Oh, Canada! PETA tries to save the seals … in Bangkok?
You hear about people protesting in front of the Myanmar and Cambodia embassies in Bangkok all the time. But Canada? What did the polite, smiling Canadians ever do to annoy anyone, besides maybe being just too darn nice?
Well, there is our yearly seal slaughter. That offends a few people, particularly the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). But this is the first time they've taken issue with it in Bangkok.
On Monday, a PETA activist had her body painted with the colors of the Canadian flag and held up a sign during a demonstration at the Canadian embassy here. It's all part of a campaign to condemn Canada's annual commercial seal slaughter as the country prepares to host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
To be honest, I don’t know if PETA really thought this one through. The Canadian embassy doesn't even have its own building, for starters. It occupies a single floor in an office tower on Rama IV Road.
Second of all, how many athletes is Thailand sending to the 2010 Winter Olympics? As of now, none. In 2006, they sent one. Few Thais even watch the Winter Games, so getting them to boycott it isn't exactly a challenge.
That said, the girl definitely attracted a crowd and got people talking, so maybe there’s something to PETA's odd strategy. As a kid in Canada I remember seeing the brutal pictures of seals getting clubbed to death every year on the news, and can’t deny they are powerful images.
But given that Canada’s own Governor General -- a former TV anchor appointed by Queen Elizabeth II -- ripped into a seal carcass and ate its heart in a show of support for the country’s seal hunters earlier this year, PETA has its work cut out for it.