My name is Martha and I’m an employee of the Government of Canada working on the seal file.

While some may not agree with the harvest itself, it is worth noting that the seal population is healthy and abundant. The Northwest Atlantic harp seal population is currently estimated at 6.9 million animals—more than triple the size of the herd in the 1970s—and is not considered a threatened or endangered species.

Fishery officers monitor the harvest closely and infractions are taken seriously.

For you and your readers, there is information about seal populations available here: As well, the full text of the Marine Mammal Regulations can be found here:



Hey Martha! Thanks for stopping by! We love getting the other side around here, especially when it’s full of doublespeak from a government eager to wipe the blood off its public face. So let’s get a few things straight.

1. A “harvest” is when you pick fruit off trees or whatever. It’s not when you bludgeon the heads of newborn seals until they’re good and dead (and before they have a chance to breed because that’s so “sustainable”). I would love to have been a fly on the wall in the meeting where a roomful of government staffers decided which word to use. ”How about ‘cuddle’? Are we liking ‘cuddle’?” “I don’t know, I’m still pushing for ‘happy finish’.” “YOU GUYS. I’VE GOT IT: ‘harvest’.” And the room breaks out in high-fives and fist-bumps.

2. Well shit howdy, the herd size has tripled since the 1970s? I wonder what else happened in the 1970s. Oh yeah, that’s right: The United States of America, your No. 1 trading partner, banned the importation of seal products. You’re kinda making my case for me, Martha.

3. And well done ignoring the point of the post and the Humane Society’s video, which is to show unprecedented melting of Arctic ice. Melting that is only getting worse. Yes, I’m sure your office will say, “based on data from the last five to 10 years, we predict that we can continue to give sustainable happy finish to harvest X number of seals for the next five to 10 years.” Well guess what, the world’s climate is changing, and fast. What happened five years ago is nothing like what’s happening this year. Try reading the news sometime. It’s in that section buried under Sports, Gossip, and Offbeat. No, keep going, you’re at the comics. There it is. It’s called Science.

4. Lastly, did you not notice the name of the site? We don’t care if your seal hunt is sustainable or not. But let’s put it this way. You may think it’s sustainable, but it’s not. Because in a few short years from now, the habitat for those animals will be completely gone, and all of you will be taken by surprise.

Anyway, thanks again for stopping by, Martha, and feel free to stick around. We have some great recipes and movie reviews.


Dear Canada,

What the fuck is your problem? You love lecturing us about being a responsible member of the world community, but you can’t even keep your own house in order. Global warming is melting away Arctic sea ice, and for the first year on record, no ice formed in key birthing areas for harp seals off Canada’s East Coast. The Humane Society toured the area, and they’re expecting “mass mortalities” of seals. Don’t feel like watching the video? I can sum it up for you in one word: BLEAK.

So of course you’re not canceling the baby seal hunt for this year. Which makes total sense. Any time a species is about to collapse, the most logical thing to do is club the few surviving newborns to death. In polite company, they use words like “tragedy” and “disaster” in a very passive-voice, evade-blame kind of way to describe what you’re doing. Since we’re not polite company around here: refusing to call off the seal hunt this year—of all years—is fucking genocide. Full stop.

Seriously, Canada, why can’t you take a hint? All your best friends have already banned imported seal fur. We did it in the ’70s, and the EU finally followed last year, leaving you with China, hardly an ethical powerhouse, as one of your biggest seal fur customers. Really, Canada?

You already know that the Humane Society has been hounding you and your prime minister with letters and boycotts of Canadian seafood. So now they’re trying another approach: rewarding good behavior, in the off chance it ever materializes. Each one of us will pledge to spend more money on everything Canadian if you stop the seal hunt. I personally pledged to drink an entire gallon of Canadian maple syrup and listen to nothing but Shania Twain and Rush on shuffle for a whole month. Tens of thousands of other people are already pledging their American dollars to you, but only if you cancel the hunt. 

And by the way, while we’re talking about boycotts and embargoes, you know all that tar sand oil you keep trying to sell us? You can keep it. Or better yet, keep it in the ground. Oil and coal are what got us into this mess, and the last thing we need is an even dirtier and more polluting version of oil to melt away what’s left of the Arctic ice.

Anyway, Canada, thanks for listening, and GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.


ps. If this is your way of keeping disaffected Americans from threatening to move to you if George W. Bush or Sarah Palin gets elected, well, it fucking worked. Now can you leave the g-d seals out of it next time?

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