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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

PETA launches Canadian maple syrup boycott to protest seal hunt

The animal rights group PETA launched a campaign today to boycott Canadian maple syrup to protest Canada’s seal hunt.

In an email message to supporters, the organization wrote:

Despite international outrage, the Canadian government allows sealers to beat and skin hundreds of thousands of baby seals every year for a product that no one needs. This year's seal massacre is coming to a close, but PETA's campaign to end the bloodbath once and for all is just beginning, and we need your help to keep up the pressure.

We are launching a boycott of Canadian maple syrup and hope that as a Canadian, you too will support this campaign.

As you may know, Canada produces approximately 85 percent of the world's maple syrup. PETA is calling on compassionate citizens around the world, including Canadians, to speak up for seals by refusing to support the product that is most often associated with Canada. By pledging to boycott Canadian maple syrup, you'll be speaking up for baby seals—for whom life isn't so sweet. 

Please help save the seals by pledging to boycott Canadian maple syrup today and asking all your friends and family members to do the same. We'll send a copy of your pledge directly to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of International Trade Stockwell Day so that they can't ignore the international outrage over the seal slaughter that is happening in your country.

Keep fighting with us to end this slaughter—the largest and cruellest massacre of marine mammals on Earth—and visit our blog, The PETA Files, to stay up-to-date on our maple syrup campaign and to find more ways to stop the seal slaughter for good.

This campaign comes only one day after Governor General Michaëlle Jean ate a piece of raw seal heart in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

Posted by Matthew Johnston

Posted by westernstandard on May 27, 2009 | Permalink


I suppose a maple syrup boycott is reasonable considering they already boycott Canadian bacon and Alberta beef. I say we fight back by exponentially increasing our meat consumption until they agree to stop boycotting our syrup.

Posted by: Jesse Kline | 2009-05-27 6:36:02 PM

Jesse, that is the best response I ahve ever heard of for anything PETA does. They do not want us to stop hurting poor cute little seals. They want us to stop eating or harming any animal anywhere for any reason. Eating more tasty animals in repsonse is fantastic!

Posted by: TM | 2009-05-27 6:39:47 PM

Dammit. Six more customers gone.

I wonder if they give a thought to the millions of squirrels and raccoons that get turned out of their homes every year to provide the wood pulp for all their flyers.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-27 6:57:52 PM

"The PETA Files"??? Seriously? That's the name of their blog? I wonder if it has occurred to them that said aloud it sounds an awful lot like... nevermind.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2009-05-27 7:48:45 PM

And what about the cute little chickens? They haven't hurt anyone have they? SAVE THE CHICKENS!!!

Posted by: JC | 2009-05-27 8:00:03 PM

FC: That would assume anything sensible had ever occurred to anyone at PETA.

Posted by: K Stricker | 2009-05-27 8:27:27 PM

PETA should learn more about the seal hunt before calling for a ban. It is not true that baby seals are beaten to death no seal is killed that is still dependent on it's mother. The products ARE used and many communities depend on both the money and the seal products for their survivals, including Inuit communities. The seal hunt is a tradition humans have hunted animals from the beginning of time, if anything it is more humane and natural than raising animals in cramped farms and poor conditions where disease runs rampant. Canada is not the only country which has a seal hunt and in the west coast where the seal hunt was banned they now cull the seals in order to keep the population stable. With a cull all the profit is lost and the animals are left to rot. a maple Syrup boycott, who thought that up? as john stossel says. "GIVE ME A BREAK"

Posted by: heather | 2009-05-27 9:08:48 PM

heather, another thing these PETA jerks either don't know, don't care about or haven't seen is a seal pup a couple of miles inland up a river that has starved to death looking for food. That's what happens when they aren't culled. But sinse its out of sight, why worry eh?

Posted by: JC | 2009-05-27 9:11:32 PM

People Eating Tasty Animals (PETA) I see is at it again. I think it is time for the organisation of a group devoted to the protection of vegetables.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-05-27 9:17:23 PM

I will be torturing and killing cute little puppies and kittens until PETA ends this boycott.

Posted by: tamale | 2009-05-27 9:22:20 PM

I shall only buy Vermont maple syrup from now on - not that I ever did.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-05-27 9:48:25 PM

"I say we fight back by exponentially increasing our meat consumption until they agree to stop boycotting our syrup."

Since Alberta is too greedy to transform and sell his meat directly to other Canadians, I think your plan worth squat. If we eat more Albertan beef, we only give more cash to U.S. interests. Consuming more maple syrup would benefit to Canadians and has nothing to do with wildlife. Peta should realize maple syrup has nothing to do with wildlife so it hurt their cause and movement. Wildlife is something we should cherish and protect at any cost, but you aint gonna sell this idea by annoying people with bullshit like this campaign.

Seal hunting benefiting primarily to Québecers in les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, I’m kind of thankful for all the support from everywhere in Canada and the same goes for all those voices against this boycott of maple syrup campaign.

Posted by: Marc | 2009-05-27 11:12:56 PM

Eggs, Canadian Bacon, Pancakes and Maple syrup for breakfast tomorrow. Thanks PETA for the inspiration.

Posted by: DML | 2009-05-27 11:32:22 PM

Since Alberta is too greedy to transform and sell his meat directly to other Canadians,
Posted by: Marc | 2009-05-27 11:12:56 PM

That is one of the more idiotic statements I've seen here. The...(wait for it)... "government" dictates what gets sold where, here in fascist Canada. They also gave Quebec interests an almost exclusive right to the production and distribution of dairy products right across the country. No patronization there...nawww.

And I think I'll go buy some Alberta grown T-Bones and invite the neighbors to a BBQ. :)

Posted by: JC | 2009-05-28 4:57:13 AM

Boycotting maple syrup to protest the seal hunt? What am I missing, here?

Posted by: Nothing New Under the Sun | 2009-05-28 4:58:06 AM

I'll have maple syrup with that seal heart please!
PETA get the real facts about the seal hunt at:

Posted by: SOS from Ontario | 2009-05-28 6:25:51 AM

I never used maple syrup much but I think I will from here on, no more Auntie J's for us.

Posted by: Newfie2 | 2009-05-28 7:48:42 AM

"Boycotting maple syrup to protest the seal hunt? What am I missing, here?"

I think it's what PETA is missing, NNUTS.

(Honestly, I didn't realize what that acronym would say until I spelled it out.)

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-28 8:11:55 AM

Burger for lunch, steak or veal for dinner and bacon for breakfas for the following week. In addition I will buy a dozen bottles of Maple Syrup and maybe even trap a squirrel or two in my back yard. All this in response to PETA's Maple Syrup ban.

Posted by: Vince | 2009-05-28 9:55:48 AM

Support a vegetarian - for every animal they don't eat, eat two! Yum.

Posted by: Janet | 2009-05-28 9:58:55 AM

I love vegetarians--everything I eat is a vegetarian.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-28 10:10:21 AM

Frozen PETA people in your local Supermarket? Not very tasty but probably more useful than in the fresh state.

Posted by: dewp | 2009-05-28 10:32:40 AM

My call for a counter-protest: http://jesse.kline.ca/tiny-116

Posted by: Jesse Kline | 2009-05-28 5:30:22 PM

What if they ban imports of Canadian Bacon? The food not the movie.

Posted by: Sam T | 2009-05-28 7:46:51 PM

This American would like to have some maple syrup with his seal meat! Here is an idea! Everyone go to a local PETA meeting. Once there, I suggest that you let everyone see you walk in eating a Big Mac! Tell them its mmmoo good!

Posted by: David | 2009-05-28 8:19:22 PM

Rail against PETA all you want,it does nothing, they are only a small player among many countries and organizations that are opposing this.. Practically the whole world opposes Canada committing these atrocities. The US has banned trade in seals for decades, Europe just officially banned it in all 27 member states, many other countries like Mexico have banned it, Russia stopped the killing of seal pups, rightly calling it a "bloody and immoral business". Canada should give up justifying crimes against the environment and join the 21st century.

Posted by: Mark | 2009-05-28 11:49:07 PM

The commercial seal "hunt" is the most massive and cruel slaughter of wildlife on the planet, conducted by a small mafia that are not Inuit, and is done solely for the Asian fur markets- the carcasses are discarded on the ice. It brings in beer money for a tiny gang in the offseason, $1000 apiece for them last year and only around $300 this year because of the EU ban and no buyers. Many of these "sealers" then collect welfare checks instead of working in the various fisheries for the remaining ten months of the year. Last year it brought in $6 million net, while at the same time costing Canadian taxpayers $30 million a year to support it, and costing ordinary fishermen 3/4 of a billion dollars in seafood boycotts, much of that snow crab, the mainstay of Newfoundland fisheries. The seal massacres are cruel, environmentally destructive, a stain on Canada and a joke.

