Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Olympic mascots portrayed as cruel seal killers

VANCOUVER - It’s an all-out, multi-front information war.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals stepped up its campaign Monday to use the Olympic Games on Canada’s Pacific coast as leverage to end the hunting of seals on the Atlantic coast.

The latest salvo was Monday’s launch of the, which portrays VANOC mascots Miga, Quatchi and Sumi as bloodthirsty seal killers. PETA is urging a boycott of Canadian maple syrup.

In January, PETA launched the global campaign with an eye-catching version of the Vancouver 2010 inukshuk logo clubbing a seal in a pool of blood above the Olympic rings. The United States Olympic Committee complained to merchandise seller, but PETA lawyer Paula Hough responded in a May 26 letter: “In the context of a critical and parodic use of the images, there is no trademark infringement.”

"Some organizations may use Vancouver 2010 and the Olympic spotlight as a vehicle to make themselves heard on issues unrelated to the Games,” said a statement from VANOC communications vice-president Renee Smith-Valade. “We simply have no jurisdiction in these areas and we decline any specific comment on this issue."

Miga, Quatchi, Sumi and Mukmuk’s co-creator Vicki Wong declined comment.

A request for an interview with PETA about the new campaign was not fulfilled Monday. PETA has its own problems after the Center for Consumer Freedom released Virginia state documents showing PETA put to death 21,339 dogs, cats and other pets in its care from 1998 to 2008. Only 3,083 were adopted.

CCF launched in 1995 as the Guest Choice Network with funding from cigarette-maker Philip Morris.

Bob Mackin reports for Vancouver 24 hours.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus