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Morrissey Boycotts Canada

Written by PETA | April 2, 2008
Timeout / CC

After being asked recently to perform at a series of events in Canada, Morrissey responded with his sincere regrets and the following powerful condemnation of Canada’s barbaric seal hunt, which began in earnest last week:

In late June the Montreal Symphony are hosting a TV Special to salute Buffy Sainte-Marie’s 50th year making music. I am honored to be asked to take part. I first bought a Buffy Sainte-Marie record when I was 12, and her music has always remained with me. In the 1960s, as a political activist, Buffy’s lyrics were fearless, and I’m very grateful for all the risks that she took.

I am also pleased to be asked to join the bill at the V Festival at the Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver, and also at Fort Calgary in Calgary.

However, as we all know, the psychologically and constitutionally sickening Canadian seal-kill has started and is once again in full-cry.

The horror of the Canadian seal-kill is untranslatable, and although I fully realize that highly concentrated evil exists in other countries – Japan’s dolphin slaughter, Iceland’s newly-revived whaling, the cat-skinning trade in Switzerland, and China with just about every injustice imaginable – there is something especially menacing about Canada’s seal-kill.

Loyola Sullivan (Canada’s Ambassador for Fisheries Conservation) is a man of glacial coldness who claims that the seal-kill is “humane” – a view he might alter if his own skull were cracked open with a spiked axe.The fact that the seal-kill provides a livelihood for fishermen is an insultingly dim excuse for it to take place – after all, the German gas chambers of World War 2 also provided work for someone.

The seal-kill takes place to satisfy greed for fur-pelts, and this Canadian government is happy to drag the global image of its own country down, and make it a place that people such as I couldn’t bear to visit.
-Morrissey, 29 March 2008.

Commenting is closed.
  • sue martins says:

    I don’t agree with Morrissey’s boycott of Canada. I would like to know why he is not boycotting countries like the United States for sending dogs to war. They come back with extreme psychological and physical problems and are almost more lucky to be dead than alive. This has been going on for years. He is touring the U.S. and turning a blind eye to ALL issues of animal cruelty; that’s not a true ambassador to animal welfare.

  • AngieD says:

    Any publicity by this charming man is useful for the cause. Another of humans “industries” it treats animals as commodities. Any “use” of animals including for food is unnecessary for our survival and is also unethical.

  • Gabe says:

    “The fact that the sealkill provides a livelihood for fishermen is an insultingly dim excuse for it to take place ” So says the millionaire musician to poor rural subarctic hunters. It is horrible to watch becasue they are so cute but it is not the worst commercial hunt.

  • Susan Ballarini says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how by standing up for something important people will then pick you apart piece by piece.

  • Mark Pahwa says:

    how about charging ten bucks more per ticket to all shows in Canada and then donating that money to PETA or another charity with similar interests. Politicians and seal hunt advocates don’t listen to morrissey. Most Canadians who do listen to Morissey don’t support the seal hunt. Stop alienating your fans and form a stance that will actually make a difference.

  • Mark Pahwa says:

    I live in Canada. I like Morrissey. I cant see him play because some people whom i don’t know kill baby seals. Surely there is another way to protest this seal hunt that does not entail depriving me and other likeminded canadians of a great show by a great musician.

  • jay says:

    I like Morrisey and I am Canadian and hate the idea of killing innocent sealsbut please….he goes to the states and claims Canada is violating animal rights….nevermind that America is involved in the Iraq war and has it’s on hunting and gun control problems. So human rights are not important? I seriously hope that’ is not going through his mind. So please boycott the Canadian government not Canada as a whole country…that’s just ridiculous. North America as a continent is decadent and crueland btw the British Government committed some of the most horrible atrocities in history. So I guess he should stop touring there too.

  • Patrick Ward says:

    I rather agreed with the sentiments of Morrisey’s letter however like many others out there I only support temporary boycotts of Canadian seafood and tourism and have resolved to put off visting Canada until the hunt ends. It’s time to end this heinous stain on the character of a great nation.

  • Jessica says:

    I live in Montreal and personally dread the day of this hunt every year and am ashamed of our government too i hate killing PIRIOD i also have problems with all the countries who misstreat animals in any way i will and do boycot China and all the other countries who commit such atrocities.

