We have a huge jeer today for Quebec’s second annual “Seal Fest,” a 10-day culinary festival where chefs cook and sell dishes featuring the meat of seals killed in Canada’s barbaric annual seal hunt.

Seal Fest is an idea created by a Quebec company, SeaDNA, which sells seal meat and seal oil capsules, and by the Seals and Sealing Network, a national non-profit organization that promotes the use of seals as a food source. 

We’re disgusted by the fact that Canada continues to find ways to attempt to promote and normalize the cruelty that occurs annually during the country’s seal hunts, which occurs every year between March-May and resulted in the murder of over 50,000 seal cubs last year. The hunts happen despite the fact that the commercial seal industry is failing miserably since most nations, like the U.S. and Europe, won’t import them.

There are currently only a few hundred active seal killers – down from an estimated 6,000 in 2006 – and in 2014 the total value of commercial seal products coming out of Canada was just $500,000. Yet, according to recently obtained government documents, the hunt is costing Canadians $2 million more than that in annual tax expenditures.

Canada is throwing money into the dying, outdated and horrifically cruel seal fur industry which has absolutely no place in modern society. The reality is that the meat these festival-goers are celebrating is, in fact, the bodies of young seals who were killed on the ice when they are only weeks old to feed the diminishing demand of furriers. The pups are killed because their coats only stay white for a short time before changing color.

Seals are not resources or commodities to be traded or eaten. They’re entitled to be left alone. We deplore the seal hunt for the suffering and death it imposes on every single seal.