Posted by: Mark | 2009-05-29 12:02:48 AM

The seal massacres are not even remotely "humane" A huge number of seals that are clubbed or shot escape with their wounds to die slowly beneath the ice. Despite the government propaganda FILMED evidence of cruelty was obtained in 2009 of seals SKINNED ALIVE, injured seals left to suffer on the ice, and wounded seals allowed to escape beneath the water's surface where they endure a slow and painful death. Those filmed and documented footages including use of illegal weapons and clubbing of whitecoats have been obtained year after year. They show brutal scenes of baby seals screaming in fear and pain and their mothers trying to protect the bloodied bodies of the pups from the savages, and seals writhing still alive in bloodied heaps of dead seals. Also every year veterinary reports have shown an average of 42% of the seal pups were still alive when they were skinned.

Posted by: Mark | 2009-05-29 12:07:21 AM

Seals "skinned alive," huh? Do you really buy this crap? Skinning is a delicate operation; one slip of the knife and you ruin the hide. Why on earth would a sealer take that chance by letting a living creature continue to squirm beneath his knife, when it is a single knife thrust away from not moving at all? It makes no sense. None.

As for seals dying "a slow and painful death beneath the water's surface," you DO know that seals are mammals, and require air to breathe, do you not? A seal trapped underwater would lose consciousness within minutes at most. Another horrific claim, designed to appeal to emotion, that doesn't bear up under even rudimentary scrutiny.

Tell us, Mark, is there a non-partisan place where we can view this harrowing "evidence" you so gleefully splash across these pages? Videos, veterinary reports, massive multi-billion-dollar boycotts?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-29 12:47:30 AM

P.S. The ONLY reason this issue has ANY traction at all is because seals are CUTE. And the reason sealers are using rifles instead of the more efficient hakapik is because animal-rights groups cried foul over, of all things, its appearance. (See, it's all about looks.) When used correctly, a hakapik is no more inhumane than a flyswatter or a mousetrap.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-29 6:20:14 AM

Canada should give up justifying crimes against the environment and join the 21st century.

Posted by: Mark | 2009-05-28 11:49:07 PM

Bite me Moron! You, Europe and PETA are supreme hypocrite's. Until stopping ALL slaughter of ALL animals is on the table (lol) do us a favor and stop basing your lives around "emotional" crap.

Canada, where's there's plenty of room for all God's creatures...right next to the mashed potato's.


Posted by: JC | 2009-05-29 8:17:48 AM

Ok, I'm an inuk, Why don't those Animal Right's activist make a big deal out of all the cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs that are killed daily and raised in Farms for human consumption. We inuit only take what we eat, we don't go slaughtering them for just their skins, please do abit more research and figure out who really is being cruel to animals. I'm sure one of the members of the PETA or other animal rights groups eat meat out of CUTE animals as they call them. Seals are our way of life in way that we don't take more then we need. Think before you speak.

Posted by: Lucy Kaludjak | 2009-05-29 10:04:18 AM

They do make a big deal out of it, Lucy. But they figure that the seal hunt is a more obliging target, because far fewer people use seal products than use cattle or poultry products, so their potential support base on this issue is greater.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-29 10:24:22 AM

Shane, a few points:

1. The claim that seals are skinned alive is true. Many seals are merely stunned before being skinned. Seals are beaten until immobile but unconsciousness is not checked before they are cut into, resulting in some regaining consciousness while being skinned and having to be beaten again. I myself have seen a pup trying weakly to push the knife away as it sliced into him.

2. Seals do not drown quickly, as you claim. They are deep-diving animals with less requirement for oxygen and can stay underwater for lenghty periods of time. That is why the CVMA and EFSA state that drowning seals in nets and traps is inhumane - it is a slow, protracted, painful and frightening death.

How can you possibly accuse others of lying when you don't know the facts yourself?

The reason sealers are using rifles more and more is because (1) ice conditions do not always allow sealers to get onto the ice to club seals; and (2) the sealers are too lazy to get out of the boat. In either case, they shoot and injure seals to immobilize them, then stab them through the face with large metal hooks and haul them onto the boat, oftentimes while the conscious pup is struggling.

Contrary to popular opinion, shooting is not more humane than clubbing. Neither does it "look better". There is no humane way to kill seals in the commercial seal hunt.

I've observed and documented the commercial seal kills in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia for the past three years and believe me, if you could see what I have seen, you would not dismiss so quickly the claims made by sealing opponents.