  • sharon says:

    i am ALSO canadian AND i am completely infatuated with morrissey AND i absolutely cannot stand the seal hunt. AND i am vegan. it’s very difficult to get through the head of steven harper and i wish i could do more but it’s very hard. i apologize for the exsistance of this and it makes me ASHAMED to be canadian this fact alone. I wish morrissey would come to canada but i respect him even more for not. just thought i’d add my two cents.

  • animalfriend says:

    Canadian shut your dirty mouth slaughtering innocent seal babies out of pleasure is and remains a crime! it’s not about that this people have nothing on their plates but they do it out of pleasure as some of them admitted publicly in articles all over the newspapers some time ago! educate yourself stupid wanking bastard!

  • Canadian says:

    Oh please… Canada has “boycotted” this guy for over a decade…. when is the last time you have heard him on the radio? Even Classic Rock stations dont play his crap…. The only rational post on this board is the post abut the facts and myths on the hunt. Perhaps some of you so called righteous people should put down your steak burgers and lamb chops and take a trip to Eastern Canada and see how and what people must do to put bread on the table unducated hypocritical bastards some of you are

  • Kay says:

    GOOD FOR MORRISEY and there are those who care and we are doing all we can to help stop it.

  • Hayley says:

    Morrissey is right in boycotting Canada it’s a place of seal torture and it’s unbelievable. I think that what goes on is barbaric and inhumane. The person that wrote the myth comment was out of line too no matter what the canadian law and the government say the killing of these poor animals is horrendous and very uncalled for. SADISTIC IS WHAT IT’S CALLED! I hope they all get there’s in the future karma always comes back to haunt those that do wrong! Peace to the animals those still alive and those which have been recently butchered! Well done morrissey! Thanks.

  • A.M. says:

    “This charming man” is a hero to animals and to those who care deeply for them. His dedication is heartening and inspiring.

  • NT says:

    I am sure no one cares but this is how it goes Loyola Sullivan is Canada’s Ambassador for Fisheries Loyola Hearn is the FEDERAL Fisheries Minister Tom Rideout is the Newfoundland Fisheries Minister. Not that it makes a difference they are all coldbloodied seal killers.

  • NT says:

    He is right Loyola Sullivan is the Ambassador for Fisheries and is deeply involved in promoting the seal hunt. Right now he is in Europe trying to convince them not to pass a ban of seal products. He is also a man of glacial coldness.

  • Erika says:

    that is a beautifully written letter. and it should strike home to anyone involved with this horrible “sport.” i always thought that sports were supposed to be like soccer and basketball with synthetic balls of course! but apparently they count murdering poor innocent animals as one to. i refuse to think of it as one. it is disgusting and it needs to end. Morrissey you are AWESOME!

  • Karina says:

    This is one of the MANY reasons why I adore the man himself besides his heavenly voice ideas and music And THANKS AGAIN for spreading the news around the world with your music that is the best weapon we can use against cruelty! I ADORE YOU MY LAST OF THE FAMOUS INTERNATIONAL PLAYBOYS!

  • Mike says:

