Until today, I thought the only bad thing about Greenpeace was the blight of day-glo wearing college-age canvassers they parachute into every affluent downtown area. These employees specialize in creating awkward moments when you’re just trying to walk down the street and have a conversation with a friend.
But it actually turns out that Greenpeace backs something even more repugnant: the seal fur trade. Check out this October 2015 MSNBC video featuring Jon Burgwald, who works as an arctic campaigner for Greenpeace.
Here’s most of what Burgwald said in the video. A bit of his comments were garbled but I did the best I could with this transcription:
We need to move beyond the notion that all sealing and seal products are bad things…it’s actually sustainable. I think it’s good that we can start promoting the sustainable seal products. It’s a sustainable hunt. They use all of the animal. Like they eat the meat, and what they can’t eat they use for the dogs. And so it’s a very sustainable way of hunting and there’s no problem with the population or anything so we’re actually fully supportive of the indigenous seal hunt.
Life is messy, no person or organization is perfect, and Greenpeace surely does a great deal of good in the world. But to actively promote a resurgence of the fur industry is something that has probably cost Greenpeace my support for life. I’m sure there are millions of people who care about animals who will feel the same way. It’s appalling that a group with such a hard-won reputation for environmental advocacy is now squandering it by promoting seal fur.
I guess the silver lining to all this is that, next time you’re accosted by a Greenpeace canvasser, you now have the perfect rejoinder that will enable you to walk away: “Greenpeace supports the seal trade.”