There is an abundance of information regarding the seal hunt and the inherent cruelty thereof. Videos, veterinary reports, etc. A quick google search will lead you to them. You could also visit my organization's site at
http://www.antisealingcoalition.ca and have a look at the resources section.

It is my hope that people will stop reacting with these illogical knee-jerk reactions and actually give the matter some thought instead of being quick to curl their lip at those opposed to animal cruelty.

Posted by: Bridget Curran | 2009-05-29 10:27:48 AM

It is my hope that people will stop reacting with these illogical knee-jerk reactions and actually give the matter some thought instead of being quick to curl their lip at those opposed to animal cruelty.

Posted by: Bridget Curran | 2009-05-29 10:27:48 AM

Now lets hear you describe the way in which cattle, horses, pigs, chickens, sheep, salmon, buffalo, ostrich, ducks, geese, pheasant, turtles, deer, elk, moose, etal: are slaughtered...one by one. Lets have a factual and graphic illustration of each...you know, just to give yourself some well rounded credibility and show you're not a hypocrite.

Posted by: JC | 2009-05-29 10:49:25 AM


1. To say that an animal is unconscious when the skinning process begins is not the same as saying that it is sadistically flayed alive from snout to flippers while conscious and mewling the whole time, which was clearly Mark's insinuation. It was an emotionally-charged statement of hyperbole design to shock, horrify, and most sinisterly of all, to deceive. I presume that in none of the cases you observed did the hunter fail to kill the animal before resuming the job?

2. An adult seal that has prepared itself can hold its breath for about fifteen minutes. A half-dead juvenile, in shock, with one or more of its lungs shot out, could not hope to last a fraction of that. And ANY animal will begin drowning in earnest after a single inhalation of water, which induces panic. In any case, I don't imagine it's any worse than being devoured alive by a polar bear, who unlike a human will not even attempt to kill you before rummaging around in your guts.

3. The reason more sealers are using rifles is because the negative image of the hakipik led the Canadian government to ban its use in an ultimately futile attempt to appease European anti-sealing sentiment. Your negative characterization of sealers as "lazy" betrays your own bias.

4. It is common for animals to thrash in their death throes, including humans. A rifle shot to the chest will not drop a man instantly unless it severs the spine; he will struggle briefly, then fall, then twitch in his dying for several minutes as his nervous system shuts down. Fish are hauled gasping and living from the water and bonked on the head to stop them squirming while they "drown." Yet recreational fishermen for some reason largely escape reproach, as do sustenance hunters, be they human or ursine. Why is that, Bridget?

4. I know shooting is not more humane than clubbing; the hakapik is actually more efficient, as I believe I have said. Nor is it impossible to have a humane harvest, unless your definition of humane is that all animals die instantly and don't feel anything. They don't feel that in nature; why should they feel it at our hands?

5. I dismiss any and all emotional pleas, and virtually all objection to the hunt is emotional, and therefore invalid. And my understanding is that activists like yourself are not allowed within several hundred metres of the operation, so unless you have Hubble-like optics, you're not getting a very good view. I myself have seen plenty; I'm a hunter myself and have been up to my knees in steaming deer guts. Of course, I always use the eye-thump method to determine whether the animal is dead before I begin the skinning process. "Legal animals will be shot; survivors will be shot again."

6. I asked for UNBIASED sources. A link with the name "Anti-Sealing Coalition" is NOT an example of this. But in the interest of fairness, I viewed several of those videos and was not the least bit moved by them. Most clubbed seals appeared to die very quickly, within seconds. There was nothing you wouldn't also see in a productive afternoon of fishing. By the way, your "Rebecca's Journal - Unspeakable Cruelty" link actually takes the user to a video about dogs, so I suggest you contact your Webmaster.

7. Don't accuse me of a lack of logic. You're the one making the emotional pleas, not I. You're labouring under two disadvantages you are apparently unaccustomed to: First, I'm male, and second, I'm not a yuppie. I know where my stuff comes from, and am at peace with that. I am not a self-hater, as so many urban types seem to be these days. I also know how those hypocritical Europeans make their pâté de foie gras.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-05-29 11:31:16 AM

I say we take all that extra maple syrup we will now have and force feed it to all the seals until they aquire a nice maple flavor and then eat them. Anyone with me?

