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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.


I urge everyone to stop the senseless killing of all seals, as I do for all animals (ie. minks, etc). I do not believe animals should be farm raised and killed for their fur, either. I do not wear or encourage anyone to buy real fur. If God had wanted humans to have fur, we would have been born with it. We have the resources to create all types of materials for clothing, killing and stealing an animal's hide is NOT one of them. Without animals in our world, humanswill cease to exist. There is a balance that must not be broken. We are all God's creatures, and should live together in peace and harmony.

THIS IS HORRIBLE! I love animals and especially seals. They are too cute to die! They deserve to live. I encourage everyone to speak out against this!! Thanks, much love, Brittany

my heart aches, soul cries out, GOD!! can people be so cruel? so heartless?? so unbelievably murderous???...have these people no soul??? this insanity MUST STOP!!! God help us all

This senseless slaughter of the seals must stop. It is so imcredibly inhumane that they are clubbed to death, many just babies, in front of their Mother's, and skinned , many while they are still alive. This is untenable.. Are we barberians? This has been going on for too long. We must boycott Canadian seafood, Red Lobster, and any other commercial means at our disposal, to have our case heard. Let's tell everyone we know and give these pups a chance. [Blog editors' note: Hello to Alycia Einstein. 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.]

All that buy real fur are as much killers as those that kill the animals personally.

I am a canadian living in montreal and would like to know if there are any groups in montreal, quebec city, toronto or ottawa organizing a demo or something up here in canada during the march 15 day of action to stop the canadian commercial seal hunt (cull). I would like to contact them to get involved. [Blog editors' note: EXCELLENT point, Fred. We hear little about demos inside Canada, which is where the uproar must be expressed. If you'll identity a site for a March 15 demo -- outside a government office, or any of the many fur stores that sell seal and other fur, we'll publicize your activity. ]

i think that the killing of baby seals should stop...hopefully the canadian people and goverment agencies will get the message and stop this inhumane killing.

I don't understand how anyone could be so barbaric and try to hurt the seals. I mean just looking at their cute little faces..... how could people do such a horrible thing? Seals are the absolute cutest, and most innocent creatures and are being killed by soul-less people just for their fur. personally, i can't stand people who wear animal fur, it's not attractive, it just shows me that they don't really care about the animals that were hurt in order to get thier coats. The people who kill seals for this reason are heartless individuals who don't deserve to call themselves human. save the seals!!!!!!

I can't believe how ignorant you all are of the facts of the seal hunt, this has been a good way for the "celebrity do gooders" that feel they need a "cause" to get their pictures splashed all over the world. The seal hunt does not kill the pups they harvest the adult seals, but I notice no pictures are shown of these adults, I guess they are not as newsworthy as as "cute" as the pups. There are many hunts all over the world of animals and yet we don't hear anything about those. What about the "safaris" that the well to do hunt big game in Africa?? This is purely for sport and I don 't hear about any protesters for these. At least the hunt in Newfoundland, the "adult seals" and not the pups are harvested and not just for the furs they utilize all meat, oil etc.., it is no different than people who hunt for deeror moose, will the McCartney's have their pictures splashed all over the media for these hunts. I don't think so, they are not as cute, hey what is uglier then a Moose, it would not make as good a photo op..! I am not a hunter and I could not kill an animal, but I also understand that some people hunt animals and fish the ocean's in order to earn a living. Something, that the rich and famous seem to forget, there are people starving all over the world, why are you not focusing your energies on that??? We are not all vegetarians and we do not tell other people in the world how to live. ....... [Blog editors' note: First, the seal pups killed are 12 days to a few weeks old. That makes them infants, not adults, despite your political view of whether seals should be battered for the fur industry. Next, Friends of Animals is a vegetarian advocacy group. A move away from animal agribusiness would let us feed the world without wrecking havoc on the environment, human helath, and tormenting animals. Chew on that.]

I am a Canadian citizen and I am ashamed that my country has this horendous seal hunt. It is inhumane and needless. It must be stopped once and for all. How can we as humans treat animals so abominably, like they do not matter. We are nothing without the animals. We are their caretakers. How awful we have been treating them. Le'ts stop the cruelty and we will be better for it. Canadians do care. Jean Scott, Colwell, Ontario, Canada


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