I was born in Nuuk, Greenland, in 1933. My father was a native Greenlander, and my mother was Danish. My two sisters and I spent our childhood, including the World War II years, in Greenland. I spent my secondary school years in Denmark, followed by university studies.
I converted from the Lutheran to the Catholic version of Christianity at the age of nineteen, and five years later entered the training for priesthood. My training included one year (novitiate) in France, three years (philosophy) in Rome, and four years (theology) in the United States. I spent thirteen years in active ministry in three countries (the United States, Denmark, and Greenland), after which I received a dispensation and was married.
My career shifted then to social work, radio broadcasting (administration), and politics. I was elected to the European Parliament for Greenland, as a consultant to the Danish Foreign Ministry in Copenhagen. Later I became a senior advisor to the Greenland government.
The animal rights issue was placed on my table for the first time when I had entered the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, in 1979. I grew up in a community where sealing and whaling were the bread and butter of daily life. But here I suddenly found myself in an assembly where hunters were treated more or less as murderers. I wouldn’t say it came as a complete surprise. In Greenland we had