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Beware the Ides of March

February 24, 2006 | Seals

The International Day of Protest Against Canada's Seal Hunt

Office of the Consulate General of Canada
1251 Avenue of the Americas
6th Avenue between 49th & 50th Street
New York, New York
15 March 2006
Noon to 2:00 pm.

Open to all.

Soon before being killed, Julius Caesar asks a fortune teller for advice. The answer: "Beware the ides of March." And for over 2,000 years since, the 15th of March has been the ominous "Ides of March."

For seals shot or bludgeoned to death off Newfoundland's northeast coast during the spring kill, there's reason to beware. We'll be in New York, telling Canada to call it off.

And, in Argentina, the animal advocacy group Ánima will hold a protest near the Canadian Embassy. Information on the action in Spanish can be found on their website.

Soon the Canadian Department of Fisheries will unveil a new plan to dispose of hundreds of thousands of seals. Over the last three years, about a million seals were slaughtered on the ice. Last year, on the Ides of March, more than 200 activists rallied before the office of the Canadian Consulate General in midtown Manhattan in protest.

2005 Seal Protest, NYC
Seal Protest, NYC, March 2005
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Canada's government supports the annual slaughter by establishing quotas for the kill and providing assistance on the ice. Seal pelt exports to Europe and Asia have risen as Canada continues marketing efforts. Key markets include Russia, Norway, Denmark, Hong Kong, Greenland, France, Germany, Finland, Greece, Ukraine, and South Korea. Seal fur is also sold in Canada, at around $70.00 per pelt.

Each pelt represents the irreplaceable life of a harp seal pup. Mother seals defending their pups may be killed along with the youngsters.

On March 15, Friends of Animals will bear witness to this tragic and senseless practice, in an international day of protest. On the same day, activists will hold vigils in solidarity with the seals throughout Europe, and in Central and South America.

We come to the door of the Canadian Consulate in Manhattan, to alert New York residents that the world's largest commercial hunt continues. We call on all people to join us in urging Canadian Consulate General Pamela Wallin and Canada's new Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to end the seal hunt now:

Pamela Wallin, Canadian Consulate General
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY, United States 10020-1175
Telephone: 1.212.596.1628
Facsimile: 1.212.596.1790

The Right Honourable Stephen Joseph Harper
Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0A2
Facsimile: 1.613.941.6900
Email Address:

Ask these leaders to make Canada a beacon of a humane global society. If Canadian leaders wish to help Newfoundlanders, it shouldn't mean the skin off a seal's back. Supporting Newfoundlanders doesn't have to mean supporting the seal market.

Tell them that we, along with people throughout the world, look forward to hearing that they will press for an immediate stop to the seal hunt.

Not a Fish Boycott

Several animal protection groups have promoted a so-called seafood boycott campaign. We do not see fish or other marine animals as seafood and we reject the notion that the public ought to use their capacity to eat fish as leverage in support of seals. Thus, we simultaneously oppose both Canada's seal kill and humane groups selling out of the other living beings in Canadian waters. Seals are part of a diverse marine biocommunity which we respect in entirety.

And the boycott, if it has any effect, may simply cause the fishing communities to pick up the financial slack by selling more seal pelts.

This is because the pelts comprise a lucrative market in Norway, Germany, Greenland, and China -- not to mention in Canada itself. Activists in all of these regions should firmly and constantly make it known that fur of any kind is a deprivation of other animals' lives, not a wardrobe accessory.


Hi! Seals are beautiful animals and they should be protected at any cost. God put these animals here for us to enjoy and protect. Please, please let us protect God's little animal. I urge everyone to speak out against the seal hunt. Please don't let any more of these beautiful animals be slaughtered. Thanks!! Mary Ivey

Please protect the seals! Please stop the seal hunt once and for all.

I feel sorry for those poor little seals. Save the seals! Stop it once and for all. Thanks, Jordan

I still can't believe that in today's society this barbaric seal hunt is even an issue. We should have come to realize by now that these little creatures deserve to be left in peace and not be killed in such a brutal way.Please speak out!! We must help stop this terrible waste of innocent life.

This is such a cruel act. We all must do what we can to stop this! If we don't, what usually happpens will happen- the gpvernment will not do anything until there are only a few left and then maybe they will be protected! I no longer eat at Red Lobster since they buy much of their seafood from Canada and I have told family and friends to ask where their seafood is from before buying any and if from Canada, not to buy it!!!!! [Blog editor's note: Hello to Claudine Wilson. We hope you'll consider just not eating any fish. No matter where one gets fish (it doesn't matter if it is Red Lobster or somewhere else), the rest of the biocommunity goes out of balance. This has happened the world over. Moreover, a number of important studies over the recent years show that fish are conscious animals. If you are looking for Omega 3 oil, you can buy flax seed oil. Otherwise, eating fish is not necessary for good health. For still more information, click on our new cookbook from the right side of the page. Thank you for writing in.]

You made an excellent point about the so called "seafood boycott" possibly causing more Canadian seals to be killed just to get back any revenue that might be lost.I am a vegan, so I think that any exploitation of animals is wrong. We must continue to speak out loudly about the seal hunt and make people realize that every living creature deserves our respect.

In today's society there are many other options to turn to than the murder of innocent animals for their pelts. Do to the vanity of man baby seal pups and their mothers are slaughtered needlessly. Faux fur is an option that we now have with out the result of such barbaric brutality. Stop the slaughter. All living creatures deserve dignity and respect. Please, stop the insanity.

hello, I just want to say damn those people that think they should kill the seals just because people say they drive off the fishing produce, why not relocate them to a different area instead of depopulating them, I mean hello animals as well as people must adapt to their environment so i say move them to a different location, or fishers find a different spot to get your food and money produce this year. [Blog editors' note: Harp seals are just passing through on their migratory route toward Greenland. They rest on the ice to have their babies, and that's when Newfoundland residents kill them because of a market for seal fur and products inside Canada, Russia, Asia and Europe. The seals are guilty of nothing, and Canada is a major economic power . The federal government should halt the massacre and assist Newfoundlanders to achieve a decent livelihood.

well i am a candian and while i admit that the seal hunt may seam bad to some, but we have to understand that most of the people hunting are natives that have been hunting seals for generations. why should they change there way of life?. the seals are still alive so it couldnt have had much of a impact. [Blog editor's note: Hello, Lucas. The annual slaughter is done by Newfoundlanders when they're not fishing for two months. That there are harp seals left in the world doesn't justify the carnage, or the fur industry in Canada, Russia and Europe that supports it. In truth, the bludgeoning of seals shames Canada and the world. It's high time for Canadians to press their federal and provincial governments to halt the killing now, and to spend some of the country's wealth on the Newfoundlanders so that new, decent livelihoods can flourish. That's good for seals and people.]

I am deeply disgusted that these cruel people are killing such beautiful, innocent creatures all in the name of money. These animals feel pain just like humans and they should not be slaughtered, but respected and left alone. I am so angered by this and I pray that it stops and these heartless people lose the battle that takes away from God's marvelous creation!!


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