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April 9, 2010

Student Set On Saving Seals

‘2010 Humane Teen of the Year’ and college student boycotts Canadian seafood until the seal hunt ends


2010 Humane Teen of the Year working to end seal hunt

A. Ulrich

When 19-year-old Alexis Ulrich, a sophomore at the University of Colorado, first learned of Canada's cruel commercial seal hunt she was in disbelief. The more she learned about it, the more horrified she became, and she wanted to do what she could to stop it. She decided to boycott seafood from Canada and the restaurants that serve it.


"Ever since I received an email from The HSUS about the Canadian seal hunt, I have been absolutely disgusted with what has been happening. At first, I could not believe it was real," says Alexis, The HSUS' 2010 Humane Teen of the Year.

When dining, Alexis questions waitstaff about where the restaurant's seafood comes from and refuses to eat at any restaurant that purchases its fish from Canada. If need be, she will also request a meeting with the manager to explain why the restaurant should join the boycott of Canadian seafood.

"As the vast majority of sealers' incomes are from commercial fisheries, the best thing students can do is to continue to advocate for a boycott of Canadian seafood," says Kathryn Kullberg, wildlife campaigns manager for The HSUS.

To follow Alexis' lead, students who wish to partake in the boycott can do the following:

Urge grocery stores to join the boycott. Ask local grocery stores to step up for seals: Download this customer comment card and give it to the store manager the next time you go grocery shopping.

Pass out pledges. Download this pledge and ask grocery stores and restaurants to commit to reduce or end their sale of Canadian seafood until Canada stops its commercial seal hunt.

Spread the word. Share information on the seal hunt with friends, family, and coworkers. The Pocket Guide to Boycotting Canadian Seafood is a perfect tool to use as a handy reference and to share with others.

For students who are on social networking sites, spreading the word to let as many friends as possible know about the seal slaughter and what they can do is key.

"I have actually done a lot to inform others about the Canadian seal hunt. I always forward my family and friends information about the seal hunt. I have a lot of information on my Facebook page, and usually post things to my profile related to the seal hunt," says Alexis.

This year, the situation is especially acute due to the lack of sea ice, and there is expected to be a very high seal pup mortality rate. Despite this, Canada has refused to call off the hunt and will slaughter the remaining seal pups who've survived. For more ways to get involved, students can visit HumaneTeen.

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