Costco’s senior management team has chosen to remove seal oil capsules from the shelves of their St. John’s location, their sole shop in Canada where the capsules were available, following negotiations with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Sea Shepherd praises the choice to eliminate this disgusting product.
Canada has invested millions of dollars in finding and developing new seal-related products and markets. These products have ranged from the absurd to the obscene. Each year, hundreds of thousands of tiny seal pups are subjected to tremendous cruelty and death thanks to the majority of these unworkable solutions.
Since the European Union outlawed whitecoat pelts in 1984 due to the product’s obscene nature, Canada has been scrambling to defend the annual seal massacre. Following a ten-year hiatus, Canada resumed the barbaric practise of clubbing seals with a “morally acceptable seal hunt” that was reportedly newly improved.
Only mature seals would be slaughtered, Canada declared. Redefining what being an adult meant was the trick. The seal pups may be killed “more acceptably” if they were given an extra week or two to mature before losing their white coat. This would leave them helpless but now covered with a mottled coat.
Suspension of disbelief is required when a three-week-old baby seal is transformed into an adult, yet Canadian bureaucrats seem to have no trouble persuading themselves that the massacre is now acceptable because only “adult” seals are killed.
When they repeat the absurd and unsupported assertion made by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans that the killing of seals is “humane,” their incredulity becomes even more unbelievable. In flagrant abuse and brutality, multiple violations of the law have been seen on camera by Sea Shepherd and other organisations.
Canadian diplomats actually went to countries like China to persuade people that baby seal penises, if severed and dried, could be powdered and put into a tea that might cure impotence. This was done to develop markets.
Canada resumed selling sealskin coats to Russia and Japan after previously pushing voodoo snake oil treatments for Chinese men with erectile “dysfunctionates.”
The only product they could create for the Canadian market—since seal products are prohibited in the United States—were Omega-3 seal oil capsules, which they marketed as having some type of health advantage. Civil servants employed by the Canadian government who were still passing themselves off as snake oil salesmen started promoting seal oil as a treatment for everything from warts to heart attacks. Conveniently, they neglected to warn customers about the pollutants included in this product, including trace quantities of PCBs and heavy metals like mercury. As a result, seal oil capsules in bottles started to be manufactured and sold.
Capsules containing seal oil have passed Health Canada’s testing. Capsules made from seal oil may include minute amounts of contaminants while yet meeting regulatory requirements. Healthy choices include hemp seed oil and flax seed oil.
By putting Omega-3 baby seal oil capsules on the shelves of their Eastern Canadian stores, Costco unintentionally gave this product some credence. Nevertheless, the leadership team at Costco assessed the viability of selling this product and ultimately decided to withdraw it and not offer it again thanks to the efforts of Vancouver resident and Sea Shepherd volunteer Stephen Thompson, who brought this product to their attention. He has worked nonstop to monitor and counter the Canadian market for capsules containing baby seal oil.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is happy and content with this choice.
In response, Captain Paul Watson said, “For more than fifteen years, I have been an executive member of Costco, and Sea Shepherd has used Costco to resupply our ships on both the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines. We are glad that we can keep doing business with Costco, and we are especially glad that this disgusting and repugnant item has been taken off the shelf. It is a byproduct of an industry that has only brought Canada embarrassment and dishonour. Costco made a choice that is good for the seals and ultimately good for Canada.”
There is no doubt that neither the Canadian nor the Newfoundland governments will take this situation lying down. We can anticipate the proponents of seal murder to come out (again) kicking and punching at anyone who would protest the killing of seal pups after taking broadsides from worldwide cinema stars like Brigitte Bardot to pop icons like Sir Paul McCartney.
Expect harsh words from Canadian government representatives, and prepare for them to repeat the same lies about our side, including that we are misinformed, that this would prevent the sale of meat, and that schoolchildren will not be allowed to drink milk.
This is the outburst of a desperate bunch that will do anything to get their way and kill seals for their own people.
Now is the time to take action, and you don’t even need to go to the ice floes if you find the photographs of twelve-day-old seal pups being bashed with a bloodied club upsetting. If you are a Costco member, it would be a good idea to mention this in your letter to praise them for their caring and ethically righteous action.
The saying “voting with your dollars” has never been more relevant than it is right now. At Sea Shepherd, we advise all of our supporters and those of you who care about seals to shop at stores that share your values and work with caring people.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has worked to find sealers alternate work. Captain Paul Watson came up with the concept of a non-lethal, cruelty-free method of sealing in 1995. This required the collection of the white-coated infant seals’ naturally shed hairs. These transparent, hollow hairs resemble eiderdown in their characteristics. A German bedding and fabric firm agreed to sell the hairs to Sea Shepherd so they could be used to make bed comforters.
In response to sealers’ objections, the Canadian government declined to grant licences for the construction of this alternative “This is a foolish notion. Seals should not be coddled; they should be whacked.”
When Captain Watson and Martin Sheen visited the Magdalen Islands in 1995 to advocate for this alternative, they and their crew came under attack from sealers. Martin Sheen’s life was in danger, and Captain Watson received a brutal beating. The cameras of reporters were damaged, and they were beaten. In response, Canada’s then-fisheries minister, Brian Tobin, said that he could sympathise with the sealers’ complaints. Of course, no sealers were prosecuted for assault or property damage.
The aim of Sea Shepherd was to put an end to the violence (against both people and seals) while also offering the locals an economically sound answer. The murdering custom and industry might be turned into a business, benefiting the locals and clearing Canada’s name of the taint of the seal “hunt.”
Sea Shepherd expects that more merchants will soon realise they don’t want to be a part of the “old tradition” and won’t promote it by selling goods derived from vicious cruelty and slaughter.
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