Beware the Ides of March
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.
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
The Right Honourable Stephen Joseph Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0A2
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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