Bourdain Backs Seal Hunting, Slams Chefs Boycotting Canadian Seafood Products


While the headline may be sensationalist, the story is true: Anthony Bourdain took to Twitter today to defend the controversial Inuit practice of seal hunting.

After nearly forty of his fellow chefs (including Danny Bowien, Michael Symon, Stephanie Izard, and Scott Conantsigned a Humane Society petition demanding that the government of Canada outlaw seal hunting and pledging to boycott Canadian seafood products until they do, Bourdain began tweeting his fellow chefs to reconsider their position.

Having spent time among the Inuit, participating in a seal hunt and eating a prized eyeball on No Reservations, Bourdain argued that seal hunting wasn’t a quaint and outdated cultural practice, but an absolutely necessary means of survival in Nunavut, a Canadian province the size of Mexico that’s home to roughly 31,000 people — mostly Inuit. “I’m all for protecting seals,” he tweeted to Bowien, “but a total ban dooms the indigenous people above arctic circle to death or relocation.


(For proof: The BBC, with a photo of a $28 head of lettuce. It’s real.)




From Boston Magazine, which delves deeper into the environmental impact of uncontrolled seal populations:

According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, gray seals consume between 4 and 6 percent of their weight per day. A mature male can weigh 800 pounds and up, which translates roughly into a daily diet of 32 to 48 pounds of seafood—an amount that, multiplied by thousands, has fishermen concerned, especially since the rise of the seal population in the area has coincided with a precipitous decline in fish stocks.






And, of course, Bourdain takes a shot at the chefs, sitting pretty with their walk-ins and 18-top propane burners and access to farms:

We’re excited for Bourdain to start making the case against pandas. The internet would just explode. (And really, there’s a strong case to be made against pandas.)


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