Nfld. & Labrador

Activist Paul Watson attacks Rod Stewart's sealskin coat fitting

A well-known anti-sealing activist is using social media to shame Rod Stewart and his new sealskin coat.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Paul Watson has attacked Rod Stewart for wearing a sealskin coat in St. John's on Saturday. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

A well-known anti-sealing activist is using social media to shame Rod Stewart's sealskin coat fitting.

Before performing in St. John's, the British rock star got fitted for the coat at Always in Vogue on Water Street — a move that garnered attention and praise from many local residents.

However, anti-sealing advocate Paul Watson did not agree with Stewart's fashion choice.

Darren Halloran with British rocker Rod Stewart, who paid an unexpected visit to Always In Vogue furrier in downtown St. John's on Saturday. (Always In Vogue/Facebook )

Watson, who founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, made two long posts on his public Facebook page, in which he attacked the sealing industry and Stewart's celebrity.

"Apparently Rod Stewart is so way down in the charts that he has stooped to playing gigs on the street in St John's, Newfoundland," Watson wrote.

Watson claimed that Stewart's action was a direct insult to Paul McCartney, the former Beatles member who has publicly condemned the seal hunt.

"With this callous action, Rod Stewart is simply insulting McCartney and telling him to shove his compassion, and telling him where to go," Watson wrote.

"You see Rod Stewart simply does not give a damn. He's in the Ted Nugent, Kid Rock school of rock musicians who have hearts of stone and blood on their hands and thrive on the sadistic thrill it gives them to be known for their lack of empathy and kindness."

Watson also suggested that Stewart was wearing fur from seal pups.

- Paul Watson

"What they call a hunt is not a hunt. It is a slaughter. It is about men going out on the ice floes shooting and clubbing helpless seals in a seal nursery," he said.

However, Darren Halloran, who works at Always in Vogue, said that's simply not true.

"To set the record straight for the last 30 years — since 1987— you have not been allowed to kill baby seals," he said.

"Everything that goes on in the sealing industry is humane...we use every part of the product, from the skin to the meat to the oil to the organs."

Watson rewrites lyrics, contacts customs

Watson said he had notified the United States Department of Commerce and British customs office that Stewart might be smuggling a sealskin jacket into Europe or the United States.

Paul Watson shared this photo on his Facebook page along with a strong condemnation of Rod Stewart's support for the seal hunt. (Facebook)

However, Halloran said he's wasting his time.

Stewart didn't actually buy the jacket, he said. The jacket, as well as the capes for his entourage, were just on loan.

Watson has been a longtime opponent of the commercial seal hunt. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is a group dedicated to aggressively promoting marine conservation.

In his posts, Watson also rewrote the lyrics to two of Stewart's songs: Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? became Do You Think He's Sadistic, and Sailing became Sealing.

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