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Save Arctic Ecology

Call now to tell senators to support the Cantwell amendment.
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) has/will have introduced an amendment to the Senate budget bill to remove its Arctic oil-drilling provision. Please make time to call the Capitol switchboard & ask for your senators, to support the amendment. It takes four minutes, at most. The Episcopal Church has provided a toll-free number to the switchboard, which works day & nite. Call 800-270-0309. Call as many senators as you feel like calling. Call now. Call tonite. Call! The vote mite come tomorrow! Thank you.
Correction 14.Mar.2005 20:58

Den Mark

The number i gave is down. Try 800-247-2971 or 877-762-8762. Thanks.

Relaunching the seal-hunt wars 14.Mar.2005 23:23

a cascadian

My sisters and brother Cascadians on the Canadian side of the border its time for "Reunification" and to break from both the Atlantic centered empires.

Relaunching the seal-hunt wars
Mar. 12, 2005. 09:15 AM

Chris Cutter was sitting in a restaurant Monday on Prince Edward Island when a waitress asked him about seals. Cutter, who works for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, was wearing an IFAW coat with a seal logo and was easily identified as an anti-sealer.

The waitress was in her 30s and had lived her entire life in Charlottetown. She had no idea the seal hunt still went on, thinking it had ended years ago.

"I know it is just one person, maybe an anomaly," Cutter said. "But I have had enough experiences like that to think there is something there. And this is in Atlantic Canada. I assume that fewer people know in Toronto."

Yes, in case you don't know or merely forgot, the annual spring seal hunt is still going strong in Atlantic Canada.

And this spring, more seals will be killed than in any previous year.

Indeed, up to 350,000 seals could be killed by early May. That is almost three times as many as when the anti-seal-hunt campaign was launched more than 30 years ago.

If anything, despite years of protests and boycotts, the campaign against the hunt has been a failure.

About all it has accomplished is that sealers have been banned since 1987 from killing those cute little white seal pups whose adorable faces were splashed on anti-seal-hunt posters around the world.

That dismal record of failure is the reason why animal rights groups from around the world are massing for another major push to stop the controversial seal hunt once and for all.

In the coming days, Canadians will see the first signs of the drive:

First, major protests are planned on Tuesday in Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Vancouver and 40 other cities around the world. Organizers are calling the protests the International Day of Action, with the aim of letting the Canadian government know the depth of their opposition to the hunt.

The Toronto protest will be held at noon at Dundas Square at the intersection of Yonge and Dundas streets.

Second, and potentially the most dramatic, environmental and animal protection groups, such as humane societies, in the U.S. and Europe are launching a boycott of all Canadian seafood. Boycott organizers will start television, radio and newspaper advertisements "the day the first seal is killed" in Atlantic Canada.

Canada exports more than $3 billion worth of seafood annually to the U.S. In comparison, the seal hunt generated barely $16 million in 2004.

Third, IFAW, the Massachusetts-based group which got its start in Canada fighting the seal hunt, will once again helicopter journalists, foreign politicians and anti-seal activists to the ice flows to watch the hunt up close.

Such action in the 1970s and 1980s, when movie starlets such as Brigit Bardot, came to the ice flows off Newfoundland, led to a European ban on the pelts of harp seals.

IFAW says that starting the week of March 21, reporters will arrive from Britain, Europe, Australia, Mexico and other countries to cover the hunt.

Noticeably missing, though, are many Canadian journalists.

Fourth, a major Internet campaign is underway to recruit new people to the anti-sealing side, and to re-energize those who had forgotten the hunt was even still going on.

In Canada, the debate over the seal hunt has raged for decades. The arguments on both sides are well-known and well articulated.

Those opposed say the entire hunt amounts to a brutal slaughter, with seals being skinned alive in many cases. They also say the Liberal government is afraid to stop the hunt because it might jeopardize seats in Parliament the Liberals now hold in Newfoundland and elsewhere in Atlantic Canada.

Those supporting the hunt, including the Canadian government, contend the hunt is conducted humanely and is tightly regulated. Ottawa says the harp seal herd is estimated at about 5 million animals, about the highest level recorded and triple the number in the 1970s. Supporters also note the hunt provides much needed money for poor fishing families in eastern Canada.

With so much activity about to start on the anti-hunt side, Ottawa is suddenly taking notice. Late this week it started its own publicity drive, contacting news organizations to talk about the "myth and realities" of the hunt.

They will have to work hard because the stakes are extremely high this year.

That's because a boycott of Canadian seafood by Americans and Europeans, even if only partly successful, could be an economic disaster for Canada.

Such an outcome isn't what the activists want, though. What they want is for Ottawa and all Canadians to ask one simple question: Isn't it time for Canada to rethink this entire issue.


Against the hunt in Charlottetown 17.Mar.2005 14:40


I'm against the seal hunt, but the hypocrisy and imperialistic attitudes of foreigners gets me as well. I remember one placard in Ireland, "club sandwiches, not seals." some animals are more equal than others?

Also, protestors do not tend to differentiate from the aboriginal hunters and the commercial hunters. whitey mcprotester knows what's best for the savages, I guess.

Here's another puzzler: The dickheads in Canada's "Green" Party SUPPORT the seal hunt!