    CANADIAN SEAL HUNT MYTHS AND REALITIES Myth 1 The Canadian government allows sealers to kill whitecoat seals. Reality The image of the whitecoat harp seal is used prominently by seal hunt opponents. This image gives the false impression that vulnerable whitecoat pups are targeted by sealers during the commercial hunt. The hunting of harp seal pups whitecoats and hooded seal pups bluebacks is illegal and has been since 1987. The Marine Mammal Regulations prohibit the trade sale or barter of the fur of these pups. The seals that are hunted are selfreliant independent animals. Myth 2 Seals are being skinned alive. Reality A 2002 independent veterinarians report published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal and numerous reports mentioned by the Malouf Commission 1987 indicate that this is not true. Sometimes a seal may appear to be moving after it has been killed however seals have a swimming reflex that is active even after death. This reflex gives the false impression that the animal is still alive when it is clearly dead similar to the reflex in chickens. Myth 3 The club or hakapik is a barbaric and inhumane tool that has no place in todays world. Reality Hunting methods were studied by the Royal Commission on Seals and Sealing in Canada and it found that the clubbing of seals when properly performed is at least as humane as and often more humane than the killing methods used in commercial slaughterhouses which are accepted by the majority of the public. A 2002 report published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal found that the club or hakapik is an efficient tool designed to kill the animal quickly and humanely. Myth 4 The Canadian government is allowing sealers to kill thousands of seals to help with the recovery of cod stocks. Reality Several factors have contributed to the lack of recovery of Atlantic cod stocks such as fishing effort poor growth and physical condition of the fish and environmental changes. In addition there are many uncertainties in the estimates of the amount of fish consumed by seals. The commercial quota is established on sound conservation principles not an attempt to assist in the recovery of groundfish stocks. Myth 5 The hunt is unsustainable and is endangering the harp seal population. Reality Since the 1960s environmental groups have been saying the seal hunt is unsustainable. In fact the harp seal population is healthy and abundant. The Northwest Atlantic harp seal population is currently estimated at 5.5 million animals nearly triple what it was in the 1970s. DFO sets quotas at levels that ensure the health and abundance of seal herds. In no way are seals and harp seals in particular an endangered species. Myth 6 The seal hunt provides such low economic return for sealers that it is not an economically viable industry. Reality Seals are a significant source of income. For some individual sealers and for thousands of families in Eastern Canada at a time of year when other fishing options are limited at best sealing can represent as much as 35 per cent of a sealers annual income in some coastal communities. Sealing also creates employment opportunities for buying and processing plants. Myth 7 Fisheries and Oceans Canada DFO provides subsidies for the seal hunt. Reality DFO does not subsidize the seal hunt. Sealing is an economically viable industry. All subsidies ceased in 2001. Even before that time any subsidies provided were for market and product development including a meat subsidy to encourage full use of the seal. In fact government has provided much less subsidization to the sealing industry than recommended by the Royal Commission on Seals and Sealing. Myth 8 The seal hunt is loosely monitored and DFO doesnt punish illegal hunting activity or practices. Reality The seal hunt is closely monitored and tightly regulated. Fishery Officers conduct surveillance of the hunt by means of aerial patrols surface vessel patrols dockside inspections of vessels at landing sites and inspections at buying and processing facilities. Infractions are taken seriously and sealers who fail to comply with Canadas Marine Mammal Regulations are penalized. The consequences of such illegal actions could include courtimposed fines and the forfeiting of catches fishing gear vessels and licences. Myth 9 The majority of Canadians are opposed to the seal hunt. Reality Animal rights groups currently campaigning against the seal hunt cite a 2004 Ipsos Reid poll stating that the majority of Canadians are opposed to the hunt. In fact Canadians support federal policies regarding the seal hunt. An IpsosReid survey conducted in February 2005 concluded that 60 per cent of Canadians are in favour of a responsible hunt. Not all protesters and organizations provide all the information. Propaganda goes both ways in this hunt. I’m simply suggesting education before commenting. I’m neither for or against the hunt. Finally Loyola Sullivan is our Ambassador for Fisheries Conservation. Loyala Hearn is the Minister for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans…2 different guys in 2 different positions.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    What a truly lovely gentleman.

  • Pamela L. says:

    Over the years I have read two very powerful interviews with Morrisseyboth done with Peta’s Dan Mathews the combination of these two very compassionate and intelligent men made for an electrifying reading experience. Being keepers I have saved both articles. If their are any other individuals who even come close to the intense devotion kindness and kindred spirit that Morrissey has for the animalsplease come forward. Also not to be over the top here it is said that angels walk among us.

  • MeL says:

    Not only is he a gifted musician but gifted with words! Can you possibly love Morrissey any more?! To boycott an entire country like that gives him moxy beyond belief!!! Moz you ARE cooler than Elvis!!!!

  • keith says:

    Nice one Karen ! simple idea but effective we must all write our disgust at seal hunting to the tourist board of Canada. I have already persuaded one friend to not have a vacation in the Northern Terriotary this summer.

  • Karen says:

    A beautiful eloquent letter…I may just send a similar one to Canada’s tourist bureau… Hey Morrissey Good work!

