12 March 2012

Ke$ha urges boycott of Canadian seafood as part of campaign to end seal hunting

Pop singer Ke$ha, famous for her edgy dance hits, has a new role as the first global ambassador for the Humane Society International. Her latest effort urges the public to boycott Canadian seafood as part of a worldwide campaign to end seal hunting.

In the Protect Seals video, Ke$ha encourages viewers not to purchase snow crabs, scallops and other Canadian seafood as long as the nation's commercial fishing industry contributes to the unnecessary slaughter of seals.

Ke$ha, best known for singles “Tik Tok” and “We R Who We R” featured on her debut album Animal, is the newest celebrity to join the cause supported by Sir Paul McCartney, Kelly Osbourne, Ellen DeGeneres and Nigel Barker.

The Protect Seals campaign is an international effort to urge the Canadian government and fishing industries to ban seal hunting. Fisherman target baby seals for their pelts. The younger the seal, the more soft and valuable the coat.

Commercial seal hunting is the largest slaughter of marine mammals worldwide, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

Seal hunting is legal in Canada – both private and commercial. The Government of Canada regulates the “seal harvest.” Sealers are required to obtain a professional license and to “humanely” slaughter the animals by use of a high-powered rifle or club and hunt within the commercial quota.

In 2011, commercial sealers were permitted to legally kill more than 400,000 seals, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Only a small portion of commercial fishermen profits come from seal hunts, an estimated five percent, according to the HSUS. The FOC reports that two percent of the labor force in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador benefit from the harvest.

Fishing is big business in Canada. The FOC notes fish and seafood as the second largest food export in Canada, an industry worth an estimated $3.9 billion in 2010.

Approximately two-thirds of Canadian seafood is exported to the United States. An American boycott would hit commercial fisherman where it hurts… their wallets.

Send a message to the Canadian government and fishing industry officials, telling them that you won't stand for seal slaughter. More than 750,000 people have signed the petition to stop purchasing and consuming Canadian-imported seafood.

Additionally, more than 5,000 grocery stores, restaurants and seafood suppliers nationwide have joined the boycott.

Still eating seafood, but want to support the cause? The Humane Society of the United States provides a list of grocery stores and restaurants that have vowed not to sell Canadian seafood products until “sealing” is outlawed.

For more information on the Humane Society’s efforts to end baby seal hunting and what you can do to help the cause, please visit www.humanesociety.org/issues/seal_hunt/.

Kaitlyn Munro | Tumblr |Facebook | @kaitmunro
Buffalo, New York Kaitlyn is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and minor in Women’s Studies. She worked as a barista at a vegan cafĂ© before landing a job as assignment editor for a TV news station in Buffalo, New York. She's trying to be a “runner" and just signed up to run her first half-marathon in May. Also, she loves food - especially vegan cupcakes.

Photo credit: Screen capture