Will the House of Assembly’s Sealskin Chairs Go to PETA?

For Immediate Release:
June 9, 2022

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

St. John’s, N.L.

Following news that the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly is retiring the sealskin chairs used by its members for 30 years, PETA sent a letter today to Speaker Derek Bennett asking him to donate them to PETA for use in the group’s upcoming Museum of Atrocities Against Animals, where they would join alligator shoes, a coat made of monkey fur, and other gruesome old creations in order to remind future generations of how humans have shamefully exploited and killed wild animals.

“Society’s view has evolved, and many Canadians today are disgusted by the thought of shooting or bludgeoning gentle young seals,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA can’t bring back the seals killed for these chairs, but we can use them to send a message of empathy and nonviolence, and we look forward to working with the assembly members to that end.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Bennett follows.

June 9, 2022

The Honourable Derek Bennett

Speaker of the House of Assembly

Dear Mr. Speaker:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and hundreds and thousands of members and supporters across Canada. We’re happy to hear that you have retired the sealskin chairs used by Assembly members for the past 30 years. We hope you won’t let them languish in storage but rather will donate them to PETA for use in our Museum of Atrocities Against Animals, causing future generations to shake their heads in disbelief at what was once considered acceptable to their predecessors.

Traditions evolve, times change, and just as AOL accounts and VHS tapes are things of the past, the commercial seal slaughter has long been out of favor. Kind people around the world, including many Canadians, are revolted by the idea of shooting young seals or bashing in their heads. A museum is the only place where sealskin belongs, which is why we ask that you donate the chairs to PETA’s growing collection. They would fit right in with the alligator shoes, colobus monkey fur coat, steel-jaw trap, circus whip, and other atrocities we have collected, and we would acknowledge the donation in our materials.

Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid Newkirk

P.S. When my father visited Newfoundland some 60 years ago, he brought me back a souvenir ornament of a mother seal and her pup made of a real slaughtered seal’s skin. It wasn’t until years later that I realized how ironic this gift was for a little girl who loved animals. Times do indeed change.

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