By Alan Herscovici, Senior Researcher, Truth About Fur
This article was first published in The Villager, March 16, 2017.
As someone brought up in the Canadian fur trade and who has spent much of the past 35 years studying the environmental ethic of North America’s founding industry, I am troubled by the arrogance and ignorance displayed by self-appointed “animal-rights” activists protesting the opening of the Canada Goose boutique in Soho.
Responding to complaints about neighbors disturbed and consumers harassed, activists Nathan Semmel and Leonardo Anguiano recently argued in these pages that “it is solely the vile ethics of the Canada Goose corporation that brought about our presence.” (“Call of the Wild: Why we protest Canada Goose,” talking point, March 2):
By “vile ethics,” they mean that Canada Goose uses animal products — goose down and coyote fur — to make their remarkably warm parkas.
Goose down and fur are two of nature’s best insulators, but it is not surprising that these protesters object. Most of them are — or aspire to be — vegans, and embrace the radical “animal-rights” philosophy, which means they oppose any use of animals, even for food. Most Americans, however, do eat meat, fish, dairy and eggs. Most of us also wear leather, wool and silk. This does not mean we condone the mistreatment of animals. Research confirms that most people believe that humans do have a right to use animals, but only if four important criteria are respected — namely, that animals should be used sustainably, humanely, for an important purpose and with minimal waste.
Let’s see how the use of coyote fur stacks up against these widely accepted ethical criteria.