June 24, 2009
Eat With Us Pledges to ProtectSeals
Sweet Peppers Deli Parent Company Boycotting Canadian Seafood
The Humane Society of the United States is pleased to announce that the Eat With Us Group is participating in the ProtectSeals boycott of Canadian seafood. The group joins hundreds of other chefs, hundreds of thousands of individuals and thousands of businesses across the United States that are boycotting Canadian seafood until Canada ends its annual commercial slaughter of baby seals.
The Eat With Us Group, headquartered in Columbus, Miss., has pledged to boycott seafood from the Canadian sealing provinces in all 26 locations of their restaurants, which include: Sweet Peppers Deli, Bulldog Deli, Cotton District Grill, Fairpark Grill, Jackson Square Grill, Harvey's and Park Heights.
"It was an easy decision to change our purchasing habits in order to protect baby seals," said Eat With Us Executive Chef Gregg Frazer. "Hopefully our participation will strengthen the pressures on the Canadian fishing industry to stop the slaughter of seal pups in favor of a more humane, professional endeavor."
"The Humane Society of the United States is pleased to have Eat With Us join our efforts to end the Canadian commercial seal slaughter," said Patricia Ragan, director of The HSUS' ProtectSeals Campaign. "By boycotting Canadian seafood they are effectively making their voices heard that the commercial slaughter of baby seals must end and it must end now."
In total, more than 5,000 restaurants and grocery store locations are participating in The HSUS' ProtectSeals boycott. Some of the many companies participating include: BI-LO Supermarkets, Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Cafes, Ted Turner's steakhouse chain - Ted's Montana Grill, Bon Appétit Management Company, Lowe's Foods, Legal Sea Foods, Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's, Oceanaire Seafood Room, WinCo Foods and Harris Teeter. A complete list of grocery companies and seafood suppliers participating in the boycott is here and a list of participating restaurants is here.
- Canada's commercial seal hunt is the world's largest slaughter of marine mammals, with more than 1 million seals killed in the past four years.
- Each year, suffering is documented at the commercial seal hunt: Seals are cut open while responding to pain, conscious seals are impaled on steel spikes and dragged across the ice floes and wounded seals are left to suffer.
- Veterinary experts say the commercial seal hunt is inherently inhumane because of the physical environment in which the seal hunt operates and the speed at which it must be conducted.
- Ninety-seven percent of the seals killed in the commercial seal hunt are less than 3 months old when they are slaughtered. Many have yet to take their first swim or eat their first solid meal when they are killed.
- Sealers are commercial fishermen, who earn, on average, less than 5 percent of their incomes from killing seals. The remainder of their income comes from fishing crab, shrimp and lobster.
- Canada exports nearly two-thirds of its seafood to the United States, which produces roughly $2.5 billion annually for the Canadian economy.
- Through the ProtectSeals boycott of Canadian seafood products, The Humane Society of the United States is working with thousands of restaurants and grocery stores to send a clear market signal to Canada's fishing industry and government that the commercial seal slaughter is an unacceptable business practice that must end.
- Chefs, restaurants, seafood distributors and grocers participating in the ProtectSeals campaign pledge to avoid Canadian snow crab, all seafood from sealing provinces, or seafood from all of Canada until the hunt ends for good. The HSUS has signed pledges from all boycott participants.
- In recent years, 10 countries have either banned their trade in seal products or announced their intentions to do so. The European Union recently passed a prohibition on seal product trade.
- Nigel Barker, noted photographer and judge on "America's Next Top Model," is a spokesperson for the campaign. Barker accompanied HSUS staff to the ice floes in spring 2008 to photograph the seal nursery and document the hunt.
For more information about the campaign to save Canadian seals, please visit humanesociety.org/protectseals.
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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.