashtag answering “selfie” with “sealfie,” as social media–savvy Inuit—who have for millennia depended on seals for meat, clothing and trade—fire back with their own hashtag featuring photos of them garbed in seal fur coats, mittens, boots and shawls. DeGeneres, fans and Twitter followers were elated when Samsung pledged to donate $1 for every retweet of DeGeneres's Oscars selfie to a charity of her choice. The trouble started when the star, who hosted the Academy Awards, designated $1.5 million for the Humane Society of the United States, an organization that campaigns strongly against the seal hunt in Canada. 

The online trend was sparked after Iqaluit teenager Killaq Enuaraq-Strauss, 17, uploaded a March 23 video to YouTube imploring DeGeneres to reconsider her choice of the Humane Society of the U.S. as a designated charity for Samsung's post-Oscar donation.

“We do not hunt seals, or any animal for that matter, for fashion,” Enuaraq-Strauss said in the video. “We hunt to survive. If Canada were to ban the seal hunt, so many families would suffer, would face harsher forms of malnutrition, and wouldn't be able to afford proper clothing for the Arctic environment we live in. Even more so, another part of our culture would have been killed.”

The Iqaluit youth took particular umbrage not only with the AHS's campaigns for Canada to ban the controversial seal hunt—long a target of animal rights protesters—but their successful push for the European Union to ban seal imports (although the EU made some exemptions for traditional Inuit products).

The hashtag was started by journalist Leila Beaudoin, who encouraged others to jump into the furry fray: “Show your fur, people!”

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Two Bears Growling's picture
Two Bears Growling
Submitted by Two Bears Growling on
You would be surprised at how many of these people are vegans & PETA supporters. You can have all the plant protein you like. Try staying warm with a carrot & get back with me as to how that worked out for you! ....................................................................................................................... The Creator made the beasts, water life & things that fly for humans to eat, clothe ourselves, make shelters, etc. He did not make them for our entertainment & crying out for their protection from human beings. Man Above made all these things for us to eat; not keep as burdens to just look at & support. ......................................................................................................................... I have never seen so many crying hearts for this cause or that cause that paints human beings as cruel for eating meat. It is ridiculous & shows something is wrong with these people who seem to think they have the right to dictate what is right & wrong for the majority of human beings who DO eat meat, use animal hides & believe we have every right to do such. ........................................................................................................................ If someone wants to be a vegan then fine, but don't tell the rest of us we are cruel & heartless for eating animals & things of the water & the air. The Creator made all things & made them to be eaten if we so choose to do so. ........................................................................................................................

toso mustaj's picture
toso mustaj
Submitted by toso mustaj on
It is a shame so many people attack a cultural activity out of ignorance... and that's what the anti-sealing -- make that anti-Inuit -- are doing.

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
Too many people equate hunting with what White men do for sport. When I was growing up hunting helped suppliment our diet. Most people are ignorant about what hunting is to Native Americans.

Chooj's picture
Chooj
Submitted by Chooj on
I am very impressed with this young woman in the video, Killaq Enuaraq-Strauss. She is much more articulate and magnanimous than I could ever be. To me, the liberal-left do-gooders are not our friends. We may have similar views on a number issues and help each other from time to time--but they are more dangerous (always with a kind face) than most of us think. My thoughts, anyway.

DrewandCandy Larrabee-Pete
DrewandCandy La...
Submitted by DrewandCandy La... on
She chose one group of Indigenous people and one animal species! She hasn't spoken about the Japanese and what they do to dolphins. Or the men in Iceland who initiate "young men" from boyhood who go out and kill whales to prove their manhood. The Mongolians or Russians who herd,live with and eat reindeer. Most, if not more Indigenous people need the land and ocean to survive for food! It's the way of life! Ellen can't take that right away from us or anyone for that matter! Has she seen the movie Food Inc.? The way they slaughter cows,pigs,chickens! And yet she thinks everyone has the money to go to the grocery store to purchase the processed meats/foods! All we eat is wild,free, not farmed or fed chemicals to make them bigger,"healthier" cows/pigs/chickens! No added chemicals and crap that make people sick or get cancer. Here's a page for YOU Ellen to visit! What do you think of these people here? See that photo of all the blood from the poor whales! Now that is INHUMANE! We don't do that! http://www.change.org/petitions/high-commissioner-of-the-faeroe-islands-stop-the-senseless-slaughter-of-whales

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
Hey, there you are, Two Bears! You've been missed! I agree with you wholeheartedly. If people want to protest the killing of animals why don't they target those people who do it only for sport - rich, White hunters. I'm a devout liberal, but extremists from any side are a pain in the ass! I'm also a gun owner and much of their rhetoric about gun rights is bullshit too. If you don't appreciate hunting, fine - don't hunt! If you don't believe in abortion, fine - don't have one! If you don't believe in eating pork, great - don't expect me to stop. People use religion to draw dividing lines between themselves and others. My religion believes you shouldn't hurt others and you should treat everyone fairly and with respect. Why is there never enough religion to go around, but plenty enough to justify hating others.

aliberaldoseofskepticism's picture
aliberaldoseofs...
Submitted by aliberaldoseofs... on
@Two Bears Growling: Actually, a carrot isn't that good of a source for calories. Typically, a lot of vegan food is heavy on palm oil, which is grown in what used to be Indonesian jungle, and will lead to the extinction of the orangutan (among other animals) before the end of the 21st century. Most vegans also use a lot of naturopathic nonsense; understand that 'naturopathic' means 'everything BUT scientific medicine'. But honestly, I feel no need to listen to the environmental advice of entertainers. I don't own a private jet, so clearly I'm doing something better than they are.
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