Save the Seals — Boycott Maple Syrup | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Save the Seals — Boycott Maple Syrup 

Published February 22, 2010 at 7:27 p.m.

There's nothing I love more than celebrities lending their names to wackadoodle things. OK, I do love some things more than that. Like mashed potatoes and slip-on shoes. But when famous folks sign on to a cause or a product, the results can be painful. And hilarious. Like Kathy Lee Gifford shilling for K-Mart, Mike Ditka pitching Levitra or Chuck Norris door-knocking for Mike Huckabee.

Now, with the Olympics in full swing, our nation's best athletes have their turn at trading in their integrity for some greenbacks. Snowboarding's wet dream Gretchen Bleiler is hawking Visa credit cards, soul-patchy Apolo Ohno's face is plastered on the side of an Alaska Air Boeing 737, and just about every American Olympian has traded his or her soul for McDonald's, which is trying to fool people into believing that elite athletes gobble up Chicken McNuggets and Filets-O-Fish every night at their training tables.

One of the more unusual endorsements popping up during the Winter Games comes from one of our own. Golden girl Hannah Teter, who nabbed a silver medal in the women's halfpipe and already has a Ben & Jerry's signature flavor, has come out against seal clubbing. According to animal rights rabble rousers PETA, those nasty Canucks are killing baby seals by the score for their pelts. And Teets, who recently posed for Sports Illustrated in her underoos, ain't into it. So she's telling the Canads to suck it. Even though they gave her some sweet sterling hardware.

The cleverly named PETA campaign, Save the Seals, seeks to bring shame to the government of Canada during their shining moment — the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Now Teets is in on the clubbing. Of Canada. She joins a pile of other fameballs like Perez Hilton, Kelly Osbourne and Brody Jenner, who have already endorsed the cause by agreeing to wear a T-shirt featuring a cute baby seal in a photo.

Good for Hannah, making her voice heard on an important issue. But there might be a more nefarious reason for her endorsement. See, PETA wants everyone to boycott Canadian maple syrup to show their disgust for Canada and its cruel, cruel ways. (That'll definitely make them stop.) Hannah Teter has her own brand of Vermont maple syrup called Hannah's Gold, the proceeds of which go to benefit a village in Kenya. Stay with me here.

If people choose to buy American maple syrup instead of stuff from up north because they hate seal clubbing, Vermont, being the largest producer of maple syrup in the U.S., stands to gain big-style-y. And by extension, so too does Hannah's charity. Are you picking up what I'm putting down? Yeah, I'm talking about a conspiracy.  Call it the Hannah Teter Seal/Syrup Shadiness.

No attempts were made to get a comment from Teter on this issue. However, attempts were made to watch this video of Teets' photo shoot, but were ultimately scuttled due to my inability to see animals getting beaned by men in orange slickers. FYI, check out Hannah's silky bloomers. Nice.

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Lauren Ober

Lauren Ober

Lauren Ober was a Seven Days staff writer from 2009-2011.

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