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Angel_of_Fire
06-17-2005, 12:34 AM
my mom sent me this e-mail and thought maybe some of you would be interested in the protest. this will be my first legal protest!


At a recent press conference, I presented video exposing the shocking abuses that took place during the 2005 Canadian seal hunt—seals being skinned alive, dragged across the ice on meat hooks, and left to die in agony—all in violation of Canadian law. Members of our HSUS Seal Watch team and I were subjected to intimidation, threats, and harassment by sealers as we documented these horrible scenes—but we have the evidence, and we now know more than ever: The seal hunt must be stopped forever.

The key to ending the seal hunt is our international boycott of Canadian seafood. Together, we must show the Canadian fishing industry that caring consumers will not financially support the people who indiscriminately slaughter seals. With more than 130,000 people already committed to boycotting Canadian seafood, we have made a terrific start. The next step: Get corporate America on board. Some compassionate companies, such as Whole Foods Market, Legal Sea Foods, and Down East Seafood, have already pledged to stop buying snow crabs and other seafood products from Canada, but so far the largest seafood chain in the world has dodged the issue: Red Lobster.




Join the Day of Action at Your Nearby Red Lobster

On Saturday, June 25, advocates nationwide will demonstrate at Red Lobsters across the United States and Canada. Our message to Red Lobster: Show you care about saving seals by joining the boycott of Canadian seafood.

Click here to join us June 25 at a Red Lobster near you.

http://www.hsus.org/marine_mammals/protect_seals/why_a_boycott_of_canadian_seafood/red_lobster_day_of_action_schedule.html


Despite numerous requests from The HSUS, as well as emails and phone calls from more than 30,000 of you, Darden Restaurants, Red Lobster's parent company, has refused to join the boycott. Darden executives claim that it's "not their issue" because they don't directly sell seal products. But the Canadian fishing industry they support is carrying out the horrors on the ice. Because of their market position and purchasing power, Darden and Red Lobster are in a unique position to help stop the hunt. YOU are in a unique position to get them to do so.

On Saturday, June 25, advocates will be staging demonstrations and leafleting events at more than 70 Red Lobster restaurants across the country. This Day of Action is the perfect opportunity to show Red Lobster that the bloody seal hunt is indeed "their issue."

Demonstrating is an important step—and it can be a little daunting if you haven't done something like this before. But please know that your actions will make an enormous difference. And we've made it easy to participate. Simply click on your state—or, if your state isn't listed, the state closest to you—to find out where the nearest demonstration will be held, and come on out. Our local leaders and many others just like you will be there. You don't need to bring anything—the local organizers will provide the signs and leaflets.

CALIFORNIA
COLORADO
CONNECTICUT
FLORIDA
GEORGIA
ILLINOIS
INDIANA
IOWA
KENTUCKY
MARYLAND MICHIGAN
MINNESOTA
MISSOURI
NEBRASKA
NEVADA
NEW MEXICO
NEW YORK
NORTH CAROLINA
OHIO
OKLAHOMA PENNSYLVANIA
SOUTH CAROLINA
TENNESSEE
TEXAS
VIRGINIA
WASHINGTON
WISCONSIN

BRITISH COLUMBIA
ONTARIO



The effectiveness of our ProtectSeals Campaign depends on the dedication of compassionate people like you who are willing to take a stand against this slaughter. Thank you for joining with us to protect seals, and for everything you do for animals.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Aldworth
Director of Canadian Wildlife Issues
The Humane Society of the United States

Larkspur
06-17-2005, 01:31 AM
I wish you all the best, but the legitimate sailors of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, many of which are my family members are going to be harmed by these actions. Mostly in a way that has been doing damage for some time, stronger regulations pointed at the wrong people.

I have 2nd and 3rd cousins on Atlantic fishing boats that will have to haul in another wasted catch, or be called back early, all losing the money to feed their families. Get people on board to stop the Seal Hunt, but don't punish so many for the actions of a few.

Most of which are not from Canada.

MaidenFaeSnow
06-20-2005, 11:45 AM
It IS an utterly appauling way to go about harvesting seal pelts and or meat. What would be so hard about actually killing the animal first rather than skinning it alive and making it suffer so? Don't get me wrong, I don't think in this day and age we really need to be killing seals AT ALL. But if there are people out there that find it necessary, I would think that the effort of skinning is greater than the effort of making sure the animal is dead first.

I do agree though, that there is a separation of that monstrosity and the rest of the fishing industry and the two should not be treated as one and thus punnished as one.

That would be like punnishing baseball players because football players behaved poorly just because they are both "sports teams."

It's easy to jump the gun and get angry and want to do something in support of greater good and putting an end to these terrible acts. I'm behind putting a stop to it too. However, I'm not behind stepping on the toes and livelyhoods of those not involved directly but who would be financially affected in the end. Because of that, I don't feel I can participate in a Red Lobster rally.

