Bryan Adams singer
by Joan Reddy
Categories: Causes, People
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Canadian born rock star Bryan Adam’s scheduled performance of his first ‘Mile One’ show in St. John’s, Newfoundland is being met with a lot of controversy. Some residents of St. John’s feel the vegan and PETA supporter musician is being hypocritical by touring the province, especially when it coincides with their annual seal hunt.

Residents claim that Adams is being hypocritical, but he said that he simply wants to perform for his fans and nothing else. “Last time I checked, it was OK in this country to have an opinion on what goes on in the world. Either way, I’m coming to Newfoundland for my fans and to play music, not to get drawn into a debate with the seal killing industry,” said Adams.

Although Adams claims he intends to keep his views on the seal hunt separate from his tour in Newfoundland, the artist wanted to make it perfectly clear that he stands in complete opposition of the seal hunt, as well as the killing of all other animals. “However, for the record, I’m a veggie and against the deliberate killing of ALL animals, not just seals, so for those people that want to protest about my coming to play a gig, make sure to get all the chicken farmers, cow farmers and fishermen to march in unity at my presence,” protested Adams.

Adams has been a staunch vegetarian since 1989 (now vegan), and said that he lives by the motto, “[i]f you love animals, don’t eat them.”

In a 2007 interview with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Adams said that “[b]eing sympathetic to animal rights is just something that came very naturally to me. Perhaps because I used to have dogs growing up, and you know they became part of the family. And it never occurred to me growing up … I never put the whole thing of animal cruelty and that together as a youngster. But the moment I began to understand what was going on with the treatment of animals, it led me more and more in the way of the path I am [on] now, which is a complete vegan.”

“I’m opposed to fur and any kind of use of animal products. I don’t eat them, and I don’t wear them. I’m not for the killing of any creature—whether it be seals, cows, dogs, anything. So anytime it comes to any kind of animal cruelty, I’m totally against it,” said Adams.

Many Newfoundlanders are finding it difficult to welcome Adams into their province because he has openly opposed the seal hunt, which many consider their only means of survival. It is interesting that residents claim they need the seal hunt to survive, when statistics show that less than five percent of a sealer’s annual income comes from the Canadian seal hunt. The vast majority of their income comes from commercial fishing.

It will be interesting to see if this outspoken rocker can stop himself from commenting after he arrives in Newfoundland, and witnesses the  bodies of slaughtered seals strewn across the province’s bloodied landscape. The Stephen Harper government has set this year’s hunt quota at a staggering 400,000 seals.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

About Joan Reddy

Joan Reddy is a professional photographer, writer, animal rights activist, and environmentalist. Joan holds a Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto, and a Masters of Environmental Studies from York University, in Toronto, where her thesis focused on Animal Rights. Through her writing, Joan wants to help to educate the public about the way animals are abused and exploited, in cultures around the world. Joan is also founder and president of the Federal registered non-profit organization "International Communication for Animal Justice." Her organization's website can be found at www.internationalcommunicationforanimaljustice.org, and her professional profile on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/pub/joan-reddy/22/999/449.

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  • Carol Groleau

    I knew there was a reason I liked him now I like him better

  • Michael

    The difficulty is that the vast majority of their income comes from commercial fishing so if no seals (and there shouldn’t be) and no fishing, what should Newfoundlanders do for income. I’m a veggie too the question is sincere

    • ETJ

      I don’t know the answer to that one, however the seals are not responsible for the fisheries decline; humans are. There is simply not enough edible wildlife left on this planet to satisfy the billions of humans who think they need it. Plus. The baby seal hunt is for FUR SALES which is totally unnecessary and barbaric. Honestly there are too many people on earth now, the planet cannot possibly sustain us all at this rate unless we radically adapt and change our lifestyles and diet choices.

      • Cass

        You should probably do some more research. The seal hunt is not done on baby seals, that is illegal. It is also not only for fur. Meat and flippers are eaten by a great deal of Newfoundlanders. Nobody is blaming the seals for the initial decline of fish population, but with the shear numbers and the amount that they eat they are certainly capable of wiping out a great deal of fish.

      • Ford Elms

        You are asking an anti sealer to actually learn and then speak the truth. We have been trying to get them to speak the truth for over four decades. If they haven’t learned by now how they are being duped and manipulated by a slick media manipulation campaign, they never will. They suck up the lies and misinformation of the animal rights industry and run with it, and any of us who try to tell them the truth are shouted down and silenced. No matter how many times an animal rights company is found guilty of faking their imagery, no matter how many times we tell them how stupid and dangerous it would be to skin an animal alive, they aren’t going to listen. They actually believe we drive spikes through the heads of living animals, drag them around, and then let them drown in their own blood, for God sake. If you are so stupid as to believe that, you aren’t going to change your mind over something so inconsequential and inconvenient as the truth.

