by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals
Tags: .


Back in 2006, while he was still a junior Senator considering a run for President, Barack Obama penned a letter to PETA expressing his outrage over the annual Canadian Seal Hunt and pledging his support to help stop it.

“I share your concerns about the Canadian seal hunt,” Obama wrote to a member of People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, in the letter, dated April 13, 2006. “As you know, Canada annually opens its eastern waters to commercial seal hunting. The United States and European Union have been unified in their opposition to the slaughter of seals by passing legislation decades ago to restrict the sale of seal-based products within their borders,” Obama wrote. “I certainly believe in the spirit of these acts; the U.S. should not condone this recent Canadian action.”

PETA recently rediscovered the letter in files it keeps of correspondence with the US government and released it today in an effort to drum up support for ending the hunt and remind Obama of his previous sentiments. “The rediscovery of this letter came as a surprise. But we are not totally shocked by what Obama said because so far he has been very responsive on animal rights,” said Dan Mathews, senior vice-president of PETA said to The Star. “But there is obviously an opportunity now for Obama to use his good office to renew and fulfill this pledge. We are anxious to hear a response from the White House.”

So far, no comment from the White House — but it’s great to hear that Obama is already on board for ending this inhumane hunt. Let’s see if his Presidential power moves us any closer to stopping it once and for all.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Emily

    I knew I liked him.

  • Patrick Ward

    Thank you Mr Obama. I just lost a night’s sleep because of horrible images of this “hunt” and would like to see it ended soon. The disappointing aspect was I saw more of the trotted out rubbish “it’s sustainable” “humane” “America and other countries are worse why don’t you worry about them” well the thing is many anti seal hunt protestors DO they have EVERY RIGHT TO HATE SEAL HUNTING AS WELL. I mean what a bunch of halfwits pro sealing people are.

  • steph

    wow, i hope he steps up to this one too

    though the poor man has so much on his plate right now….

  • hil

    yeah talk about a president that is pulled in a million directions…

  • Kristi

    To help the beautiful harp seals go to

  • Jake

    As an animal lover I ask this question hoping for objectivity: would this get a fraction of the attention it gets from people if the seals weren’t so cute?

    Personally I think this is no where near as horrible as what goes on in the average slaughterhouse. At least some seals have a chance. At least they have lived in the wild.

    Most animals that North Americans eat have lived hellish lives that always end in mechanical slaughter.

    Not saying the seal hunt is OK. Just think we are blind to much worse things happening on a much larger scale.

  • Kelly

    Jake, I’m a long-time (35 years) opponent of the seal slaughter and I’m Canadian. I also oppose shark finning. I also oppose the apartheid of Palestine. I also oppose all commercial slaughter for food and I’m a vegan. Before you make such sweeping judgments of those of us who are outraged by the seal slaughter, maybe you should know more about us. They’re not just cute, and your suggestion that this is what motivates outrage is lame. They have a right to live out their natural lives.

  • herwin

    Not very accurate. an individual (who happened to be a Peta member, and might also be a member of several other ar groups) did send his concerns to senator Obama, and senator Obama replied to this individual, there wasn’t any correspondence between Peta and Obama.
    and a big thanks to Jake for his sharp and keen observation that the rest of us are all blind and only want to protect the seals because they are so darn cute.

  • herwin

    and since when is “Obama on board for ending this inhumane hunt” ?
    just because he (or his aid, who knows) wrote one letter to sombody when he was a senator ? If the president of the usa really would be “on board”, the hunt would be stopped within one year.

  • herwin

    when i read the comments of the pro seal hunting in The Star they look similar to “Jake’s” comment, “i am animal lover but..”, “because it is fluffy and cute”,”no more brutal than goes on in a slaughterhouse”, etc.

  • Pingback: Vegetarian Star » Blog Archive » Who Wants A Shirtless Barack Obama For PETA?()

  • tina

    I quit eating meat b/c of the slaughterhouses. The seals are just extra bad b/c they ARE so cute, and the way they are killed is just horrific, and their white fur against the blood… I cannot imagine what kind of person it takes to do that. They are just as evil to me as the extremist who carry out be-headings. How can you do that to another living being!?

  • VeggieTart

    Jake, my dear, a lot of us who post here (save for the trolls) are veg*an and pretty damned outraged over what goes on in factory farming (and it’s not just the slaughterhouses). But some issues are low-hanging fruit, and it’s easy to get people who aren’t animal activists on board; banning killing cute baby seals, is one example. Foie gras is maybe another. Intense confinement of animals is a third.

    You’re probably right that the seals get a lot of attention because they’re cute and because people object far more strenuously to fur than they do to meat (I know I did when I was omni). But I’m sure you know it is quite possible to be outraged over several things at once, and the various issues using animals for food, clothing, and entertainment, are just some of the things that piss me off.

    By the way, if Obama did write a letter to PETA expressing his outrage over the seal hunt, I hope he can find a minute or two to pen a similar letter to Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper and his successors until the hunt is banned for good.