Jeannie Fitzgerald
06-20-2005, 12:33 PM
I smelled a furry rodent when I first read this so I checked on snopes and found nothing. Since I've read in the past that seals are clubbed to death when hunted and figuring that a dead seal would be one heckuvalot easier to skin if it wasn't moving, I did a little more checking. This url pretty much sums up what I found:

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4608053/


Humane? Canada seal hunt centers on question
Video of hunters used in battle between government, activists

Jonathan Hayward / AP

By Miguel Llanos
Reporter
MSNBC

Updated: 1:57 p.m. ET April 23, 2004 Ever since Canada enacted reforms to make seal hunting more humane, the annual seal hunt this year's quota is 350,000 pups hasn't gotten much attention. But is the reality living up to the reforms?

Activists monitoring the hunt say it's not, and use video of hunters to make their point. Canada says it is, citing a report by animal vets to back its position and noting that officials are ready and able to crack down on any inhumane hunters.

Most hunting is for young pups, whose pelts fetch more on international markets than seals more than a few months old. Canada's biggest reform was a ban on hunting pups before they shed their white fur, usually about 12 days. Images of those cuddly pups became icons of the 1970s protests against the hunt, which takes place on ice floes across eastern Canada.

The debate today comes down to this: Do the young seals die a quick, humane death before hunters skin them?

'Swimming reflex?'
Roger Simon, who oversees the hunt for Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says activist video purportedly showing seals being skinned alive is actually showing unconscious or dead seals going through a "swimming reflex" involuntary movements that mimic swimming. It's akin, he says, to seeing the final seconds of a chicken running with its head cut off.

"It's impossible to skin a live seal, or a conscious one," he says. "Can you imagine trying to skin a live animal ... it would scream and claw."

Besides, he adds, why would you "when you can kill it in one second."

The International Fund for Animal Welfare, which has monitored the hunts for years, counters that hunters often are in such a hurry that they club or shoot as many as possible before going back to check their condition and skin them.

"Mr. Simon cannot dismiss every instance simply with reference to a swimming reflex," says IFAW science advisor David Lavigne, a former zoology professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

Video turned over to Canada shows scenes like "pups being skinned alive and reacting by doing things like lifting up their heads and crying in pain or trying to grab the knife with their front paws," Lavigne says. "These behaviors are not a swimming reflex, these are wounded animals. This year we filmed one seal, left wounded in a pile of dead seals, crying out for nearly an hour while sealers stood nearby."


Simon doesn't doubt that incident but adds "you cannot describe the whole industry based on one observation. The fact that some people commit violations is the reason we have fishery officers, helicopters, and surveillance vessels out there to enforce the regulations.

"If you see a video where a pitcher is trying to bean a hitter would you conclude that this is a fair portrayal of Major League Baseball," he asks. Canada's 12,000 seal hunters should "be judged on the vast majority of sealers doing their job properly, not on some selected clips from a video."

Canada has issued 322 violations over the previous five years, most of them for small infractions.

The activists say that in that time they've documented on video what they feel are 660 serious violations of Canada's marine mammal rules.

IFAW adds that, while it would prefer to see all hunting stop, it would be satisfied with what it considers compliance with the law. "A subsidized hunt for baby animals is like paying people to kill kittens with a claw hammer," says IFAW spokesman Chris Cutter, "we are simply asking Canada to abide by and enforce its own rules. ... "A quick death is much preferred if that's inevitable."

Vets' reports
Skinning live seals would violate Canada's marine mammal rules as well as its criminal code, which makes it a crime to willfully cause "unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal or bird."

Simon insists the vast majority of seal deaths are quick and humane, citing a study by members of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association who inspected hunts in recent years. That study concludes that "the large majority of seals taken during this hunt are killed in a humanely acceptable manner."

Lavigne counters that study "only demonstrates that if you go to a sealing vessel with a (government) guide, and tell them that you are there to monitor killing techniques, that a small number of seals are still killed improperly."

IFAW points to a study it commissioned in which five veterinarians concluded that "the hunt is resulting in considerable and unacceptable suffering," including many pups skinned alive.

Testing reflexes
One area where both sides might eventually find some common ground is in what's called the "blinking reflex test" for seals.

"Basically, after a seal is clubbed a sealer is supposed to touch the seal's eyes. If the seal doesn't blink, it's dead. If it blinks, still alive," says Cutter.

Simon notes the test is mandatory this year, and that six written warnings have been issued out of the hundreds of sealers checked so far.

Cutter questions whether the test is properly enforced, saying he never saw it done on any of the 500 or so seals he saw hunted this year. He acknowledges, however, that if Canada enforced the test "it would eliminate all the controversy around this."

