by Daelyn Fortney
Categories: Animals
Tags: , .

With tomorrow marking the end of this year’s annual seal hunt in Canada, Bill Maher submitted an opinion piece to the New York Daily News urging our neighbor to the north to stop the slaughter of seals once and for all.

Maher writes, “Canada’s seal ‘hunt’ – which happens every November to June off Canada’s east coast – is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on the planet, leaving tens of thousands of animals dead every year. And let’s be clear: The Canadian government may call it a ‘hunt,’ but impaling baby seals in the jaw with hooks, dragging them across the ice and throwing them into a pile where they choke on their own blood before being skinned isn’t a sport – it’s a massacre. The video of it is like a starter snuff film designed for serial killers.”

The passionate activist took the opportunity to remind readers that even the U.S. Senate, “a group of people who usually can’t agree that the sky is blue,” passed a resolution last year calling for the end of the yearly slaughter. Additionally the EU has banned the sale of seal products and after Russia outlawed the killing of baby harp seals, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the industry should have been banned a long time ago.

While Maher says he is not typically one to call for boycotting a country, he believes that in light of Canada’s decision to continue the seal hunt, PETA’s “Explore Elsewhere” campaign, which encourages people to not travel to Canada, should be considered.

To read Maher’s letter in its entirety visit

  • Michael Raymer

    My (late) grandfather served faithfully and well as a Canadian naval officer in both world wars. My mother is a Canadian who married my father and obtained her U.S. citizenship. Both were/are horrified by the ridiculous and barbaric practice of seal “hunting” (slaughtering). Keep in mind, grandpa passed in the early ’90s. This isn’t some johnny-come-lately issue for my family. And it is not a case of picking on some “other” country and their quirky customs. The seal slaughter must be stopped. Hopefully Maher will influence others to help out with this.

  • Michelle

    As a proud Canadian, every year during seal hunt season I become a horrified Canadian! One way to make your opinion known is to call the Newfoundland & Labrador tourism # 1-800-563-6353. When the friendly voice answers let them know that you had been considering a visit to their lovely province but have changed your mind because you are appalled by the seal hunt. If they get enough of these phone calls they will realize how much their barbaric “hunt” is hurting them!

  • Bob

    “…leaving tens of thousands of animals dead every year.”

    10,000,000,000 animals are killed in the USA every year to fulfill Americans appetites. All very legal and well accepted. How about Maher call for an end to that if he thinks killing animals is so wrong? How about he call for a boycott of the USA? Hypocrite. His show sucks too.

    • phylis

      You know what “BOB” get a life good reply It’s people like you that lets this kind of barbaric torture continue to happen. Maybe If you were impaled by a hook in your jaw and left to drown in your own blood you would think differently.

      • Will

        Phylis, without name calling and threats of violence, can you explain how you disagree with Bob’s comments? I think he has a very valid point. The way chickens are treated and killed in the United States is very similar to the way seals are treated in Canada. The way Mr. Maher explains the killing of seals is an illegal act in Canada, despite the fact it has happened. To the same extent, there is a lot of footage of chickens being killed in the United States in barbaric and illegal ways.

        While I do not support the seal hunt, I do think Bob has a very important point. I think it is too easy to “blame Canada” because a baby seal is cute, and blood on white snow make for a shocking contrast. By concentrating on this one hunt however, many in the environmental community are missing the bigger issues that are occurring in our own community.

      • jlgee

        WE DON’T KILL BABY SEALS!!!!We kill baby chickens(6 week old and headed for the line)…we kill baby sheep(lambs…some cute…some good)…we kill baby beef(veal…3 month old…some cute …some good)…we kill baby pigs…ya know…pig roasts…some good.We strangle fish by netting them and if they don’t drown in the nets,then we suffocate them after they’re brought on board ship……we kill perfectly healthy horses(for dog food) because they lost the last race.Yup,that’s what we does up here in Canada…….wait a minute…that’s what youse guys does in the USA also.
        You godlier than thou folks should go after the big boys before you pick on some fisherman trying to make a meager living……and no…WE DON’T KILL BABY SEALS.

      • The Infidel

        And here comes the “you’re all hypocrites because you don’t go save animal X first and leave me in peace!” argument again.

        For some people it’s not an either/or thing, and it’s not a purely emotional thing either. There are groups protesting all the things you mentioned. There are people who are active in more than one, and support the ones they can’t be active in.

        It’s not an all or nothing thing. Nobody is perfect. But some try to see the bigger picture and strive to improve things, while others are happy to think only about themselves.

        It’s not about “go after the big boys first, and then we’ll follow.” In fact, that’s part of the problem — you follow the herd, you don’t wanna rock the boat. No raindrop thinks it’s responsible for causing the flood. If you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem. You may only be a little part, but that’s how change is made: little bit by little bit, until a critical mass is reached. So it’s really nothing personal.

        But blaming people for not doing everything everywhere just so you can feel better about your own apathy… now there’s hypocrisy.

        Still, I’m happy to see you do already care about chickens, sheep, cows, pigs, fish and horses. If you no longer consume them, you may yet come to understand why seals deserve the same amount of consideration ;)

      • From MN, with hope…

        If animal conservationists were to go for factory farms (which they do, by the way) than the farmers would complain in a similar way. You don’t see it from the factory farmers POV, and they don’t see it from your POV. They are both getting hammered by the animal conservationists and rights activists, or passively by consumers going to non-factory farmed meat. Or just moving past meat completely.