Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain defends Canadian seal hunt
Anthony Bourdain attends 'On The Chopping Block: A Roast of Anthony Bourdain' on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 in New York. The celebrity chef has taken to Twitter to protest a U.S. boycott aimed at ending the seal hunt in Canada. (Charles Sykes / Invision)
Published Tuesday, October 29, 2013 9:27AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 29, 2013 11:07AM EDT
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain is taking to Twitter to protest a U.S. boycott aimed at ending the seal hunt in Canada.
Bourdain, an American chef, author and television series host, urged a number of high-profile chefs to reconsider their support of a sweeping boycott of all Canadian seafood products.
To hold the entire Canadian seafood industry hostage over sustainable, absolutely necessary tribal practice is ill considered.— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) October 28, 2013
More than 40 chefs who were recently honoured by Food and Wine Magazine have joined the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) campaign, in which participants pledge not to purchase any Canadian seafood, or seafood from sealing provinces, until the commercial seal hunt ends.
I’m all for protecting seals, but a total ban dooms the indigenous people above arctic circle to death or relocation. @dannybowien consider— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) October 28, 2013
Bourdain spent time in an Inuit community in northern Quebec and participated in a community hunt and feast for an episode of his TV series 'No Reservations.'
In the episode, he described the hunt as " both horror movie and heartwarming."
"A mixture of blood splattered butchery and loving nourishment. A meal like I've never experienced."
On Twitter, Bourdain cited the high price of food in Inuit communities and the inability to grow crops in the Arctic environment as reasons why the seal hunt should continue.
I completely understand well meaning intentions of good hearted chefs who signed this petition. But they are wrong . Visit the Inuit— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) October 28, 2013
He also noted that the Canadian seal population is healthy, and that an uncontrolled population could impact the cod population, which he said has already suffered overfishing.
And there is certainly a commercial dimension to Indigenous seal hunts. They should be allowed to make a living as well as feed themselves.— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) October 28, 2013
Bourdain described the Canadian seal hunt as an easy, politically correct target, and questioned whether the chefs who support the campaign would also ban Japanese seafood products to protest that nation’s whale hunt.
According to the HSUS, the boycott allows chefs to send a "clear message" to Canada's fishing industry.
"It is not acceptable for fishermen in Canada to club and shoot hundreds of thousands of seal pups in a reckless mass slaughter that takes place every year off Canada’s east coast," the organization said in a statement.