Sunday, July 27, 2008

“A SEALED FATE” BY NIGEL BARKER -NOTED PHOTOGRAPHER




AN ADVOCATE FOR THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES &
AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL JUDGE TURNS THE LENS ON A CANADIAN RITUAL


July 25th, 4PM (and open to the public until July 27th)

401 Projects---401 West Street, NYC

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

WHO: Nigel Barker, a Judge on America’s Next Top Model the massively popular Tyra Bank’s helmed reality show. Plus a congenial fashion photographer, who put in overtime and answered all of our questions...because...

he's a passionate advocate against the cruelty to animals ...and films/produces documentary work that CELEBRATES THE BEAUTY of their lives.



WHAT: An informative (and moving) photo exhibit and documentary on Canadian Seals that captures the adorable and vulnerable nature of the baby seals…and the annual hunt of these mammals sanctioned by the Canadian government.

“They have no natural enemies,” Barker noted…”they come up to you and that makes it more tragic that the hunt takes place…”

The exhibit itself is glorious… and highlights the wonders of these creatures (FYI-it’s is totally kid friendly)… while the documentary-viewed downstairs in a cozy setting- both records the mammals gentle nature AND briefly shines a spotlight on the cruel practices used in the pointless three-day slaughter of the baby seals.

The photographs, in limited editions are for sale too…with proceeds going to The Humane Society.

Nigel Barker with the weapon of choice. Ugh.




Not part of the exhibit and barely viewed in the doc ... we learned that the 12 day old mammals are barbarically clubbed with one end of a long metal rod (not confirmed dead) and dragged by a treacherous metal hook to the boats where they are skinned (often while still alive and writhing in pain)...during the Q&A with Barker. The seals can also be shot in the head but the hunters "are charged $4 for every bullet hole in a pelt.”

Then…the bloody carcasses of these defenseless mammals are left to litter the landscape-like something out of D-Day invasion aka “a sea of bloody guts.”

WHO BUYS: Predictably, the Chinese and Russians buy the fur…but another attendee at our session, commented on how Scandinavians still buy seal coats and pay a lot for them too.

Sadly, the Norwegians “have converted the whale processing plants over to process the fur,” according to Barker.

“THERE IS REAL HOPE” Fortunately the EU is considering a ban on Canadian fur imports (the USA has one). Norway is NOT part of the EU but adopts most of EU policies through trade agreements. Let’s hope the nations across the pond get on board for this…especially since the annual slaughter for seal fur generates $12 million dollars for the hunters…and the seafood boycott has cost Canadians a $300 million deficit already. HHHmmmmm.

Ironically, 75% of Canadians are against this…and do not subscribe to the mind set that “we’ve been doing it for hundreds of years.”

The photography team




WHAT YOU CAN DO: Boycott Canadian seafood like socially responsible food purveyors Whole Foods and Trader Joes (YEAH!!!).

Plus-sign the online PETITION pledging to boycott Canadian seafood.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Barker reiterated that the hunt “doesn’t need to happen” (we agree)…and “we live in a beautiful world that is often treated with contempt.”

“When people treat animals in an inhumane manner…I’ll step in…that’s my mission.”

TAGS: NIGEL BARKER, The Humane Society Of The United States, 401 Projects



THAT'S HOT: Paris Hilton in her 'Club Sandwiches not Seals" hoodie.