Next steps
IFAW intends to keep monitoring this year's hunt, which could go continue through May 15, and then review its options, one of which could be a legal challenge in Newfoundland, where most of the hunting takes place.

Simon is confident the report citing a humane hunt is his department's ace in the hole against activists. That report "blows their argument out of the water," he says, because the veterinary association is "the competent authority in Canada."

What does IFAW have to say about that? "It seems entirely inappropriate for a government employee to pre-judge the courts and what they might decide," Lavigne says. "IFAW does think, however, that it is presumptuous to suggest that such an obviously deficient study it would be torn apart in court would play much of a role if new evidence were put before a court.

"But it is correct," he adds, "that the Newfoundland courts sometimes with judges who, when politicians, were supporters of the hunt have not been very sympathetic to allowing videotaped evidence into court in the first place."

The vets from the Canadian association offered yet another take, urging seal hunters to play by the rules if for no other reason than to maintain a healthy supply of seals into the future.

Even if only a few animals have died inhumanely, they concluded, that in itself warrants "continuous attention to the hunt."

"Ultimately," they wrote, "the quality of the hunt will depend on the ethics of individual sealers, something which is difficult to legislate with total efficiency and consistency unless all sealers fully realize that this is in the long-term interest of their own industry."

Canadian government background on seals and the hunt is online at www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/seal-phoque/index_e.htm


Considering reports I've read/heard alleging PITA of staging some of the acts of animal cruelty they depict, i wouldn't be surprised if the same is happening here.

As far as boycotting Red Lobster is concerned, this would be unfair to employees of Red Lobster and its suppliers that have nothing to do with the seal hunt.

I personally do not see the sense in the seal huts anymore. The synthetics available today are more durable and less expensive than natural furs. But as long as there is a market for real seal fur, they will be hunted unless someone can come up with a profitable way to farm them, much like mink and rabbit.

Alianne
06-20-2005, 01:36 PM
Sorry, but I can't support boycotting the Canadian *fishing* industry for something they're not doing.

That would be like boycotting beef because you don't like how sheep are being sheared.

Apples and oranges.

Maybe people should stop buying seal fur products. *That* would be a legitimate boycott.....if what's alleged to be happening actually *is*.

Maybe I'll go to Red Lobster on that day.

Jeannie Fitzgerald
06-20-2005, 06:25 PM
Sorry, but I can't support boycotting the Canadian *fishing* industry for something they're not doing.

That would be like boycotting beef because you don't like how sheep are being sheared.

Apples and oranges.

Maybe people should stop buying seal fur products. *That* would be a legitimate boycott.....if what's alleged to be happening actually *is*.

Maybe I'll go to Red Lobster on that day.

I agree about not boycotting Red Lobster (as stated in my earlier post) but I won't be eating there on that day simply because I don't like their food. It's weird; if I eat there alone, the food is bad. But if I go with friends, the food is good.

Alianne
06-20-2005, 07:48 PM
Sorry, but I can't support boycotting the Canadian *fishing* industry for something they're not doing.

That would be like boycotting beef because you don't like how sheep are being sheared.

Apples and oranges.

Maybe people should stop buying seal fur products. *That* would be a legitimate boycott.....if what's alleged to be happening actually *is*.

Maybe I'll go to Red Lobster on that day.

I agree about not boycotting Red Lobster (as stated in my earlier post) but I won't be eating there on that day simply because I don't like their food. It's weird; if I eat there alone, the food is bad. But if I go with friends, the food is good.

So skip the food and have one of their huge strawberry lobsteritas! The chain of beads (red, with a big lobster hanging off the end) are perfect to hang on one's garb...especially if one likes to go pirate. :)

Jeannie Fitzgerald
06-20-2005, 10:21 PM
So skip the food and have one of their huge strawberry lobsteritas! The chain of beads (red, with a big lobster hanging off the end) are perfect to hang on one's garb...especially if one likes to go pirate. :)

Don't hate me but I don't drink. Besides, I'll be out of town that day (Renaissance in the Pines in Flagstaff, AZ) and, other than breakfast, I don't llike to eat at chains when out of town.

Alianne
06-21-2005, 12:09 AM
So skip the food and have one of their huge strawberry lobsteritas! The chain of beads (red, with a big lobster hanging off the end) are perfect to hang on one's garb...especially if one likes to go pirate. :)

Don't hate me but I don't drink. Besides, I'll be out of town that day (Renaissance in the Pines in Flagstaff, AZ) and, other than breakfast, I don't llike to eat at chains when out of town.

No hatin' here, love.

But after I posted, I realized that with being at Celtic Fling this weekend, I won't be able to do the Red Lobster thing this weekend, either. :oops: