Animal News Desk / Cathy Kangas
I have been working for more than six years to help end the Canadian seal hunt. This barbaric practice usually starts in March in the maritime provinces of Canada. Baby seals are clubbed over the head and skinned of their fur. It is the largest hunt of marine animals in the world and it has to be stopped.
We are hoping that this year, the hunt may be canceled because climate warming has caused the ice floes, where the seals have their pups, to melt. Sadly, many of the baby seals drown before the hunters can reach them. In addition, many of the markets for seal pelts are now closed. The United States, the European Union and the Russian Federation, among others, will not accept seal pelts. I plan to meet with the government of Turkey later this month to ensure that this market is closed as well.
What can you do personally to help stop the hunt? Putting economic pressure on Canada is the strategy employed by the Humane Society of the United States. One way they do this is through a Canadian seafood boycott. Many famous chefs, including Mario Batali, Cat Cora and Kerry Simon, have agreed not to serve Canadian seafood in their respective restaurants.
In addition, there are a number of Connecticut restaurants that have signed a pledge not to put Canadian seafood on their menu. You may want to patronize the Greenwich Tavern in Greenwich, the Paci Restaurant in Southport, Ted's Montana Grill in South Windsor and Hartford or the Pacifico in New Haven, among others, to thank these chefs for their support of the boycott. When you visit your favorite restaurants, ask if they will sign a pledge not to serve Canadian seafood. All the information you need may be found on the HSUS website at www.hsus.org.
I strongly believe that we now have a great window of opportunity to end the seal hunt once and for all. More than 60 percent of Canadians oppose the hunt. Canadian fishermen know that there is no longer a demand for seal pelts and that they are risking their lives when they brave the dangerous conditions on the melting ice.
We need to let our Canadian neighbors know that what they are doing to seals is inhumane and immoral. We will work tirelessly until this hunt is finally ended.
As the owner of PRAI Beauty Inc., an international skincare company, Cathy Kangas started Beauty with a Cause, and commits a percentage of her company's profits to help animal welfare organizations around the world.