Vladimir Putin, noted global asshole and Russia's most infamous export, has surely received his fair share of open letters during his well-publicized reign. The controversy surrounding the 2012 imprisonment of Russian punk protest group Pussy Riot placed a renewed spotlight on the leader's troubling policies, inspiring troves of public responses from casual civilians and celebrities alike.
Putin is now at the center of a very different — though inarguably important — debate on the transportation of whale meat from Iceland to Japan. As whaling is illegal across most of the globe, the Winter Bay cargo vessel — currently loaded with 1,700 pounds of fin whale meat — is attempting a route along the Bering Strait, which separates the Russian region of Kamchatka from Alaska. As Quartz notes, the Winter Bay is in direct violation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species — of which Russia is a member.
Seeking to appeal to Putin on a far more publicized level, longtime animal rights advocate Pamela Anderson has penned an astute open letter to Putin requesting he block the passage of the vessel and promptly send it cowering back to Iceland. Read the full letter below, via the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society:
Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich,
I believe that we both share a mutual love for animals and a deep respect for nature and for this reason I would like to make a personal request to you, on behalf of endangered fin whales. At this moment there is a ship in Tromsø, Norway, called the Winter Bay. It is carrying a cargo of 1,700 tons of fin whale meat. These whales were killed illegally in violation of the International Whaling Commission’s moratorium on commercial whaling. It is also illegal to kill fin whales and to engage in the trade of endangered species. The Winter Bay was unable to transit the Suez Canal or the Panama Canal or to transit via Europe or Africa for fear of being stopped by the appropriate authorities. The Winter Bay intends to transit through Russian waters with assistance of Russian icebreakers to deliver this illegal cargo to Japan. President Putin, you can stop this illegal transit by forbidding this vessel from carrying a cargo of endangered fin whale meat through Russian waters to Japan. I would like to respectfully ask you to consider investigating this shipment and to do what you can to prevent it from transiting to Japan an illegal cargo. Your decision could put an end to the needless slaughter of endangered whales by Iceland. Thank you Mr. President for your consideration of my request.