  • Thomas Forslund says:

    So good written. Thank you Morrissey! I wait until this awful hunting ends. Then I can visit Canada.Not until then. This is too much makes me feel sick.

  • Antonio says:

    That’s my Morrissey with his Northern English nobullshit directness. I love you always have.

  • lynda downie says:

    You da man Morrisey you da man!!

  • niranjan says:

    May God Bless Morrissey! STOP the BLOODY Hunt N.O.W!!!

  • Hannah says:

    Absolutely amazing. I am going to New York this May to visit family and they are all intent of traveling to Canada. i wholly disagree with the slaughtering of millions of Harpseals and your letter should open up the eyes of millions of people. But alas no one in the world cares about what they are doing they just want the money. Maybe the Seal hunters need a good whack to the head to see how they like it.

  • Brian W. Lockyer says:

    Sweet job Morrissey I am Canadian and would love to see Him come here and perform but I respect his reason for not coming and applaud him for it… BTW he was correct about Loyola Sullivan being Canadas Ambassador for Fisheries Conservation Loyola Hearn is Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in Newfoundland. Peace.

  • Violet says:

    As a western CDN.I am ashamed appalled with our CDN Government that continues to subsidize this bloodbath! Steven Harper should be aboard one of these kill hunts to see himself the inhumane shocking treatment that those defenseless animals are suffering..Sign petitions and continue to boycott CDN seafood as my family does!

  • Chelsea says:

    As a Canadian and a Vegitarain I think this a good idea. Also not Canadians like the Seal Killings. I sertainly don’t! Why would they!? Thire so cute thier FLUFFY! XD But most iportantly they deserve to have a loving famly and to grow up to see thier childern grow up

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    As Morrissey points out “Loyola Sullivan Hearn is a man of glacial coldness who claims that the sealkill is “humane” a view he might alter if his own skull were cracked open with a spiked axe” cruelty can only ever be judged by the victim not by the perpetrator. People with empathy and compassion though can sense another’s pain and suffering and won’t abide by it.

  • Tamara says:

    Oh and Morrissey rules!

  • Tamara says:

    I have heard talk that the US might ban the Summer Olympics in too lazy to look up how to spell the city’s name but you all know where I mean. This is on the principle of all the unrest with Tibet. I think we should boycott and add all the animal atrocities that China commits.

  • Jaclyn says:

    I stood up and loudly applauded that letter!!!

  • Mary says:

    Morrissey I love you. I saw him in a recent interview on British tv and he was wonderful. He spoke so well on why he was vegetarian. Keep rocking them Morrissey.

  • tinkerbellslayer says:

    Wow he is amazing. As if I didn’t already have enough respect for him. This letter is amazing.

  • Annalena says:

    Very eloquent indeed! I am Canadian and am also disgusted. People should also be aware of China and the brutal sickening way it treats all animals!

  • Tina Watson says:

    Brilliant Brilliant Morrissey Why can’t there be more people like you in the world.

  • Craig says:

    Simply …..awesome! Pulled no punches. Unsual in today’s PC entertainment industry. Great job!

  • Diane Gallagher says:

    Another reason why I love Morrissey!!!!!!!!

  • keith says:

    Brilliant. what more needs to be said ” Thank you Morrissey. ”

  • Canaduck says:

    The Department of Fisheries’ Minister is Loyola Hearn not Loyola Sullivan. Otherwise nice job Morrissey. Not that he’ll be reading this but oh well.

  • Holly says:

    Powerful Letter…

  • Maya, CVT says:

    That was a BRILLIANTLY written letter. What an eloquent man and a very talented musician. Unfortunately I agree with him when he says there are other countries where bad things are happening and more specifically I can’t think of any action that could be taken by the Symphony that would in all practicallity help the seals. If he went maybe he could organize a protest maybe he could find a way to boycott seal hunt supporters. Would the loss of his presence REALLY make such a dent in the Canadian economy that the government would REALLY get nervous enough to call off the hunt?? In all seriousness maybe I am missing something. Many of my close friends are boycotting Japan Canada and China for the same reasons but I’m not sure boycotting a whole country would make any economic dent. Does it really work? ps I still adore Morrisey!