Last week, The HSUS and photographer Nigel Barker hosted a Chefs for Seals event in New York City, recognizing chefs who are boycotting certain seafood products from Canada as an act of solidarity with our effort to end the barbaric seal hunt. In addition to celebrating these chefs, we recognized our National Council member Cathy Kangas and former U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli of New Jersey–who have both gone above and beyond the call of duty in standing up against this massive slaughter of marine mammals. Their generous support for our Protect Seals campaign has been invaluable.

I wanted to provide special mention of Sen. Torricelli, who served in the U.S. House for 14 years and then served one term in the Senate. He was perhaps the strongest voice for animal protection in the Congress during those years, pushing legislation to promote alternatives to animal testing, to stop the use of steel-jawed leghold traps, and to stop canned hunts. We’re so pleased he’s now devoting so much time and effort to many of our campaigns, including our effort to convince Canada to find a new way to interact with the seals.

I thought he framed the issue just right in his comments to the crowd, assembled at the top of the Skylight West building in Manhattan. Take a peek below at a portion of his speech. And remember, here’s a man who’s spoken in the well of the House and Senate so many times in support of animal protection.

That evening, we reminded the crowd that this year’s seal slaughter was the smallest in years, because of our efforts to close markets and drive down pelt prices throughout the world. We have not won the battle yet, but we are saving hundreds of thousands of animals each year, and that progress is something to behold and to celebrate.