Monday, January 26, 2009

Can your grocer stop the seal hunt?

Urge your grocer to stop selling seafood from Canada -- and help stop the senseless slaughter of seals.

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Just before the holidays, The Fresh Market grocery store chain joined the campaign to stop the cruel Canadian seal hunt -- pledging to shift its seafood purchasing away from Canada until that country ends its seal hunt for good.

With more than 80 stores across 18 states, The Fresh Market joins grocers such as Whole Foods Market, BI-LO Supermarkets, Trader Joe's, Lowe's Food Stores, Harris Teeter, and WinCo Foods in pledging to stop buying seafood produced in Canada.

As we head into the New Year, it is crucial that we maintain this momentum and reach out to grocers -- please print and fill out this comment card for your local grocer -- and urge them to join the rapidly growing list of grocery stores and restaurants joining the ProtectSeals campaign.

What's the connection between your grocery store and the seal hunt? Sealers are actually commercial fishermen who earn only a small fraction of their livelihood from killing baby seals for their fur. The vast majority of the sealers' incomes -- 95% actually -- comes from commercial fishing. About two thirds of Canada's seafood is exported to the United States each year, achieving more than $2.5 billion for the Canadian economy annually. This dwarfs the few million dollars contributed to the Canadian economy by the commercial seal hunt.

By choosing to avoid Canadian seafood, you can give the fishermen who kill seals a clear economic incentive to stop the slaughter. So far, our boycott has resulted in millions of lost revenue for Canadian sealers. But we aren't there yet: As of today Canada still refuses to bow to international pressure, and is readying its sealing vessels for the 2009 slaughter.

That's why we urgently need your help to ask your local grocery store to not buy or sell Canadian seafood until the senseless slaughter of seals comes to an end.

More than 5,000 grocery stores and restaurants are participating in the ProtectSeals boycott of Canadian seafood. Each one has shifted some or all of its seafood purchasing away from Canada until the commercial seal hunt is ended for good. Across the country, dozens of grocery chains are in discussions with our ProtectSeals team about the tremendous good they can do by joining the campaign -- and they have indicated that they'd like to hear from their customers.

So today, ask your local grocery store to step up for seals: Download this customer comment card and give it to your store manager the next time you go grocery shopping.

To view a list of grocery stores in your area that have already joined the boycott, click here.

If you can spare a few minutes after your visit, please provide us with feedback on the store you visited and any conversations you had by sending us an email, to help our ProtectSeals team build upon your efforts.

Thanks to dedicated advocates like you, we are getting closer to the day when baby seals can live in peace without being hunted down and brutally clubbed or shot.

Thank you for all you do for animals.


Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

P.S. If you shop at The Fresh Market, please thank the manager for the company's seal-friendly decision the next time you're there, or contact them here.

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