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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.


In fact, this is a protest against fur and hunt. If there are people or organizations that only thinks in seals, well, it's not our problem. We work for the end of the war humans hold against animals. And the hunt of seals is one of the best examples of this.

I am Canadian. unfortunately I have not had the time to organize anything and was hoping something was going to happen again in Toronto but it appears not."sigh" I have been actively writing but would have liked to participate. Good luck. P.S. I too have been uncomfortable with the fish boycott as I too feel it will just push more to sealing. [Blog editors' note: We'll post any demonstrations in Toronto that may develop, so please watch our Web site and blog.

I liked your idea of giving money to the government of Newfoundland. Maybe instead of asking the Canadian government to give it to them, maybe the money that's going to support different groups can go directly to the sealers themselves? Why go hunt seals when you've already got money in your pocket? You could have a "adopt a sealer" program. And why wasn't there an international outcry when the cod stocks collapsed? You're right when you say fish have feelings too (sorry to paraphrase).

I don't believe anyone with a soul or conscience imagines that these poor creatures don't suffer unimaginable pain and suffering during this horrendous and shameful "harvest." And, what a that to many represents bounty and fullness...but for whom? What horrifies the world is the inhumanity of the methodolgy of killing. It brings to the surface the most banal, the most dark side of humanity in its capacity to inflict unspeakable pain on those who have no voice. We, humans, are capable of such great things...where did the disconnect occur that created the chasm between us and our environment? Surely, a moment spent thinking about what we take from nature and at what cost must shake us, wake us to the price of lost connection to creatures sentient on levels we do not understand. Pity these poor animals that have no way to defend themselves, no way to change their fate without our help...pity us that we are capable of such behavior. Save these babies, their mothers and us.

HELP!!! Washington seals in Puget Sound are being targetted for slaughter by a short-sighted legislature who blame the seals for the decline in salmon stocks- NOT fecal oceanic spills, locking up the fish-ladders upstream from dams for hydro-electric support, and OVERFISHING in the Pacific Northwest. While I'd like to continue to support the end of seal-clubbing, there is a crisis getting skewed attention from a pro-fishing industry media, and my attempts to remind them of the other reasons for the decline in fish stocks has fallen on deaf ears. PLEASE, PLEASE alert the public about this terrible crisis- 16 seals are currently targetted for elimination, and that could result in a weakening of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. THANK YOU!! Sincerely, Chris Northcross

its horrid save the seals!

The seal hunt is a gruesome act of our society and is found cruel and wrong to some. but told by a certified conservational officer that if we didnt slaughter a few of there kind then a majority of the seals will die with its high population crisis. FoA comments: A "certified conservation officer" should know that all free-living animal population naturally adjust their population levels based on available food and living conditions. Suggesting that slaughter of the seals is a solution to a problem that isn't a problem is "certifiably insane."

Quote, ( free-living animal population naturally adjust their population levels based on available food and living conditions) with the way on how fishing companies are cleaning out the ocean of the fish, there food resources are running dry. I would you rather see seals dying of starvation or somewhat half-assing it to put them out of there misery. i am not a fan of the seal slaughter but i think we should worry about something bigger like the depletion of the oceans fish. if you fixed the depletion of the fish in the ocean then it would be safe for you to say that the hunt for seals would be a wrong doing. (when it comes to fixing something it should be done in baby steps, cant just jump to the problem and fix it. you need to find the reason why FoA comments: It's wrong to kill the seals and wrong to kill the fish, and the old rule two wrongs don't make a right applies here. However, even if humans no longer fished (and it is FoA's position that they should not), the seal population would still rise and fall based on available food supply and living conditions. Humans are incapable of controling their own population, and it is laughable that humans should now attempt to control the population of every single species (but their own) so that no animal ever dies of starvation.

Dispite what you may see, the seal hunt is strictly regulated. no baby seals (white coats) are harmed. perhaps you should deal with animal problems in your own country before complaining about others. FoA comments: The only relevant regulation would be that none of the animals are killed or harmed, but then they couldn't call it a seal hunt, could they? Friends of Animals is an international animal rights organization. Rights should not begin or end at any border. They are universal.

humans hunt animals. we have for millions of years. why change now? FoA comments: It's hard to believe that someone using a computer could ask such a sophomoric question or does your cave have Internet access? Change is good. So is thinking before opening your mouth.


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