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Singer Nellie McKay Joins Friends of Animals Boycott: "I Won't Perform in Canada"

April 13, 2006 | Seals

For Immediate Release: 12 April 2006

Darien, Conn., U.S. "“ Joining the international tourism boycott just unveiled by Friends of Animals, singer Nellie McKay today announced a decision not to visit Canada until the government stops the annual killing of seals.

The singer-songwriter states, "I give my full support to the tourism boycott of Canada which has been called by Friends of Animals. I urge people to take part in the boycott until the government ends the seal hunt. I will not perform in Canada and I will be encouraging other artists to join me."

McKay, currently appearing on Broadway in The Threepenny Opera with Cyndi Lauper and Alan Cummings, has previouly played at Lee's Palace in Toronto at, Montreal's Club Soda, and at the Montreal Jazz Festival.

Says Friends of Animals president Priscilla Feral, "As we ask people everywhere to avoid travel to Canada until its government stops this miserable slaughter, the voice of Nellie McKay rings out as a brilliant example for all."

McKay's participation in the boycott adds momentum to the issue. In late March, British singer Morrissey announced that he will no longer tour in Canada until the hunt ends, telling the Canadian media, "I fully realize that the absence of any Morrissey concerts in Canada is unlikely to bring the Canadian economy to its knees, but it is our small protest against this horrific slaughter."[1]

The World Tourism Organization ranks Canada among the world's top dozen travel destinations. It attracted 20 million tourists in 2002, but by 2004 was down to about 19 million.[2] To boost the industry, Ottawa spent $78 million last year on the Canadian Tourism Bureau [3] "Obviously," Priscilla Feral stated, "Tourism, which generates tens of billions each year, is vital in a way the heavily subsidized, $16.5 million seal-pelt business is not."

Adds Feral, "Effects of this boycott on the Royal Canadian Pacific Railroad, cruise lines stopping in Canada, and hotels and attractions from Niagara Falls to Calgary will ripple throughout the economy."

The boycott is intended to increase the pressure within Canada to stop the federal government from issuing quotas for the seal kill, and to stop the stream of millions of federal dollars into seal processing plants, ice-breaking support, and research and marketing for seal products. These resources must be redirected to build a real economic foundation for Canada's coastal residents.

Says Feral: "Groups have documented and monitored the kill for too long. Forget marine mammal regulations and pretending that enforcement can make it humane. No matter how many seals are killed, it's immoral. Dying is one by one."

Once this killing ends, the group will avidly support ecologically sound travel.

"We have and will support careful, prudent ecotourism," said Feral, regarding whale-watching and seal-watching tourism.

Footnotes

  1. "Morrissey Snubs Canada To Protest Against Seal Hunt" - CBC Arts (28 Mar. 2006).
  2. Recent (2005) data available.
  3. Catherine Porter, "Big-Spending Tourists Shun Toronto" - Toronto Star (2 Feb. 2006).

Comments

I am a Canadian but in no way endorse, defend or rationize the seal hunt. I am sickened by this annual event(?), and while I am proud of my country, I am horribly ashamed and disgusted that none of the governments who have been in power will put an end to it. I have written to my Prime Minister and my provincial representative begging them to end this massacre.

I am ashamed to admit that I am a Canadian. I want to thank everyone for their efforts on behalf of the harp and hooded seals, and to encourage everyone to boycott Canada in any way, shape or form possible. Please keep up the pressure - I am hoping the pressure from the international community will turn the tide and bring Canada to its knees economically, forcing government, sealers, sealing supporters and shamefully apathetic Canadians to admit that there are alternatives to a cruel and unsustainable "tradition".

Killing 250,000 baby seals to boost the local enonomy during the winter months. What a way to go? Seems like a cowardly act to me. The Canadians I used to know were all great people. I wonder what is wrong with this community?

this program is a great program to keep animals from being abused. thier are too many animals aparently that are being abused. you should make the web site easier to follow. there are many things that i was looking for for the second time and i could not find them.

I instituted a petition years ago,when I was in my late teens,against the senseless killing of seals an I managed to get hundreds of signatures.It is absolutely maddening to me to hear this is still going on.What is the matter with these people???Please e-mail me and let me know what I can do to help stop this disgusting practice. [Blog editors' note: Friends of Animals welcomes your membership support and travel boycott of Canada. ]

I am a member of the American Sociological Association and I just sent an e-mail letting them know that I will not be in attendance at the annual conference, taking place this year in Montreal. I urge any sociologist who cares about suffering, human-animal or non-human animal, to do the same.

Question? I will fully support the ban on Canidian travel. Is there anything with our local (state) representatives that can be done? Please let me know...thank you!

I wholeheartedly agree to ban anything possible until Canada stops this disgusting, inhumane "practice". It's a sin. Period.

I heartily agree with F.O.A's push for a travel boycott of Canada. I have stopped my annual (expensive) trips to Montreal,which were made before I realized the magnitude of the seal slaughter. The Canadian Government's arrogance and almost "perverse" pride in continuing the hunt is reason enough to escalate any and all lawful means to stop it. I am informing everyone I can to join in this effort.

[Blog editors' note: The rant below is from Mark Durkin and shows that peace and justice would be best served if some North Americans would refrain from uttering every foolish idea that pops into their heads.] i'll say it again...seals have no value to this world...all they do is inhale all of the fish(cod)in the ocean,spread lice,and they have no predators in the north atlantic...the only reason u omnivorous idiots care about our annual seal hunt is because for about 10 seconds a baby seal is cute,after that we are doing them a favor by killing them they are so ugly and destructive.stay the hell out of my beautiful, RICH country because we don't need the pittance that ur type bring into this country,we will ALWAYS be well off,ur tourist dollars are not needed...we get plenty of japanese who will never care about our hunt...and can someone please tell me,who the hell is morrissey?lol

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