Presumably torn between his roles as a Canadian icon and politically-active celebrity, rock-icon Bryan Adams has adamantly kept the seal-hunting debate out of his shows. But while promoting his tour of Atlantic Canada, he was asked by The Telegram if performing in Newfoundland and Labrador was hypocritical, given his ties to PETA and their anti-seal hunt campaign.
“I’m coming to Newfoundland for my fans and to play music, not to get drawn into a debate with the seal killing industry,” Adams told The Telegram. “I’m a veggie and against the deliberate killing of all animals, not just seals, so for those people that want to protest about my coming to play a gig, make sure to get all the chicken farmers, cow farmers, and fishermen to march in unity at my presence.”
Dion Dakins, CEO of seal processing company Carino, made an appearance outside of Adams’ concert in support of the seal industry, though not with a coalition of meat industries. Instead, he drove up in a company van, from which he sold pelts and other seal products.
“It’s not a boycott of Bryan Adams or anything else. This is not about Bryan Adams — this is about an industry that’s trying to survive,” he told CBC News.
Other musicians have been less “Canadian” than Adams and Dakin in debating the issue. British musician Morrissey recently proclaimed Canada “fashionably dead.” After a spokesperson for Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea urged Morrissey “to consider the impact that his ignorant and inflammatory statements have on the livelihoods of thousands of hard-working men and women in rural communities,” Morrissey brought the argument to its logical conclusion, comparing the seal hunt to the Holocaust. Welcome to the internet.
Meanwhile, at least one musician, Nunavut singer-songwriter Tanya Tagaq, has spoken out in favour of the seal hunt. Tagaq posted a picture of her baby son next to a dead seal, as part of the #sealfie campaign, an online movement defending Inuit tradition. A slew of harassment followed, including a petition to have her son taken away from her. Tagaq, who is currently touring Europe, told CBC News that she is not considering legal action against the online harassment, for which the internet is grateful.
– Drew McLachlan