      • Ida Koric

        In 2012, only 400 people participated in the commercial seal hunt (according to fisheries and oceans statistics). Who are all these thousands who would lose their culture and livelihood? The majority of the profit comes from Norwegian buyers of seal pelt, not meat.
        It is a FEDERAL CRIME in Canada to film, observe or be within one half nautical mile of the seal hunt without express written permission of the government.
        What are sealers hiding? I can’t for the life of me think of another perfectly legal event that it is illegal for a Canadian citizen to observe.
        I did do my research… did you??

      • Largerthanlife

        You apparently don’t know anything about the Seal Hunt. Baby seals are not killed…and they are used for a source of food…Like anything else you utilize everything on the animal to maximize your profits. If you can sell the Harp coats…why not…what is the different in that then the leather you get from cows?????

    • Largerthanlife

      Like any other province, state or country there are always different sources of jobs and income. Newfoundland has a great resource in oil, coal and nickel. But for hundreds of years the major job would be a fisherman. People just don’t pick up and move jobs…that is the same thing as saving a electrician is going to become a plumber tomorrow…you do what you are comfortable with and what you were trained to do. Fishing is like farming…it can be a very good source of income if done properly and have the proper people to do the job. The other thing that people don’t realize is that Newfoundland has a great population of Inuit and Native Indians so this is how they were brought up to live and they live off the land. They make their money from the sea and land and they pass it down from generation to generation. There is no country out there they would not utilize natural resources and the fishery is a natural resource. That would be the same as saying Liba was not going to harvest their oil.

  • Nina

    “It is interesting that residents claim they need the seal hunt to survive, when statistics show that less than five percent of a sealer’s annual income comes from the Canadian seal hunt. The vast majority of their income comes from commercial fishing.”

    What on earth do you think seals eat? If there are an abundance of seals, they affect the number of fish in the ocean. Meaning, they affect commercial fishing, which affects annual income.

  • ETJ

    Baby animals should not have to be brutally killed for their fur to support the livelihood of anyone. If this is the only way they can make money then I’m sorry for them but they can find another way to earn a living. The seals cannot find another way or place to live where they won’t be so cruelly treated. We are killing all the wildlife on this planet and it will be the death of us as well if we don’t wake up. Whatever happened to compassion? What kind of “human” could wield a club or hook to brutally kill a tiny baby seal anyway? And expect people to have sympathy for their need to make money doing so? Give me a break. As far as Bryan Adams goes, if the majority of Newfoundlanders agree with the atrocity of killing 400,000 baby seals in a horrific manner and don’t like him speaking out against it well then don’t go see his concert. And bravo to him for speaking out. And shame on them for supporting this barbaric practice.

    • Ford Elms

      “Baby animals should not have to be brutally killed for their fur to support the livelihood of anyone.”

      They’re not, and haven’t been for over 20 years. Why do you not know this?

      “they can find another way to earn a living”

      So, because you haven’t bothered to educate yourself, and are offended by something you don’t understand, and entire culture has to die? How very culturally imperialistic of you!

      “so cruelly treated”

      The seal hunt is a humane and sustainable harvest of a natural resource.

      “We are killing all the wildlife on this planet”

      The hypocrisy of this is nauseating! All through the 80s, independent small boat fishermen in Newfoundland were warning that modern industrial fishing methods were destroying the cod stock. They were ignored, especially by the animal rights companies who were making too much profit from lying about them and exploiting them than if they had actually paid attention to them. As a result, through no fault of those fishermen, the cod stock collapsed and an entire rural way of life began to die. The animal rights companies said nothing, instead, they continue to attack these people in the most dishonest and disgusting fashion. The very fishermen you are slandering unjustly here are the ones who are suffering most form an environmental disaster they did little to cause, were powerless to prevent, and that your “heros” in the animal rights indsutry ignored. That you have the unmitigated gall to make these pious sounding pronouncements about the destruction of the environment in the context of a discussion about people who have suffered immensley as a result of that environmental destruction, and merely because they make a portion of their living sustainably harvesting an abundant species is nauseatingly hypocritical. Where were you when those same fishermen were trying to warn the cod stock was in danger? The undeserved moral superiority of your comments and the appalling misinformation you present is truly nauseating.

      • A.M.

