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Terminate the Canadian Seal Massacre

Terminate the Canadian Seal Massacre

Funeral March for the Hunted

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

Funeral March for the Hunted

Washington DC to New York City 375 km / 235 mi

Start date: March 15, 2005

Experience tells Canadian wildlife preservationist and anti-hunting activist Anthony Marr http://www.hope-care.org/ that when he informs people that the annual quota of the Canadian Commercial Seal Hunt is 375,000 out of a total population of 5 million, they react lukewarmly, some mumbling something about 7 percent, but when he shows them what 375,000 seals look like, they react volcanically, some exclaiming “Oh my God!”, others “Bastards!” or worse, depending on their religious orientation.

So, what do 375,000 dead seals really look like? If lined up nose to tail, at one meter per seal, 375,000 seals would form a single file stretching 375 kilometers or 235 miles – the exact distance between Washington DC and New York City.

In the Animal Rights 2004 conference, Anthony Marr spoke on “Engage Media”. “It is well known that in real estate, the three key words for success are ‘location, location, location’. In activism, the three key words are ‘media, media, media’. Basically, what the public did not see on TV did not happen,” he said. “So, to engage media. What you need are seven essential ingredients, the more used per event, the better, all if possible:

1. The event must be original (not copycat);

2. it must be creative (as outlandish as possible as long as it works - without damaging the movement as a whole);

3. it must be new to media (bearing in mind that something new is new only once at one place);

4. it must be photogenic (TV-friendly; an newspaper article without a photo is weak);

5. it must be difficult and/or dangerous to execute (what few would dare to attempt);

6. it must offer a new viewpoint on an old and hackneyed issue (rejuvenated perception); and

7. it must be transformative (from dry statistics to heart-rending visions).”

Abiding by his own advice, Marr executed an event in March 2001, called the Funeral March for the Hunted, where he walked 100 km (about 60 mi) along Hwy 7 from Mission City to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, carrying a Canadian flag with the maple leaf colored black, and a sign saying “Civilize Canada” on one side and “End the barbaric Seal Hunt” on the other. When asked by media for a sound bite, he said, “100 km is the length of a single file of 100,000 dead seals at one meter per seal; you would have to drive a full hour at highway speed to go from one end to the other.

If you think this is outrageous, consider further that 100,000 is less than one third of the total number. Canada kills 350,000 seals per year. The line would stretch 350 km, all the way from Vancouver to Kamloops. You would have to drive 4 hours at highway speeds to go from one end of the line to the other. Frankly, I don’t have time to walk that far, but you get the picture.” And the people in British Columbia too got the picture, loud and clear, since all major BC media, and many minor media along the march route, covered the event, some more than once. Upon further questioning, Marr talked about the cruelty inherent in the industry and the scapegoating of seals for the declined of the North Atlantic Cod precipitated in fact by overfishing – a human travesty.

Now, in 2005, in view of the U.S. Senate urging Canada to stop the hunt, and the HSUS unleashing its Boycott Canada campaign, Marr feels that a large-scale Funeral March for the Hunted could just be the final push needed to send the seal hunt to the abyss.

According to the above, Marr has determined to execute Funeral March for the Hunted 2005 from the Capitol building in Washington DC to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, via Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Trenton, Princeton and Newark, to generate maximum national and international coverage of the issue. The departure date has been set for March 15, to coincide with the HSUS’s continental day of protest. The duration depends on the amount of speaking engagements enroute. He will be carrying a Canadian flag with a ban-sign superimposed on the maple leaf.

Anthony Marr will be inviting activists to join him on the March, in whole or part, each carrying a sign or banner of his/her own making.

He will also explore the possibility of organizing many simultaneous marches across the land. This organizing effort would not be too difficult, given the existence of the Global Anti-Hunting Coalition which Marr formed on his 38-states-in-7.5-months Compassion for Animals Road Expedition CARE tour – see http://www.hope-care.org/ .

More than awareness-raising and action-generating (e.g. boycotting Canadian fisheries products and tourism), this is also a fund-raising event, to further advance Anthony Marr’s effort to protect the seals in particular and wildlife in general (e.g. seals, Bengal tigers, grizzly bears, whales, dolphins, etc. - see http://www.hope-care.org/ ). We ask that you make a generous pledge or donation for this march.

Further, please forward this email in its entirety to your friends and email-list contacts.

“I’ll be 61 when the March starts. I want to put my legs to some positive use while they still work,” said Anthony Marr.

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