In an unsurprising move, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have announced they’ve organized an elaborate protest to take place outside a Vancouver restaurant that is serving a dish using seal meat on its menu.
Slated to coincide with the opening night of the two-week Dine Out Vancouver festival, during which Granville Island’s Edible Canada will offer diners the choice of a pasta bolognese dish made with seal meat, the PETA protest will be a highly visual spectacle in line with past PETA protest stunts.
The animal rights group say they plan to have a costumed “seal” who will “writhe in a pool of ‘blood'” outside the restaurant, according to a media release issued Thursday.
“Canada’s commercial seal slaughter is responsible for shooting, bludgeoning, and skinning seals for products that are illegal in dozens of countries around the world,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on kind people to skip Edible Canada’s shameless endorsement of this cruel and wasteful industry.”
Edible Canada’s owner Eric Pateman told Daily Hive this week that his restaurant has heard from a few vocal protestors since they revealed they would be using seal meat. Most of those were self-identified as vegan or vegetarian who object to all use of animal products and meat.
The meat being used by Edible Canada is what is otherwise discarded and left to rot following the seal hunt–a highly regulated and longstanding practice in Canadian history.
There’s a vast misconception about Canada’s seal hunt, according to Pateman, much of it based on outdated animal rights propaganda about seal clubbing. The seal population has grown from two million to eight million in recent years, and using the otherwise discarded meat speaks to Edible’s mission to promote food sustainability and an ongoing conversation about the value of knowing where your meat comes from.
The restaurant has been working closely with the Vancouver Police Department to manage the threats, and are ready to handle any protestors who intend to have a physical presence at the restaurant during Dine Out, which runs January 20 to February 5.
Past PETA protests in Vancouver have included attention grabbing stunts like sending a topless woman into a dairy conference to show opposition to cow milk, or having near-nude women in body paint and fake blood lie outside a luxury retailer in protest of their use of alligator. It is unclear how clothed (or not) the seal protestors will be at Edible Canada on Friday.