        The seal hunt is humane? Seriously? What is humane about murdering a living being? Humane and sustainable harvest? Severely non compassionate and disrespectful about the gift of life. Are humans sustainable for harvest because we can reproduce, as well? It is an arrogant thought that humans believe they are more important than animals. And just because something is culture, doesn’t mean it is ‘right’, both morally and ethically. The majority of animal advocates are peaceful people about educating others. However, it’s tiresome and exhausting to know and see all of the animals that are horrifically treated and brutally murdered for the sake of a decadent palette, vanity or fashion. There is no reason that anyone needs to exploit animals for any reason, not even for a job. We all have choices and people continue to choose to abuse animals.

      • Largerthanlife

        Are you for real? Are you saying the entire planet should be a vegan? If you are religious then you will read all sorts of passages from the bible about fish, lamb and other livestock being eaten by Jesus…himself. If you don’t believe it religion then you would have to support Darwin’s Evolution theory….survival of the fittest. Do you have any clue how many people in this world would be out of work if there was no need for farms, fast food or regular restaurants, the millions of jobs in logistics and transportation as a result of these above things being eliminated? No one is complaining if your choice is to eat vegetables…so what give you the right to complain and criticize what other people decide that they want to do?

      • A.M.

        I’m not here to argue, I’m not good at it and it’s not comfortable. Just commenting because there is no such thing as humane killing, hunting or slaughtering and because it involves the horrific torture and abuse of a living creature. It’s amazing, when those who eat meat comment how a hunt or slaughter is humane or how good the meat tastes, they do not seem to recognize the torture that the animal endured so that someone can have 5minutes of a “pleasurable” taste of food. I’m a grown woman and I’ve been vegan for years. I also grew up amongst nature, right it the midst of it, so I’m not oblivious of all forms of life and how it works. I’m fully aware of what the world would be like if there was no factory farming or seal hunts or fur farms, etc. It would be less violent. It would also end the problem of world hunger and our water systems would be a whole lot cleaner (as would our air) without it being contaminated and polluted. I am not forcing my views down anyone’s throats. I’m simply commenting that murdering animals is a complete disrespect for life and also a contradiction that humans feel they are more evolved than animals (which is difficult to believe and understand with all the animals suffering in research labs, the “humane” hunt of seals, and the list goes on. I don’t force my views on anyone and I don’t think that I am arrogant. I’m actually pretty humble. There are always “other” choices for livelihood. And, if that was your dog out there and someone was clubbing it to death, be reassured, I would be the first one out there, protecting it. Everyone is entitled to their own way of life. And, I don’t agree with name calling, swearing or imposing death threats on anyone. Not many vegans were born that way. I was raised in a household that served meat for dinner, my Dad hunted ducks and my Mom wore fur coats. I found out about the horrific suffering that animals endure for humans and I didn’t want to be a part of it. It’s my choice to be Vegan. I am not inflicting my choice of lifestyle on anyone. However, I will stand up, speak up and fight peacefully and help to protect any animal that is being abused or tortured, just as I would for my neighbour’s dog or child. And, it’s not about complaining and criticizing that people hunt seal, it’s that animals are tortured in the process. And for the record, fast foods are the reason there is so much obesity and cancer in the world and people being without jobs? Not a chance. We need farmers out there to grow fields of non gmo crops. And the person’s reply above your’s, I’m not quite sure what you mean about the lying. I don’t lie, have never lived a lie. I’m honest to the core and would take the most horrific truth over the best lie any die.

      • p.

        Yep, that’s it – any idea not in the bible, or some second grade understanding of Darwin, we can discount.

        People had different jobs because of slavery, sweatshops and many other things. Trying to eradicate or reform unethical industries is a goal in itself. It is not good enough to say, ‘but people will lose jobs!’ People lose jobs for all kinds of reasons. They find other ones again as well.

        If clubbing seals to death and selling their skins is unethical it should be stopped. If people lose some of their jobs and income because of this, that is a separate issue. It should be addressed as well, no doubt, but it doesn’t change the fact that the first action is unethical.

      • james

        We dont club vegetables to death and they dont have a nervous system to experience pain like animals do. Duh! Yah if we adopted your theory of letting others do what they want to do, the human race would have been obliterated a LONG time back. What survival of the fittest? Humans are killing other humans now and that is okay with you??? If the Darwin theory is what you are going after then you, your family would have been thrown off this planet a long time back by someone stronger than you. Idiots!