Posted by: Tom | 2009-05-29 2:08:39 PM

I recently received a a letter urging people to boycott the use of Canadian maple syrup products in order to stop the Canadian seal hunt. As a proud Canadian and animal rights activist I think this is absolutely ridiculous.

Most Canadian maple syrup is produced by small mom and pop sugar camps in the southern regions of Canada where there is a mix of softwood and hardwood (maple being a hardwood). The regions where the seal hunt is taking place is mainly boreal forest and tundra (softwood and baron land). The families who produce our maple syrup have most likely never been in contact with a seal let alone hunted them and should not be punished for the actions of others.

I live on the east coast, and peronally have never seen a seal in real life. If you feel you want to get to the Canadian goverrnment it may be more important to boycott something that will affect them more, such as products from the specific places where seal hunts are taking place.

Boycotting Canadian maple products for the purpose of stopping the seal hunt is the equivalant of boycotting California wine for the actions of the people in NYC. Our country is extremely vast and all of our residents cannot be placed to blame for the actions of a few. The families who run these small sugar camps are far from wealthy, they rely on seasonal trades which were taught to them by there elders to get them through the hard winter months. So in effect what you are doing is in these hard economic times starving the small guy to punish the government. Good job.

Posted by: jessica | 2009-05-29 3:07:59 PM

Apparently, the target of the boycott has a lot (all?) to do with the Canadian symbol, the maple leaf, which is found on maple products. Considering all the other products that carry this symbol, selecting maple syrup is plain dumb and arbitrary. What do I say to PETA? "mange d'la marde"

Posted by: Nothing New Under the Sun | 2009-05-30 10:15:26 AM

Michaelle Jean, for the first time, appeals to me. Adrienne Clarkson, eat your hear out. As far as PETA, who cares? Losers.

Posted by: Realist | 2009-05-31 1:13:59 AM

right on realist!!!

Posted by: Merle Terlesky | 2009-06-02 12:17:27 AM

Has anyone thought of the poor maple trees? How they're stabbed and then are forced to watch as their life's blood flows out into a bucket?

Posted by: Miss Witty | 2009-06-03 8:10:27 AM

I'm sure the trees have their kooky activist supporters as well, Miss Witty. You just won't find many vegans among them. If you remove both meat and plant matter from the diet, that pretty much just leaves spores, moulds, and fungi. Even a vegan's stomach would turn at a prospect like that.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-06-03 9:22:41 AM

Please make it clear, Inuit do not skin seals alive, we take for food not like the people from NFLD. Nova scotia where they kill for profit only.

Inuit take seal for consumption and clothing not to re-sale 95% of the time.

Idiots, tell me when was it you saw a seal being clubbered alive by an inuk, those are the white man way of hunting, skinning them alive. that is sick and cruel.

Posted by: miss inuk | 2009-06-03 2:54:46 PM

Idiots, tell me when was it you saw a seal being clubbered alive by an inuk, those are the white man way of hunting, skinning them alive.
Posted by: miss inuk | 2009-06-03 2:54:46 PM

We all know that only white hunters kill animals inhumanely. Just how do the inuk kill seals humanely then? Lethal injection, or maybe wait until the seals die of old age?

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-06-03 3:40:54 PM

I'll never forget meeting Cree hunters for the first time. I was amazed to see they hunted moose with a .22 rifle. I thought they must have been incredible marksmen, but they told me they just shoot them a couple of times, in the guts, and follow the blood trail. If anyone out there has ever seen a white man hunt that way, let us know about it.

One Eskimo hunting trick I read about seemed rather cruel to me. It involved curling a bone sliver, and enclosing it it blubber. It is then left for a polar bear to eat. When the blubber melts, the sliver uncoils, and punctures the intestines. Once again, follow the blood trail, and get yourself a new rug.

Life sucks when humans move into your neighbourhood. Always will.

Posted by: dp | 2009-06-03 5:19:03 PM

I don't understand why they still say we are killing baby seals.The seal harvest is now closely monotored, and only adult seals are taken.
Lets cut the crap, killing seals or cows, pigs chickens what is the difference, lets bycot stupidy and try feeding the hungary, clothe the little children in africa who are poor. Try helping and building up, instead of tearing down.

Posted by: Mike Keyes | 2009-08-20 9:05:04 PM

PETA is full of some of the biggist idiots around always pulling off stupid protests and using shock as a way to force their rediculous philosephies on us all PETA IS FOR THE STUPID ALONE

Posted by: Flu-Bird | 2009-09-25 9:32:07 AM

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