      • Ford Elms

        You can no more murder an animal than an animal can murder you. Why should an entire culture die because of your extreme views? “Harvesting” humans is repugnant because humans are humans. And please, don’t go on about how humans are animals too. I know. I grew up in a rural community where living that close to nature teaches you pretty fast that you are just another part of the natural world. The only people who have to remind themselves that humans are animals are urbanites who understand nothing about rural life, or indeed the wilderness in general, and need to absolve themselves of the guilt they feel because they know their wasteful urban lifestyle causes far more damage to the environment than these fishermen do, so you soothe your conscience by demonizing and exploiting others.

        You speak of arrogance. How arrogant is it to expect entire communities and entire cultures to die because you have some extreme pseudo-ethical position? Who do you think you are? And your statement that the majority of animal advocates are peaceful people is laughable. Peaceful people don’ make death threats against others. Peaceful people don’t lie about the way people make their living just to feel good about themselves. And that’s the issue that you are carefully dodging: the anti seal hunt protests are utterly dishonest. You make all these moral sounding pronouncements, all holier than thou sounding, about how people you have no knowledge of “don’t need” to do something just because you think it’s wrong. Just like Fundies think gay people “don’t need” to get married, eh? Yet your carefully constructed moral superiority comes crashing down when you face the fact that you are supporting a four decade long campaign of lies, slander, misinformation, and hate speech designed to create a false and offensive image of innocent people that has then been exploited for profit. Your veganism isn’t the issue. Your support for the unjust exploitation of innocent people is. It makes your high sounding moral pronouncements really laughable. How can you pretend to be morally superior when you see nothing wrong with lying about how innocent people make their living, slandering them, and faking the visual evidence to support the outrageous claims of these rapacious media manipulation companies? If your cause was just, there’d be no need to lie about it. Since your side lies through their teeth, there is no justice in your cause.

      • james

        HUMANE? oh right, clubbing seal pups to death is humane. And what culture are you talking about? That culture lived in igloos, in the snow, without heat and TV. So are you still doing that? I didnt think so. So drop this crap about culture, you are killers and that is what you are doing. Culture my foot!

    • Largerthanlife

      Who said anything about killing baby seals? Know your info before making stupid statements. As well learn about the food chain and the negative effect seals have on the “fish population”. Just like any animal they population has to be controlled or it will make another animal non-existent. Nobody says anything about the killing of moose or other large animals to help prevent them from jumping into on-coming traffic…it is the same thing. What is the difference in killing a seal than a rabbi going into a slaughter house and slicing the throat of an animal and letting it bled out to die? What about everyone that has ever cooked a lobster and just threw it in a boiling hot pot of water while it was still alive? A seal just doesn’t give fur….it feeds families like any other animal. A cow is used for its food and then for leather…what is the different?

      • james

        OH really? Well you havent seen the videos on killing seal pups are speaking from pure ignorance.

        The meat you eat is covered with sloth, puss, animal discharge, urine and shit from the slaugther house. The only reason you think it is clean is because it is bleached out before it gets to your table.

        oH AND THAT RUBBISH ABOUT ANIMALS over population is a myth that animal killers have created. There is NO overpopulation if you let the animals be-but you destroy the large animals who keep the population in check and then cry wolf that there are too many animals so you have to kill them.
        Yah right a seal feeds families-another set of rubbish perpetuated by people like you. These so called families couldn’t walk to the store to buy their food let alone kill a seal to feed them. Their daily food comes from the nearest QFC or local store which they consume sitting on their couch and watching TV. duh@!

  • karin

    I love Bryan Adams for his music and his views!!

  • Monica V Lucas

    The proof is in this thread that humans are a miserably failed species. This idea that we are, in any way, superior to those who have evolved and integrated with the natural world is warped and sick. We’re the only species that works against nature at all times, and has the arrogance to think that we’re somehow controlling the situation (breeding/killing living beings who should own THEMSELVES) for the good of all involved. It’s got no moral standing. It’s all about selfish consumption. It disgusts me that people think they’re in any way better than any other being on this planet – THEY work with nature, we exploit every gift we were given. People need to get over their narcissistic worldview that permits them to be abusers and users, while everything and everyone else suffers. THEY need to be culled so we can get to healing this planet and its enslaved inhabitants.

  • james

    AWESOME!!! STAND UP TO THOSE FU**KING HYPOCRITES WHO SPEAK ONE THING AND THEN GO RAID THEIR QFC stores and gobble up meat that is killed in slaughter houses, covered and thrown with other bones, puss, animal discharge. How do you like your dinner now eh?

  • k.v

    I cannot imagine living with or being related in any way to someone who does this barbaric “job”. My husband? oh he’s a seal killer,clubber. no no no way.